The Essential Neruda
for your Essential Support

The bilingual book of Neruda’s poetry from the legendary City Lights.


While working on a ranch in the central valley of Chile steeped in Pablo Neruda’s verse and lore, Mark Eisner, who’d later initiate Red Poppy, realized there was a need for a book of more dynamic translations that cut closer to the bone, hit closer to the core. Collaboration would be the key, between an all-star group of translators, Latin American poets, and scholars around the world. The book would draw from the entire breadth and width of Neruda's various styles and themes. The idea resonated. The result:

"The best introduction to Neruda available in English... few other books... have given me so much delight so easily."
– The Austin Chronicle

The Essential Neruda for your Essential Support: Make a $25 donation to help us finish our Pablo documentary and received a signed copy as a gift. (Mark Eisner, the book’s editor and the movie’s co-director can sign it to you or someone else, with a personal inscription. Gracias to its legendary publisher City Lights for providing us the copies at cost.) No tax or shipping within the US (email us at for international shipping).

"The call for a more accessible collection of Neruda's important poems is answered with City Lights' The Essential Neruda, a 200-page edition that offers 50 of Neruda's key poems. The editors and translators know how to extract gold from a lifetime of prolific writing. If you want a handy Neruda companion and don't know where to begin, this is it."
– The Bloomsbury Review


“What better way to celebrate the hundred years of Neruda's glorious residence on our earth than this selection of crucial works - in both languages! - by one of the greatest poets of all time. A splendid way to begin a love affair with our Pablo or, having already succumbed to his infinite charms, revisit him passionately again and again and yet again."
– Ariel Dorfman, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Death and the Maiden

Along with Mark Eisner, the books translators are: Neruda’s friend and favorite translator Alastair Reid; US Poet Laureate emeritus Robert Hass; Forest Gander, noted poet and head of Brown’s Creative Writing Program; Stephen Mitchell, the famous translator of the Tao Te Ching, Rilke, and many more; the acclaimed poet, editor, and translator Stephen Kessler; Stanford scholar of translation and poetry John Felstiner; and Jack Hirschman, recent Poet Laureate of San Francisco.

"What better way to honor one of the world's great poets than with crystalline new translations of 50 of his most enticing poems?"
– San Francisco magazine

Become a supporter of Red Poppy and receive a signed, inscribed copy of The Essential Neruda, a DVD of our documentary when it’s done, and much more as a thank you for our vital support. Click here