Ex Libris Kirkland

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Translator W. S. Merwin
First Written 1924
Genre Poetry
Origin Chile
Publisher Penguin
ISBN-10 0140186484
ISBN-13 978-0140186482
My Copy cheap paperback
First Read May 16, 2010

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

Another undeniable sign of being an old man: realizing that you greatly prefer late Neruda poems about Death to early Neruda poems about Love.

Seriously; ten years ago I thought 'Twenty Love Poems' was the most romantic thing ever. I was very impressed by lines that today seem shallow and just a touch silly: ' Leaning into the afternoons I cast my sad nets / toward your oceanic eyes'. Rereading both 20+1 and Neruda's later work in Residencia really draws this comparison sharply.

Noted on May 16, 2010

You keep only darkness, my distant female,
from you regard sometimes the coast of dread emerges.

Quoted on May 16, 2010

I like for you to be still; it is as though you were absent,
and you hear me from far away and my voice does not touch you
It seems as though your eyes had flown away
and it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth.

Quoted on May 16, 2010

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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