Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, who always knew what to say about love, celebrates his 110th birth anniversary this year. In celebration, let me look back on one of his best publications (and a favorite of mine), Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.
First published in 1924 when Neruda was 19, the book was controversial for its erotic imagery. (Read: “I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”), but together with it is the exploration of love that culminates to a song of despair.
For its 90th year, and to fill in the anticipation of his new collection of poetry (more than 20 unpublished poems are said to be discovered in his hometown in Chile), here are five of the best quotes from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.