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Book of Questions by Pablo Neruda
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Book of Questions (1974)

by Pablo Neruda

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English (7)  Spanish (2)  All (9)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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 However, the work was left unpublished when Neruda died and I think it shows in the lack of editing.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. ( )
1 vote judtheobscure | Oct 6, 2017 |
A quién le puedo preguntar
Qué vine a hacer en este mundo?
Por qué me muevo sin querer,
Por qué no puedo estar inmóvil?
Por qué voy rodando sin ruedas,
Volando sin alas ni plumas


Preguntas poéticas sin respuestas, que te hacen pensar. Otra maravilla de Neruda, grande entre los grandes. ( )
  Glire | Jun 22, 2016 |
A quién le puedo preguntar
Qué vine a hacer en este mundo?
Por qué me muevo sin querer,
Por qué no puedo estar inmóvil?
Por qué voy rodando sin ruedas,
Volando sin alas ni plumas


Preguntas poéticas sin respuestas, que te hacen pensar. Otra maravilla de Neruda, grande entre los grandes. ( )
  Glire | Jul 7, 2014 |
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 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. ( )
  Capnrandm | Apr 15, 2013 |
Occasionally, but infrequently, borders on the cutsey. For the most part, though, the questions are beautiful and koan-like, with the best running into one another like a brief breeze. 4 1/2 stars if that was possible. ( )
  Michael.Xolotl | Mar 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Pablo Neruda is one of the world's most popular poets, and in The Book of Questions, Neruda refuses to be corralled by the rational mind. Composed of 316 unanswerable questions, these poems integrate the wonder of a child with the experiences of an adult. By turns Orphic, comic, surreal, and poignant, Neruda's questions lead the reader beyond reason into realms of intuition and pure imagination.

This complete translation of Pablo Neruda's El libro de las preguntas (The Book of Questions) features Neruda's original Spanish-language poems alongside William O'Daly's English translations. In his introduction O'Daly, who has translated eight volumes of Pablo Neruda's poetry, writes, "These poems, more so than any of Neruda's other work, remind us that living in a state of visionary surrender to the elemental questions, free of the quiet desperation of clinging too tightly to answers, may be our greatest act of faith."

When Neruda died in 1973, The Book of Questions was one of eight unpublished poetry manuscripts that lay on his desk. In it, Neruda achieves a deeper vulnerability and vision than in his earlier work-and this unique book is a testament to everything that made Neruda an artist.
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