The Pequod Review:

Pablo Neruda's autobiography is a meandering and unfocused collection of memories, anecdotes, fragments, political views, and literary reviews. Nonetheless, Neruda's life was a fascinating one, and even in fractured form he is a charming stylist:

My life is a life made of all lives: the life of a poet.


I stalk certain words... I catch them in mid-flight, as they buzz past, I trap them, clean them, peel them, I set myself in front of the dish, they have a crystalline texture to me, vibrant, ivory, vegetable, oily, like fruit, like algae, like agates, like olives... I stir them, I shake them, I drink them, I gulp them down, I mash them, I garnish them... I leave them in my poem like stalactites, like slivers of polished wood, like coals, like pickings from a shipwreck, gifts from the waves... Everything exists in the word.