Book: The House in the Sand

The last Neruda book for a while.

This is a little different as they aren’t poetry per se, but more of prose poems. It’s full of descriptions of the different things that Neruda has collected in his house at Isla Negara over the years. Absolutely beautiful and poignant. It’s the closest I have ever felt to the author, his passion in life and just his love for the things around him. The prose is so intimate and personal, bringing across his feelings and thoughts so clearly, it’s as if he is narrating his life to us.

The Names

I didn’t write them on the roofbeams because they were famous, but because they were companions.

Rojas Gimenez, the nomad, nocturnal, pierced with the grief of farewells, dead with joy, pigeon breeder, madman of the shadows.

Joaquin Cifuentes, whose verses rolled like stones in the river.

Federico, who made me laugh like no one else could and who put us all in mourning for a century.

Paul Eluard, whose forget-me-not color eyes are as sky blue as always and retain their blue strength under the earth.

Miguel Hernandez, whistling to me like a nightingale from the trees on Princesa Street until they caged my nightingale.

Nazim, noisy bard, brave gentleman, friend.

Why did they leave so soon? Their names will not slip down from the rafters. Each of them was a victory. Together they were the sum of my light. Now, a small anthology of my sorrows.


I guess it’s also because I’m more of a prose person, that this felt easier to comprehend. There’s a certain power to his poems when he talks about Isla Negara. I believe his best work was written during that time and on the topic of this beautiful place. I hope to visit it one day, but in the mean time, this sleepy fishing village lives on his work as does the house where he created many of the poems I’ve read. A wonderful books, that comes with a few pictures to complement the poems. I highly recommend this as a starting point for Neruda’s work.

The House in the Sand

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