In Book of Twilight we meet a poet on the verge: Pablo Neruda—young, impassioned, vulnerable—poised to become one of the most beloved writers of our time. The precocious poet, then a teenager named Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, reportedly sold his father’s pocket watch to print the first copies of his debut book of poetry, one year before Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair placed Neruda on the world’s stage. The voice in Book of Twilightis recognizable, even in nascent form—wildly romantic, musical, and bold—yet these poems are distinctly and charmingly adolescent, fluctuating between formality and rebellion. Book of Twilight offers a rare window into the early workings of a great mind; readers are privy to a profound transformation: the poet’s becoming.
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“The greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.” —Gabriel García Márquez
“Without his poetic adventure, there would be no modern literature in Latin America. His enormous scope was due to the fact that he dared take on the risks of impurity, imperfection, and, yes, banality. He had to do it, in order to name a world. Our world.” —New York Times
“There is something about Neruda—about the way he glorifies experience, about the spontaneity and directness of his passion—that sets him apart from other poets. It is hard not to be swept away by the urgency of his language.” —New Yorker
“In Neruda the possibility of revival is never far away… For him, poetry could change everything. He lived a life of passionate engagement and his work was ambitious in every sense.” —Los Angeles Times