Extravagaria marks an important stage in Neruda's progress as a poet. The book was written just after he had returned to Chile after many wanderings and moved to his beloved Isla Negra on the Pacific coast. These sixty-eight poems thus denote a resting point, a rediscovery of sea and land, and an "autumnal period" (as the poet himself called it).
In this work, which is presented in a bilingual edition with translations from the Spanish by Alastair Reid, Neruda developed a lyric poetry that was decidedly more personal than his earlier verse.
"Reid's translation and Neruda's poems make Extravagaria one of the very finest books of Latin American poetry now available in English."—Ronald Christ, The National Observer
"In this volume, Neruda's passionate awareness of the multiplicity of things and beings is disclosed in 68 poems as diverse as the fable of a mermaid, a meditation on the statues of Notre Dame, a consideration of the difficulties of conversing with animals—all newborn perceptions, suffused with delight and love. . . . Extravagaria was first published in Buenos Aires in 1958, but its evocations are timeless."—Library Journal