Poetry Review: Fully Empowered

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Bilingual edition – Translated from Spanish to English by Alastair Reid If you are a poetry enthusiast, then neglecting Pablo Neruda’s work is indeed a crime of the first order. One of the most renowned poets of the twentieth century, Winner of the World Peace Prize and Nobel laureate, Neruda’s 1962 collection of personal poems, ‘ Fully Empowered’ in my opinion is certainly one of the best, if not the best. Versatile in theme and form, the collection is a camera lens vision ranging from the most grandiose to the most profoundly simple. The collection begins with the deeply evocative and mesmerising personal poem, ‘the Poet’s obligation.’ a pattern which is inherently present till the end. Along with setting the tone for the rest of the poems, the entire collection and more specifically this poem is an intensely moving personal statement that explores the poet’s motivation and obligation – providing a voice to the things and people that remain unrepresented. It is within this framework that the nutshell volume functions , which adds to the remarkability of this nutshell collection – there is something in it for everyone .One of Neruda’s own favorites , ‘Fully Empowered’ has a transcendental yet unpretentious grace , which seems to come from a more mature , reflective poet. As a reader of Fully Empowered encapsulates, ‘It is an elegant collection of poetry that touches on the many facets of Neruda’s character: his love of nature, his amorous tendencies, his compassion and empathy for the working man, and ultimately, his acceptance of the finality of existence.’ My personal favourite of the collection are his series of beautiful single lyrics like ‘ Goodbyes’ and ‘To Sorrow’ One characteristic of his poetry is the distinctive tone of his poetry which is obviously meant to be read aloud. Here in lies the translator’s challenge and Alastair Reid has indeed done ‘poet’ic justice to it. My rating – 4.5 / 5 ]]>

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