Book of Twilight

Pablo Neruda, William O’Daly, trans.

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.

ISBN: 9781556593987

Format: Hardcover

About the Author

Pablo Neruda was born Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto in Parral, Chile, in 1904. He served as consul in Burma (Myanmar) and held diplomatic posts in various East Asian and European countries. In 1945, a few years after he joined the Communist Party, Neruda was elected to the Chilean Senate. Shortly thereafter, when Chile’s political climate took a sudden turn to the right, Neruda fled to Mexico and lived as an exile for several years. He later established a permanent home …

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About the Translator

William O’Daly has translated eight books of the late-career and posthumous poetry of Chilean Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda and most recently Neruda’s first volume, Book of Twilight—a finalist for the 2018 Northern California Book Award in Translation—all published by Copper Canyon Press. O’Daly’s chapbooks of poems include The Whale in the Web, also published by Copper Canyon, The Road to Isla Negra, Water Ways (a collaboration with JS Graustein), and Yarrow and Smoke, the latter three published by Folded Word …

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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