The Sea and The Bells is the best poetry collection I've ever read. Uncompleted at the time of Neruda's death, only 1/3 of the poems in this collection were titled. However, the wisdom and eloquence with which Neruda worked in the last year of his life is without peer in the canon of 20th century poetry. His "Finale" written on his deathbed to his wife, Matilde, is devastating.
Neruda's balance of humor, power, spirituality, compassion and love is so clear in a few of these poems, you may find these poems like little prayers on which you can meditate. For example:
If each day falls
inside each night,
there exists a well
where clarity is imprisoned.
We need to sit on the rim
of the well of darkness
and fish for fallen light
Maybe it's just me, but this kind of poetry reads like the wise words of a Buddhist monk high in the mountains of Nepal, man. This collection is the deaf, dope jam.
The only criticism I have is with the translation. William O'Daly makes several unusually bland decisions in translating from the original Spanish. For example, Neruda literally writes in We Are Waiting "o para asesinarnos de inmediato" where the verb "assassinate" is pretty darn clear. The phrase literally translates "or to immediately assassinate us." Given the political tension Neruda was writing under having won the Nobel Prize and having returned to Chile, it is reasonably clear why he used the word "assassinate." O'Daly's translation reads: "or to instantly murder us" opting for the bland general word "murder" rather than the clear, stronger word "assassinate." O'Daly makes similarly odd decisions throughout the text. Fortunately, the original Spanish appears alongside O'Daly's translation so you can read what Neruda actually wrote.
Beyond the translation, this is the best poetry collection I have ever read. I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates language being used at its absolute finest. The Sea and The Bells raises the bar for all of us. Read it, and enjoy!