This suite of thirty poems is Neruda’s last love song to the Earth. When he wrote these poems he was living with cancer, and as the title suggests, he addresses not ordinary stones, but cosmic ones: stones that reconcile immobile permanence and the clarity of spiritual flight.
Originalmente publicado un año antes de galardonar el premio Nobel de literatura a Pablo Neruda en 1971, Las piedras del cielo presenta el poeta maduro de detalle sensual y reflexión personal en una suite de treinta canciones de amor a la tierra. Este volumen es un himno extendido a la metamorfosis, de una génesis líquida a una apocalipsis mineral. Neruda, el “yo, mortal, perecedero”,aborda los cristales, las piedras preciosas y semi-preciosas, y las formaciones de rocas comunes como si ellos pudieran contestar la pregunta: ¿“Qué cielo tienen las piedras”?
“If translation is—among other things—the art of making choices, Nolan’s choices are consistently caring and thoughtful.” —Small Press
“Lines like these are a rarity in contemporary North American poetry, considering its self-preoccupation and allegiance to formalism. So James Nolan’s translations, which match Neruda’s Spanish with clear, decisive poetry in English, are particularly valuable. The poet’s encounter with his crystallized self… takes on an eerie brilliance in Nolan’s version.” —Village Voice
“This slender bilingual volume redirects the Chilean’s amorous, telluric, and quotidian predilections toward rocks and gems.” —Library Journal
“In his last years Neruda’s voice sounds close to the resonance of sky-stones, stones singing in streams, gems glowing through time… ” —Beloit Poetry Journal
“… a valuable addition to Neruda’s nature poetry in English translation… an excellent bilingual edition.” —Choice
“… a beautifully produced bilingual edition… featuring the wonderfully mischievous and passionate poet… at the peak of his powers.” —Daily Hampshire Gazette
“The translations of these… collections are authentic and heartfelt. They were made by two poets whose language skills comfortably transport them into another culture… After reading these poems, it’s hard to believe Neruda has been dead for more than 30 years. Then again, that’s the beauty of poetry. It is timeless and universal.” —Home News Tribune
“Stones of the Sky is… mystical: the poet loses himself in crystal and water-rounded volcanic rock and finds truth there.” —Sipapu