Having read a collection of Neruda's odes in Norwegian, which I absolutely loved, I was so happy that I found a Kindle-version of this book tonight, when I had such a craving for some really good poetry.
And then I was disappointed. And I'm disappointed that I was disapppointed! I chose Neruda because I was absolutely certain I would love it from beginning to end - and all the positive reviews made me all the more stoked.
As it was, all the respons this collection inspired in me, was a lukewarm "meh". The language and imagery was nothing like as beautiful as that which was found in his odes (might be a problem of translation? maybe Neruda works better in Norwegian than in English?), and about halfway through I was beginning to feel the collection repetitious and to be quite frank - a little boring.
The poetry also focused almost entirely on the bodily. The second part of the collection is called "Lust" (or something like that), but imho, the whole collection could be called Lust. Because that's all there is. At one point, when I had read about the wheat-colored skin, bronze hair and soft breasts of the female whom the poems are written for/about, for what felt like the eleventhy time, I felt like screaming. I had to go do something else.
Then, in a fit of introspection, the I of the poems says that, ah, maybe the reader wonders if the body is all there is! And I thought finallyyyy I will have some lines about something besides kissing and wheat and breasts.
Nope. More lines about kissing and wheat and breasts. With some fruit and soul thrown in as well.
Oh well. Still haven't lost faith in Neruda as a poet, but I'll stick to the odes, for now.