The sea and the bells

by Pablo Neruda

Paper Book, 2001





Port Townsend : Copper Canyon Press, [2001?]


The sound of ships' bells, sea waves, and migratory birds fuel Neruda's longing to retreat from life's noisy busyness. Stripped to essentials, these poems are some of the last Neruda ever wrote, as he pulled "one dream out of another." Includes the final lovesong to his wife, written in the past tense: "It was beautiful to live / When you lived!" Bilingual with introduction. "Deeply personal, expansive, and universal... majestic and understated beauty."-"Publishers Weekly"

User reviews

LibraryThing member Esta1923
The Sea and the Bells by Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda, born 1904, died in 1973. Translator William O'Daly says Neruda was a man of politics and poetry and that in this volume he celebrates the regenerative power of nature.

Daly"s ten page introduction is an excellent prelude to this beautiful group of
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poems. I do not understand Spanish but sometimes my eyes stray to the side of the page where the poem is in its original language and I seem able to feel the rhythm of the lines.

For those unacquainted with Neruda, here are two favorites of mine.

We Are Waiting
There are days that haven't arrived yet,
that are being made
like bread or chairs or a product
from the pharmacies or the woodshops:
there are factories of days to come:
they exist, craftsmen of the soul
who raise and weigh and prepare
certain bitter or beautiful days
that arrive suddenly at the door to reward us with an orange
or to instantly murder us.

I came here to count the bells
that live upon the surface of the sea,
that sound over the sea,
within the sea.

So, here I live.
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LibraryThing member dasam
Neruda's last and unfinished collection still contains a number of poems that are as wonderful as any her has written. These poems are both very person, such as the last poem he wrote to his beloved, Matilde ("Finale"), but also touch the universal if not the mythic ("Returning").

Many of these
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poems feel unfinished, not just because they have no titles, but they lack that final quality of workmanship Neruda gives to his collections as they are published. Read this collection regardless. Neruda unfinished is superior to so many poets writing today and the collection as a whole rewards us as we experience the haunting sea and silent bell.
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Original language

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