Tag: PabloNeruda

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Bookstr Recommends: Our Favorite Poems for World Poetry Day!

WE LOVE POETRY. World Poetry Day is Bookstr’s favorite holiday. If there wasn’t a full on blizzard in New York today, we would be in the office reciting verses to one another all day long, you best believe. However, the fact of the matter is that there IS a full on blizzard taking place in this here city, and therefore we must content ourselves with virtually sharing our favorite poems with each other and with you!


On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong


Ocean Vuong looking at camera wearing black vest
Ocean Vuong | Image Via Poetry Foundation


George HajjarSocial and Editorial 


So one of my favorite poems is On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. The poem executes how beauty can be found even in circumstances of fear, worry, and grotesqueness. Vuong’s inexplicable looming presence gives this poem a tone of “the unknown” that compels the reader to reread, and reinterpret. Here’s an excerpt:


I wanted to disappear — so I opened the door to a stranger’s car. He was divorced. He was still alive. He was sobbing into his hands (hands that tasted like rust). The pink breast cancer ribbon on his keychain swayed in the ignition. Don’t we touch each other just to prove we are still here? I was still here once. The moon, distant & flickering, trapped itself in beads of sweat on my neck. I let the fog spill through the cracked window & cover my fangs. When I left, the Buick kept sitting there, a dumb bull in pasture, its eyes searing my shadow onto the side of suburban houses. At home, I threw myself on the bed like a torch & watched the flames gnaw through my mother’s house until the sky appeared, bloodshot & massive. How I wanted to be that sky — to hold every flying & falling at once.


The Talk by Gayle Danley


Gayle Danley wearing a blue top, gesticulating in front of black board
Gayle Danley | Image Via Young Audiences WNY


Francesca ContrerasEditorial 

In honor of World Poetry Day I want people to be able to fall in love, like I did, with Gayle Danley’s The Talk. I first came across this former national and international poetry slam champion’s work about four or five years ago. Here’s a short excerpt from The Talk:


You came from this: Maryland rain, nights of shag carpet lovin’ and days
Just $2 short of the rent;
And one afternoon you came
I wanted your father so badly it hurt
Even took his last name and flung it behind yours like a spare tire
Whatever he gave me was never enough
It was like his love was a sieve
And my desire for him

The poem is almost cinematic in its setting and tone. But what really captured me was its raw honesty, vulnerability, and truth of what it means to be human. I’m a sucker for details and this work has so many that it feels heartbreakingly familiar. Danley brings you back to a place you never were and somehow even you become stricken with nostalgia. It’s endearing, real, and heartfelt, definitely worth a read.


Birches by Robert Frost


Robert Frost smiling looking at camera, with axe over his shoulder
Robert Frost | Image Via Library of America

Laura-Blaise McDowellEditor 

It’s so hard to select one single, solitary poem as a favorite, but one that’s been on my mind recently is Birches by Robert Frost. I was upstate at the weekend, staying on a property surrounded by birch trees in the snow, and it brought me back to studying Birches in school when I was fifteen. I remember Frost didn’t speak to me the way some of the other poets we studied at the time, like Emily Dickinson, did, but that I loved Birches, and it has echoed in my brain ever since. It’s a stunning tribute to nature and to youth. The phrase ‘you’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen’ never left my mind, and the imagery of the girls bending over to let their hair dry in the sun is just phenomenal. I read the whole thing sitting looking out at the snowy birches and it was just heavenly. Here’s the first verse.

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay
As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.

The Lovesong of Alfred J. Prufrock by T.S. Eliot 


Brianna EvansEditorial 

It’s not the most interesting or unique choices for a favorite poem, but I will always love T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I’ll never forget the first time I read it; it was my junior year of high school, and I was sixteen-years-old. My best friend and I had just recently seen the movie Annie Hall, and we likened the poem’s Speaker to any given Woody Allen character. Whether or not that’s an accurate comparison doesn’t necessarily matter, because that was the moment I decided I did in fact enjoy reading poetry; it’s deeply personal. Prufrock isn’t the most accessible poem out there (the beginning opens with a handful of Latin lines, and doesn’t slow down once), and while I may not fully comprehend every reference the Speaker makes I still enjoy the vast amount of imagery Eliot paints for the reader. I also highly recommend checking out T.S. Eliot’s reading of this poem, because in my mind, his voice gives the character life. Listen to the author read the poem aloud!


since feeling is first by e.e. cummings

e.e. cummings | Image Via Kinja
e.e. cummings | Image Via Kinja

Jessica AwadEditorial 

My favorite poet is e.e. cummings, and since feeling is first is the poem that introduced me to his work. We read it in my English class, and I suppose it stuck out because of the style and because it was the only romantic poem we read as a class (I’ve always been an incurable romantic).  Not long after that I bought an entire book of his poetry, and I was hooked!

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
– the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says

we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

The Infinite One by Pablo Neruda 

Pablo Neruda | Image Via teleSUR
Pablo Neruda | Image Via teleSUR

Hilary SchuhmacherEditor

My favorite poem is Pablo Neruda’s The Infinite One. Neruda’s love poems explore a variety of perspectives on love, heartbreak, desire, etc, but this one resonates with me because as much as we have to explore in the physical world around us, each one of us also has a world of our own that’s equally worth exploring. To me, love is all about how people see and explore the world together.

the twin doves
that rest or fly in your breast,
they travel the distances of your legs,
they coil in the light of your waist.
For me you are a treasure more laden
with immensity than the sea and its branches
and you are white and blue and spacious like
the earth at vintage time.

Featured Image Via Schmoes Know…

Pablo Neruda

14 Pablo Neruda Quotes to Steal Your Heart

Whenever I’m in a certain mood, only words are the cure. I do admit to having a few go-to writers. And when I’m talking writers, I mean poets. Beautiful sonnets that create a universe in your mind and a city in your soul are the kind I enjoy. One poet who never ceases to amaze me is the talented Pablo Neruda. The man can write.


One particular line from his poem ‘Every Day You Play’ always sweeps me up: “I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.” Now, if that doesn’t kick up your spirits, I don’t know what will. But there’s definitely more. Here is a list of quotes from the Chilean poet and diplomat himself. These are the lines that put Neruda in his own stellar world.


1. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,

I love you simply, without problems or pride:

I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this,

in which there is no I or you,

so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,

so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.



2. Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.



3. I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.


4. We the mortals touch the metals,
the wind, the ocean shores, the stones,
knowing they will go on, inert or burning,
and I was discovering, naming all the these things:
it was my destiny to love and say goodbye.


5. And I, infinitesima­l being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.



6. The books that help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.


7. If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death
Perhaps the world can teach us
as when everything seems dead
but later proves to be alive.


8. And that’s why I have to go back
to so many places
there to find myself
and constantly examine myself
with no witness but the moon
and then whistle with joy,
ambling over rocks and clods of earth,
with no task but to live,
with no family but the road.


9. Poetry is an act of peace. Peace goes into the making of a poet as flour goes into the making of bread.


10. On our earth, before writing was invented, before the printing press was invented, poetry flourished. That is why we know that poetry is like bread; it should be shared by all, by scholars and by peasants, by all our vast, incredible, extraordinary family of humanity.



11. I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.


12. A bibliophile of little means is likely to suffer often. Books don’t slip from his hands but fly past him through the air, high as birds, high as prices.



13. You can say anything you want, yessir, but it’s the words that sing, they soar and descend…I bow to them…I love them, I cling to them, I run them down, I bite into them, I melt them down…I love words so much…The unexpected ones…The ones I wait for greedily or stalk until, suddenly, they drop…



14. You make me thank god for every mistake I ever made, Because each one led me down the path that brought me to you.


Feature Image Via VeoVerde

Long-Lost Pablo Neruda Poems to Be Published in English

Long-lost poems by the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda are finally being translated into English, nearly 60 years after the earliest was written. The English versions of the poems will be published by Copper Canyon, a non-profit press that has also published 10 other collections of Neruda’s work. The title of the book is Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda. Poet and novelist Forrest Gander will handle the work of translating the poems.

The poems were discovered last June by archivists looking through boxes at the Pablo Neruda Foundation in Santiago, Chile. The collection is a treasure trove of never-before-seen Neruda poems, including love poems, which he was best known for. The oldest poem in the collection dates back to 1956. The poems were published in Spanish shortly after their discovery, but it has taken some time to get an English translation in the works.


BREAKING NEWS: Copper Canyon is publishing the lost poems of PABLO NERUDA in April 2016! Discovered by The Neruda…

Posted by Copper Canyon Press on Friday, July 24, 2015

Copper Canyon’s non-profit nature has made raising the funds for this new collection difficult. The press acquired the poems from Neruda’s estate and hired the translator with money it raised from its own board, and are now turning to poetry fans to crowd-fund the $100,000 they need to produce and print the book. Assuming they can raise the funds, the book will be published in April 2016.

Pablo Neruda was Chile’s greatest poet. He won the Nobel Prize in 1971, just a couple of years before his death.

Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/1OyH6rr