Grapes And The Wind

Pablo Neruda

Translated by Michael Straus

Introductory Essay by Helene Jf de Aguilar, Ph.D.

Illustrations by Anna Pipes

Design by Practical People


ISBN 978-1-944682-98-9  pbk.    376 pages        $18.00

ISBN 978-1-944682-99-6  hdc.                              $24.00





Like the landscape of his native Chile, Neruda’s poetry encompasses great extremes–peak and prairie, deluge and drought–all connected by a spine of unbreakable certainty. Those of us who lack the language in which Neruda traversed this demanding terrain will find in Michael Straus a sure-footed and resourceful guide. Attentive alike to the humble and the historic, Neruda’s work, in this fine version, retains all its power to move, to hold, to shock and to inspire.

     Grahame Davies


Poems of travel the ultimate Neruda is found within, blown from country to country: “I went singing / wandering…” As if to wander is to sing, and the poetry this poet effected is in sum an ode to flux. Why not? The Po River sings to him. Why should he not sing in return? Bread and blood sing to him too: politics and daily life. Michael Straus’ translations of these poems bring to light Neruda’s identity as an ego obscured in the surrealism of plants, places, and people. Straus has found English that synchs with Neruda’s desire. “Prepare yourself / for peace…” With Straus’ help, we can.

     Vincent Katz


Thanks to this translation of Neruda’s Las Uvas y el Viento, we English readers have been given a gift, this long song from a poet who loved our blue planet.  This is his ode to its brilliant shimmer, foibled as it is. In his Whitman-esque way, this is a different exploration than Neruda’s renowned love poems, as he takes us to each vineyard, steel mill, or sleeping city, in an almost reckless way. And with this offering our understanding of the poet’s span of perspective, including those of his politics, is deepened, as existentially expressed in its epilogue of “Yo he visto”: he has seen, heard and given it back to us.

     Sophie Cabot Black