Melancolía is a unique artist book, which includes four poems written by Pablo Neruda, with seven original drawings by Manuel Neri. The poem No es necesario was first published in Neruda’s book Memorial de Isla Negra by Editorial Losada, Buenos Aires, in 1964; the English translation by Ben Belitt was published by Grove Press in 1969 in Pablo Neruda: A New Decade (Poems: 1958-1967), edited by Ben Belitt. Fábula de la sirena y los borrachos first appeared in Neruda’s book Estravagario, published in 1958 by Editorial Losada, Buenos Aires; the English translation by Alastair Reid was published in 1970 in Pablo Neruda: Selected Poems by Dell Publishing Co., New York. The poem Jardín de invierno was included in the posthumous edition Pablo Neruda, Jardín de invierno published in 1974 by Editorial Losada, Buenos Aires; and was published in English in 1986 in Winter Garden by Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, Washington, translated by William O’Daly. The poem Melancolía en las familias was included in Neruda’s book of poems Residencia en la tierra. 1925-1931, first published in Santiago de Chile by Nascimiento in 1933; the English translation by Donald D. Walsh appeared in Pablo Neruda: Residence on Earth, published in 1973 by New Directions, New York. The drawings by Manuel Neri, in ink and ink wash, are from the Seated Figure Study series done in 1981, and were selected by Manuel Neri to accompany the poems for this book. The Introduction was written in English by Mary Julia Klimenko and translated into Spanish by Jaime Moreno Villarreal. The calligraphy of the text and page designs were created and executed by Thomas Ingmire on Rives BFK White paper in the Spring 2006.
The binding structure for the book was designed by Daniel E. Kelm at the Wide Awake Garage in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The book is bound in goatskin leather, with unique leather onlays, hand-tooling and stamping in gold and palladium leaf. The leather binding for the book has been designed and produced by Daniel E. Kelm, Kylin Lee and other mechanics at the Wide Awake Garage in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The book is housed in a slipcase covered in Japanese bookcloth by Linda Lembke at Green River Bindery in Guilford, Vermont.