The Book of Questions

When internationally acclaimed poet Pablo Neruda died in 1973, El libro de las preguntas (The Book of Questions) was one of eight unpublished manuscripts of poetry that sat on his desk. Copper Canyon presents this collection of Neruda’s poignant musings in The Book of Questions.

Translated by William O’Daly, The Book of Questions is composed of 316 unanswerable questions that bypass the rational and mundane to dip into the surreal. Written with the wonder and imagination of childhood, and grounded with the gravity and experience of adulthood, these poems evoke images and encourage reverie rather than provide answers, allowing the reader the chance to participate in Neruda’s survey of time, nature, and the universe at large.

This volume includes Neruda’s original Spanish poems alongside O’Daly’s English translations. O’Daly has translated eight volumes of the Nobel Prize winner’s poetry. In his introduction to this collection, O’Daly writes, “These poems, more so than any of Neruda’s other work, remind us that living in a state of visionary surrender to the elemental questions, free of the quiet desperation of clinging too tightly to answers, may be our greatest act of faith.”