“The greatest poet of the twentieth century – in any language.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Fully Empowered was first published in Spanish in 1962 and was one of Neruda’s favourites among his own works, and he specifically asked his finest translator, Alastair Reid, to translate it into English. Neruda loved this collection partly because it grew from the most fruitful period of his own life but also because it was a representative selection of the vast range of his poetry.
The thirty-six poems vary from short, intense lyrics, characteristic Neruda odes, whimsical addresses to friends, and his magnificent mediations on the role of the poet. Within Fully Empowered are many poems among the greatest of Neruda’s work, including ‘The People’, his most celebrated later poem.
In his last years Neruda was preoccupied with the contradictions of human experience, and in this volume he fully explores the theme of the poet as a cluster of different, often contradictory, selves. Anyone familiar with Neruda’s work is aware that there are many Nerudas, many distinct poetic styles, and Fully Empowered demonstrates the dazzling diversity, in style and theme, of the most inexhaustible poet of the twentieth century.
Pablo Neruda was born in 1904 and is a seminal figure in every poetry movement of the twentieth century. He also served as a diplomat and ambassador for Chile and travelled extensively. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 and died in 1973. Souvenir Press also publish Neruda’s Isla Negra, Residence on Earth and Memoirs.
“Fully Empowered contains much of Neruda’s greatest work… Neruda specifically asked his finest translator, Alastair Reid, to translate this volume into English.”
‘Poetry Book Society Bulletin’
“His many books are the vast adventure story of his life, wars, travels, politics, and of course loves… The reader who knows no Spanish can be confident that, in reading Alastair Reid’s fine translations, he is reading Neruda… the memoirs are a delight; a ‘rattling good yarn’.”
“Neruda won such an extraordinary reputation… because he could write as passionately about public events as about the apparently less important details of ordinary life; because he embraced great sweeps of history and expressed the most intense, personal and childlike love.”