Tuesday is for Books


Tuesday is for Books

“Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” by Pablo Neruda

Twenty love poems and a song of despair

Somehow any good list of wonderful books isn’t complete without Pablo Neruda…and not just because i adore the movie “Il Postino” and not just because some of the more meaningful love letters in my life including excerpts from his poetry, but because it’s just lovely and moving and achingly beautiful…

“Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” is my favorite of his collections, particularly the translation by W.S. Merwin. Who could resist this line from “I Like for You to be Still”:

“I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent

distant and full of sorrow as though you had died

one word then, one smile, is enough

And i am happy, happy that it’s not true”

(and if you really want to put yourself over the edge, listen to the soundtrack of Il Postino which features Andy Garcia reading “Tonight I Can Write” and try not to swoon…)

One of the most influential poets of the Spanish language, Neruda is romantic and erotic and utterly melancholy and perfect. And although my love letters are now a bit faded and dusty, they still evoke those same feelings of longing and loving and distance and the delicious effect of words on paper.

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