Monday 2 August 2021

Neruda, Pablo "The Captain's Verses"

Neruda, Pablo "The Captain's Verses" (Spanish: Los versos del capitán) - 1973

I mentioned it before, I'm not much into poetry, I don't enjoy it much. But my book club chose it, and I am always committed to read everything on the list.

The only plus is that my edition has both the Spanish as well as the English version, so I could practice my Spanish a little. And Pable Neruda is a Nobel Prize laureate that I hadn't read, yet. I probably won't read more by him.

If this book has taught me anything, I'm REALLY not into poetry.

Some comments from our members:

  • Reading the book and widening my own experience was well worth the read anyway.
  • What a heart! Neruda opens his heart to love again and again, bringing his readers' hearts along no matter what. Even across all these distances and all these years, Neruda loves the very essence of love in these poems. And I don't even like poetry.

We read this in our international online book club in July 2021.

Pablo Neruda received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 "for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams".

From the back cover:

"Pablo Neruda finished writing The Captain's Verses (Los versos del Capitán) in 1952 while in exile on the island of Capri - the paradisal setting for the blockbuster film Il Postino (The Postman), that centers around this period of Neruda's life. Surrounded by the sea, sun, and the natural splendor of a thousand vineyards, Neruda addressed these poems of love, ecstasy, devotion, and fury to his lover Matilde Urrutia, the one "with the fire/of an unchained meteor".

Later the same year, Neruda published The Captain's Verses anonymously in an edition of fifty copies, fourteen years before he and Matilde legally married. The first 'acknowleged' edition would not appear until 1963.

This complete,bilingual collection has become a classic for love-struck readers around the world - passionately sensuous, and exploding with all the erotic energy of a new love.

I contribute to this page: Read the Nobels and you can find all my blogs about Nobel Prize winning authors and their books here.


  1. I don't read a lot of poetry, but I do like it in small doses.

    1. Same here, Lark. I don't mind a poem or two but a whole book is far too much for my liking.

      Thanks for that.

  2. I often have a hard time with English poetry, too verbose for me for most poets, but I love Spanish poetry and Pablo Neruda is definitely my favorite. I discovered him in high school in my Spanish classes.
    Bilingual editions are always a good thing

    1. That sounds interesting, Emma. I don't think it's the language I have the problem with because I don't like poetry in any language. As I just said to Lark above, I don't mind a poem or two but a whole book is not my thing.