Book of Questions

by Pablo Neruda

Other authorsPaloma Valdivia (Illustrator), Sara Lissa Paulson (Translator)
Hardcover, 2022

Call number



Enchanted Lion Books (2022), Edition: Bilingual - Illustrated - New, 80 pages


"This Spanish-English bilingual edition is the first fully illustrated selection of Book of Questions: comprising 70 questions of the original 320, these poems, carefully woven together by theme and accompanying full-page illustrations, invite us to wonder at the natural world and the myriad mysteries it contains. "Book of Questions," written by beloved Chilean poet and Nobel Prize winner Neruda, was completed just months before his death in 1973, and is his last great work of poetry. By turns lyrical and cosmic, dreamlike and nonsensical, paradoxical and playful, each of these unanswerable questions asks us to set aside certainty and constraint and to enter into the vastness of the unknown. With riddles like "Where is the center of the sea? / Why don't waves break there?" and "What do you call a flower / that flits from bird to bird?", Neruda inspires us to unravel our assumptions and re-envision our relationship to nature. The only answer that is sure to arise from these questions is a closer observation of and reflection on the world in which we live, and a renewed sense of curiosity and wonder at our shared universe"--… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member judtheobscure
The book, consisting of 74 poems each of four or five questions, is haunting and typical of Neruda. At times childlike and winsome, at others laced with something darker, they are each a little koan to meditate on. However, the work was left unpublished when Neruda died and I think it shows in the
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lack of editing. I am used to Neruda being one of the more expansive and generous poets, but some of these little questions shine more than others, and sometimes the transitions of tone are a little awkward. My Spanish is not good enough to comment on the translation, but I found the English to be delicate and moving.
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LibraryThing member sadiebooks
fun things to think about while having a lazy day under a tree.
LibraryThing member Capnrandm
I have always loved Neruda, and I bought this book because it was written in the last months of his life. My father is currently dying of cancer, and everyone in my family is searching for ways to shape our emotions right now. Neruda has always done such a beautiful job plucking the strings of love
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and love-lost, I was hoping he could give a voice a emotion that can't be contained by the word "grief." Rather than simplify or contain his words made a noise my heart recognized.
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