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Stones of the Sky


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Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) held diplomatic posts in Asian and European countries. After joining the Communist Party, Neruda was elected to the Chilean Senate but was forced to live in exile in Mexico for several years. Eventually he established a permanent home on Isla Negra. In 1970 he was appointed as Chile's ambassador to France; in 1971 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.


Typifying a mellow and introspective Neruda, and thematically and structurally similar to the nostalgic Still Another Day ( LJ 6/1/84), this slender bilingual volume redirects the Chilean's amorous, telluric, and quotidian predilections toward rocks and gems. The 30 short poems, forming a mini-epic of metamorphosis, are definitely a minor contribution to the Nobel Prize winner's lyric corpus; and the poor translations, often prosaic and inaccurate (e.g., se cubre de espinas is rendered as ``grows spiky'') will convince few of the reputation Neruda so fittingly deserves. Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC, Dublin, Ohio

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