Chilean poet and Nobel Prize winner, Pablo Neruda was born on 12 July 1904 (1904-1973). Born Ricardo Eliezer Neftali Reyes y Basoalto, Neruda gave himself this writing name under which he would become famous while still in his early teens.
In 1921 he left southern Chile for Santiago to attend school, he intended to be a French teacher but became uninterested. However, whilst there, Neruda completed one of his most acclaimed works, the series of love poems titled ‘Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada‘, translated and published in English as ‘Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair’. This work soon marked Neruda as an important Chilean poet and many people have said he was the greatest Spanish writing poet of his lifetime. He is largely remembered for his odes and love poems, he denotes women to be a genuine force of nature.
Later Neruda’s politics had an important impact on his poetry, well known for his communist beliefs, he expanded on his political views in the poem Canto general, an epic poem on man’s struggle for justice in the New World. Neruda had many diplomatic positions in various countries during his lifetime and served a term as a Senator for the Chilean Communist Party. When communism was outlawed in Chile in 1948, a warrant was issued for Neruda’s arrest. Friends hid him for months evetually he escaped through into Argentina.
Neruda returned to Chile from exile in 1953, and spent the last 20 years of his life producing fine love poetry in One Hundred Love Sonnets and parts of Extravagaria and La Barcarola; he also produced beautiful Nature poetry, speaking to everyone simply and clearly, writing poems on subjects ranging from rain to feet.
In 1970 he was appointed ambassador to France, while Neruda was serving in Paris he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Poor health soon forced the poet to resign his post and he returned to Chile, where he died in 1973.
Here is one of his love poems:
and a nature poem with links to the human soul beautiful words he is like Picasso only with words 🙂
One thought on “Pablo Neruda”
Indeed a great poet for modern times!
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