Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pablo y yo (redux)

neruda - odas elementales

How can you not love a book that contains the magnificent "Oda a las papas fritas"?

Ode to French fries

Maybe it's the stage of life at which I find myself, but the concrete imagery of the poems in this slim volume, odes to the cosas cotidianas de la vida, finds far more resonance with me than do the abstract profundities of e.g. "Veinte poemas del amor y una cancion desesperada".

There are odes to bread, to broken things, to wine, the onion, the tomato, to books, to copper, to the birds of Chile, roughly fifty odes in all. Despite, or perhaps because of, the concreteness of their imagery, these are poems that soar.

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