Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Lost Neruda poems now published
'The Lost Neruda' Can Now Be Found In 'Then Come Back'
Back in 2014, archivists were combing through Pablo Neruda's files when they came upon some previously unpublished works. Those writings by the Nobel prize-winning Chilean poet will soon be released in English in Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda. Forrest Gander, the Brown University professor who translated the poems into English, likens the discovery to finding a trove of new sketches by Michelangelo.
One of the poems was inspired by a visit to the Soviet Union in the early 1960s. Neruda got to meet Soviet cosmonauts and wrote a poem about space travel. Here's an excerpt:
It occurs to me that the light was fresh then, that an unwinking star journeyed along cutting short and linking distances their faces unused to the awesome desolation, in pure space
One of the things that made Neruda so beloved was that he wrote exquisite poems about grandiose themes like the cosmos and human nature, but he also found wonder in the mundane. He penned odes to a tomato, wine, a pair of socks. Gander says Neruda was deeply influenced by the accessible poetry of Walt Whitman. MORE