This bilingual collection of Neruda's most essential poems will prove indispensable. Selected by a team of poets and prominent Neruda scholars in both Chile and the U.S., this is a definitive selection that draws from the entire breadth and width of Neruda's various styles and themes. An impressive group of translators that includes Alistair Reid, Stephen Mitchell, Robert Hass, Stephen Kessler and Jack Hirschman, have come together to revisit or completely retranslate the poems. A handful of previously untranslated works are included as well. This selection sets the standard for a general, high--quality introduction to Neruda's complete oeuvre.
"The call for a more accessible collection of Neruda's important poems is answered with City Lights' The Essential Neruda, a 200-page edition that offers 50 of Neruda's key poems. The editors and translators know how to extract gold from a lifetime of prolific writing. If you want a handy Neruda companion and don't know where to begin, this is it." —The Bloomsbury Review
"The Essential Neruda will prove to be, for most readers, the best introduction to Neruda available in English. In fact, I can think of few other books that have given me so much delight so easily. At only 234 pages (bilingual), it somehow manages to convey the fullness of Neruda's poetic arc: Reading it is like reading the autobiography of a poetic sensibility (granted, the abridged version)."—The Austin Chronicle
"This book is a must-have for any reader interested in a definitive sampling of the most essential poems by one whom many consider one of the best poets of the 20th century."—Mike Nobles, Tulsa World
"What better way to celebrate the hundred years of Neruda's glorious residence on our earth than this selection of crucial works - in both languages! - by one of the greatest poets of all time. A splendid way to begin a love affair with our Pablo or, having already succumbed to his infinite charms, revisit him passionately again and again and yet again."—Ariel Dorfman, author of Konfidenz and The Nanny and the Iceberg
"If the notion had struck Pablo Neruda, I am quite sure that like Fernando Pessoa and Antonio Machado he would have given birth to what the former called heteronyms. Like Pessoa especially, Neruda can be several poets according to where he is and when and what his mood might be. It is quite fitting therefore that his work in this anthology be shared by various translators, for, ideally, a translator is but another heteronym speaking in a different tongue and at a different time. Neruda is well served here by these other voices of his."—Gregory Rabassa