"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

Borges

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

On the Blue Shore of Silence



On the blue shore of silence
Poems of the Sea
Pablo Neruda

Of all the Neruda anthologies that I have read, this is by far the most eloquent tribute to his love of the sea and his home on Isla Negra in Chile.

The English translations are done by Alastair Reid, Mr. Neruda’s favored translator and it flows as naturally as does the Spanish original. I speak both languages and it is always such a pleasure to see a translation so elegantly done.

The artwork by Santa Barbara artist and writer Mary Heebner is as sumptuous as Pablo Neruda’s poetry and truly reflects the feel of the ocean. Her paintings capture the mood of each poem perfectly and add to the emotion of his words. (See her site for further viewing of all the Isla Negra paintings and her amazing collages).

It is I believe the only anthology that has focused solely on his poems of the sea.

The book is bilingual with the text in Spanish on one page and English on the other. It contains my favorite of Neruda’s poems, The Soliloquy of the Waves.

Even the typeset and Neruda’s name on the dust jacket painted in a blurry sea blue reflect the ocean that the poems are about.

Pablo Neruda has been a favorite poet of mine for many, many years and this stunning book is a wonderful addition to my collection of his anthologies. It is a beautiful piece to celebrate his centenary.

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