100 Love Sonnets = Cien sonetos de amor

by Pablo Neruda

Other authorsStephen Tapscott (Translator)
Paper Book, 1986





Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986.


"The happiness I feel in offering these to you is vast as a savanna," Pablo Neruda wrote his adored wife, Matilde Urrutia de Neruda, in his dedication of One Hundred Love Sonnets. Set against the backdrop of his beloved Isla Negra, these joyfully sensual poems draw on the wind and tides, the white sand with its scattering of delicate wildflowers, and the hot sun and salty scent of the sea to celebrate their love. Generations of lovers since Pablo and Matilde have shared these poems with each other, making One Hundred Love Sonnets one of the most popular books of poetry of all time. This beautifully redesigned volume, perfect for gift-giving, presents both the original Spanish sonnets and graceful English translations.

User reviews

LibraryThing member ohjanet
Oh Pablo, you woo me in English, if only I could comprehend you in Spanish. Alas.
LibraryThing member Booktacular
Neruda has had some of the strongest influence on how I think about language when I'm writing, and it all spawned from this bright pink book that I bought in Boulder, CO during an ill-fated ski trip during college. Turns out being somewhat "duck-footed" makes it difficult to ski. But despite the
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absolutely horrific cover design, I loved what I read...and I was doing a lot of reading while everyone else was skiing.

I have since read other translations that I liked better, but this is still the one that started it all for me, so it holds an oddly special place in my heart. I even used an equally bright pink highlighter to mark this book up, so I can tell you that, at the time of my initial readings of this book circa 2000, my favorites were numbers 11, 17, 27, 39, 40, 45, 78, 85, 89 (morbid as it is). I couldn't name as many favorites at this point, but I'd say half would remain the same and half would be something different. Which ones? I'll never tell.

Neruda uses words and phrases that always gave me the impression that I was momentarily understanding the way another person saw the world with their eyes. I always felt there is a deep empathy imbedded in the language. That is what I love about Neruda.
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LibraryThing member wordygirl39
This is simply one of the most beautiful, readable books of love poetry in the world. Even people who hate poetry will love Neruda.
LibraryThing member robertmorrow
The most beautiful love poems in any language.
LibraryThing member fueledbycoffee
I came across a bookstore end-cap, beautifully set up and displayed for Valentines Day.

(read: lovey-dovey red and pink books, hearts, flowers, and time for your sugar coma)

It reminded me of this book because when it comes to romantic poetry, Pablo Neruda is the man...and well, this book was one of
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the items on display.

This was a reread but still as beautiful as the first time I read it. In Spanish and English bilingual presentation, this is a wonderful mix of sex on ink and paper, subtle, tender as a look, sweet as a first kiss. It's a blend of meanings and words: passionate, risk, feeling, deep-searing, timeless, a whisper, something wild. Something for everyone.
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LibraryThing member lethalmauve
As my fourth Neruda poetry collection, 100 Love Sonnets is undoubtedly lacking compared to Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, The Captain’s Verses, and Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon. Akin to intimacy and body landscapes among Gerard Schlosser’s paintings, Neruda paints love in a
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spectrum of emotions and shades; from devotion to inquisition to desolation, from red to mauve to blue. However the words that convey them can be sparse. With such limitation it is no wonder the sonnets can be wearisome and repetitive. But each time a sonnet successfully touches on a certain feeling or a certain memory, with words that seem to fit the only way Neruda limns them, it rollicks through romance and love-making in utmost splendour without forgetting its moments of neediness for reassurance and affirmation. Neruda wholeheartedly worships and adores his third wife, Matilde, in this collection. And for an affair to give birth to a hundred of sonnets is almost enough for love to infect your whole being; consumingly and blindly. Whilst this collection is divided by different times of the day (Morning, Afternoon, Evening, and Night), I can nearly describe the reading experience as sweet dew that slowly streams down among the blades of grass in the earliest of mornings as the sun takes it time to rise. Sometimes, it feels like it is all happening in a dream. But you don't always want to stay in one.

Overall, I bookmarked 15 sonnets in this collection. And as a passionate lover of bread, I was very amused by a particular sonnet that declares a beloved as made of bread. I don't think anything can be as sensual as this:

The light that rises from your feet to your hair,
the strength enfolding your delicate form,
are not mother of pearl, not chilly silver:
you are made of bread, a bread the fire adores.

The grain grew high in its harvest of you,
in good time the flour swelled;
as the dough rose, doubling your breasts,
my love was the coal waiting ready in the earth.

Oh, bread your forehead, your legs, your mouth,
bread I devour, born with the morning light,
my love, beacon-flag of the bakeries:

fire taught you a lesson of the blood;
you learned your holiness from flour,
from bread your language and aroma.


Two sonnets I dearly loved:

I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.

Matilde, where are you? Down here I noticed,
under my necktie and just above my heart,
a certain pang of grief between the ribs,
you were gone that quickly.

I needed the light of your energy,
I looked around, devouring hope.
I watched the void without you that is like a house,
nothing left but tragic windows.

Out of sheer taciturnity the ceiling listens
to the fall of the ancient leafless rain,
to feathers, to whatever the night imprisoned;
so I wait for you like a lonely house
till you will see me again and live in me.
Till then my windows ache.


Others sonnets worth mentioning:
Sonnet VIII
Sonnet XVI
Sonnet XVII
Sonnet XLIX
Sonnet LXXXI
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LibraryThing member wanderlustlover
I am truly, deeply in love with this selection of poems. Anyone who is a fan of all of the shades and colors of love and poetry, itself, should consider picking up a copy.



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