Few poets have captured the global imagination like Pablo Neruda. In his native Chile, across Latin America, and in many other parts of the world, his name and legacy have become almost synonymous with liberation movements, and with the language of erotic love.
Neruda: The Poet’s Calling is the product of fifteen years of research by Mark Eisner, writer, translator, and documentary filmmaker. The book vividly depicts Neruda’s monumental life, potent verse, and ardent belief in the “poet’s obligation” to use poetry for social good. It braids together three major strands of Neruda’s life—his world-revered poetry; his political engagement; and his tumultuous, even controversial, personal life—forming a single cohesive narrative of intimacy and breadth.
The fascinating events of Neruda’s life are interspersed with Eisner’s thoughtful examinations of the poems, both as works of art in their own right and as mirrors of Neruda’s life and times. The result is a book that animates Neruda’s riveting story in a new way—one that offers a compelling narrative version of Neruda’s life and work, undergirded by exhaustive research, yet designed to bring this colossal literary figure to a broader audience.
Mark Eisner is a writer, translator, and documentary filmmaker. Neruda: The Poet's Calling is the product of fifteen years of in-depth research, including many primary interviews with members of Neruda's intimate circle, who offered rare insights into this mysterious public figure's life.Eisner is the editor of The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (City Lights, 2004), which since its publication has consistently been the bestselling edition of Neruda's poetry in the U.S. He served as the principal literary translator for that edition, which also included translations by Robert Hass, Forrest Gander, and Stephen Mitchell, as well as an introduction by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.Eisner is producing a documentary about Neruda, slated to appear in early 2018 with the support of Latino Public Broadcasting. An initial, short version of the documentary, narrated by Isabel Allende, received a Latin American Studies Association Award of Merit.He is writing an introduction for the first-ever English translation of Neruda's Venture of the Infinite Man . He is also also the translator of Tina Escaja's book-length poem Free Fall / Caída Libre (Fomite Press, 2015), and co-editor of an anthology of Latin American Poetry in Resistance forthcoming in Spring of 2017.Mark Eisner is a sought-after speaker on the life and work of Pablo Neruda, at venues ranging from embassies to universities, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Masters in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, where he has also served as a Visiting Scholar.nbsp;nbsp;
Charged with sensuality and passion, Pablo Neruda’s love poems caused a scandal when published anonymously in 1952. In later editions, these verses became the most celebrated of the Noble Prize winner’s oeuvre, captivating readers with earthbound images that reveal in gentle lingering lines an erotic re-imagining of the world through the prism of a lover’s body: "today our bodies became vast, they grew to the edge of the world / and rolled melting / into a single drop / of wax or meteor...." Written on the paradisal island of Capri, where Neruda "took refuge" in the arms of his lover Matilde Urrutia, Love Poems embraces the seascapes around them, saturating the images of endless shores and waves with a new, yearning eroticism. This wonderful book collects Neruda’s most passionate verses.
In his work a continent awakens to consciousness," wrote the Swedish Academy in awarding the Nobel Prize to Pablo Neruda, author of more than thirty-five books of poetry and one of Latin America's most revered writers and political figures-a loyal member of the Communist party, a lifelong diplomat and onetime senator, a man lionized during his lifetime as "the people's poet."
Born Neftali Basoalto, Neruda adopted his pen name in fear of his family's disapproval, and yet by the age of twenty-five he was already famous for the book Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, which remains his most beloved. During the next fifty years, a seemingly boundless metaphorical language linked his romantic fantasies and the fierce moral and political compass-exemplified in books such as Canto General-that made him an adamant champion of the dignity of ordinary men and women.
Edited and with an introduction by Ilan Stavans, this is the most comprehensive single-volume collection of this prolific poet's work in English. Here the finest translations of nearly six hundred poems by Neruda are collected and join specially commissioned new translations that attest to Neruda's still-resounding presence in American letters.