My Book World
The translator for this collection, Donald Walsh, in his Translator’s Note, sites critic Amado Alonso who declares: “‘Instead of the traditional procedure, which describes a reality and suggests its poetic sense between the lines, poets like Neruda describe the poetic sense and nebulously suggest to which reality it refers’” (363). Amen. Instead of moving from the concrete to the abstract or allowing metaphors to emanate from the specific, Neruda seems to dwell, in the bulk of his work, on abstractions or impressionistic articulation of ideas, and one can tend to tune out. However, of course, a number of his poems do catch hold of me for their perceptions of human nature, of the nature of power, particularly political power in mostly Spanish-speaking nations. I particularly admired “Burial in the East,” “Single Gentleman,” and “Ode to Federico Garcia Lorca.” “General Franco in Hell” arrested my attention with its quickly shifting imagery, emphasizing in its closure the utter contempt and hatred for fascist, Franco. All in all, not my cup of spiced tea, but I feel better for having read perhaps Neruda’s most notable collection.
NEXT FRIDAY: My Book World | TBD