Book of Twilight

Book of Twilight

In Book of Twilight, we meet Pablo Neruda poised to become one of the most beloved writers of our time. In this first book, Neruda’s voice is recognizable, even in nascent form—wildly romantic, musical, and bold—yet these poems are distinctly, charmingly adolescent, fluctuating between formality and rebellion. Readers are privy to profound transformation: the poet’s becoming. In William O’Daly’s superb, lyrical translation, Book of Twilight, never before published in English, is a treasure restored to its rightful place in a grand legacy. Within it awakens a raw, poetic power—the trembling effort that heralds genius.

“While translating Book of Twilight, I was consumed and energized by the depth of young Neruda’s convictions and courage—which, in this first book, impel him to explore his inner life and his voice with the intensity of one struggling to make the rapidly expanding world his own. He transforms himself in the fire and the water, in the beast and the bird, in the stars and the hands, in all the love sought, lived, and lost—emerging from the garden and the Other only to renew and return them to us. We experience the ‘lost crazy words’ of the emerging poet, primal in his honesty and brilliant in his vision.”
— William O’Daly

“I’ve been reading this slowly, savoring and marveling. A green voice (in Lorca’s sense), but oh my, clear genius at work. The translations are terrific! What a pleasure….”
— Joseph Hutchison, The World As Is: New & Selected Poems 1972-2015

“What struck me reading O’Daly’s translation of Book of Twilight is how beautifully the rhythms are sustained through each poem, different in each, yet with a voice so sounded that the poem moves throughout as one utterance, toward its end. I’m talking less about beat and more about a subtle line and lines so musical it is, they are, heard without force or imposition.”
— Peter Weltner, Late Summer Storm In Early Winter

“Wonderful! I love this stanza from the poem ‘I Had Not Seen It’: ‘I felt it next to me, burning arms, / clean, bleeding, pure.’ O’Daly, more than any other translator, has given Neruda to me in so many shades of light and dark. These words claim my breath and restore it again.”
— Jan Haag, Companion Spirit