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Friday, February 26, 2016

Book Review : 'Twenty Love Poems And A Song of Despair' by Pablo Neruda

I had read at least 2-3 of the twenty one poems in the book some time in late January.After that,I didn't dare to touch this again before my exams were over,considering how powerful and impactful that little read had been.
Now that I have completed reading the book,a compact review could help some other bookaholic,at some point of time.Also,I wouldn't deny,it is going to be a pleasure talking about this book and the wonderful poetry embedded in each of its pages.It is hard to explain how beautiful some of the poems are,if someone does not read it by himself or herself.Say,if you wanted to have a hard dose of romantic philosophy in a day or two,this is a perfect read.

About The Book
(Credit : Wikipedia)

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (Spanish: Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada) is a collection of romantic poems by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, first published in 1924 when Neruda was 19. It was Neruda's second published work, and made his name as a poet.

Veinte poemas was controversial for its eroticism, especially considering its author's very young age. Over the decades, Veinte poemas has become Neruda's best-known work, and has sold more than a million copies. The book has been translated into many languages; in English, the translation was made by poet W. S. Merwin.

Book Review

There are exactly 20 poems in the book and the 21st poem is titled 'A Song of Despair'.The poems are striking but not harsh,they are of the sinkingly soft but impactful kind.Strangely,as it may seem,they are also very earthy in nature and tones.Most of the poems have a considerable element of eroticism in them but it never gets to a point where the reader would feel like reading anything about eroticism.It is more like travelling through an earthy tunnel of mushy grass and wild flowers thousands of years ago.

Neruda's poems have been blatantly declarative at points,poems outside the book like 'A Dog has Died' are very brave.It does not take more than half a minute to realise that he was influenced by the Hungry generation.He wrote this book when he was only 19 and the beginning and finishing are still declarative at points but not blatant at all.They are crafted well,they are poetic,they have an essence to them,that of an art.
It indeed is a wonder how he managed to write this masterpiece at 19! 
My personal favourites are 'The Light Wraps You' and 'Tonight I Can Write'.
'A Song of Despair' was not as impressive as many of the other poems have been.
The book,compiled together with all its constituents is nothing less than a treasure chest.One of the most influential poets in the history of Latin American literature,Neruda cannot be denied a position on the international grounds as well.The poems are very influential,artful and beautifully written.From nearly all the attributes you can think of at once,this book is indeed worth a read.

Overall rating :-  4.8/5
(-0.2 for overdose of eroticism that engulfs beauty and produces blankness at times)

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