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Pablo Neruda

Born Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto
July 12, 1904(1904-07-12)
Parral, Chile
Died September 23, 1973 (aged 69)
Santiago, Chile
Occupation Poet, Diplomat, Political figure
Notable award(s) Nobel Prize in Literature

Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the great Chilean writer and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. With his works translated into many languages, Pablo Neruda is considered one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century.

Neruda was accomplished in a variety of styles ranging from erotically charged love poems like his collection Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language."[1]

On July 15, 1945, at Pacaembu Stadium in São Paulo, Brazil, he read to 100,000 people in honor of Communist revolutionary leader Luís Carlos Prestes.[2]

During his lifetime, Neruda occupied many diplomatic posts and served a stint as a senator for the Chilean Communist Party. When Conservative Chilean President González Videla outlawed communism in Chile in 1948, a warrant was issued for Neruda's arrest. Friends hid him for months in a house basement in the Chilean port of Valparaíso. Later, Neruda escaped into exile through a mountain pass near Maihue Lake into Argentina. Years later, Neruda was a close collaborator to socialist President Salvador Allende. When Neruda returned to Chile after his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Allende invited him to read at the Estadio Nacional before 70,000 people.[3]

Neruda was hospitalized with cancer at the time of the Chilean coup d'état led by Augusto Pinochet. Three days after being hospitalized, Neruda died of heart failure. Already a legend in life, Neruda's death reverberated around the world. Pinochet had denied permission to transform Neruda's funeral into a public event. However, thousands of grieving Chileans disobeyed the curfew and crowded the streets.


Early years

Ricardo Eliezer Neftalí Reyes y Basoalto was born in Parral, a city in Linares Province in the Maule Region, some 350 km south of Santiago. His father, José del Carmen Reyes Morales, was a railway employee; his mother, Rosa Basoalto, was a school teacher who died two months after he was born. Neruda and his father soon moved to Temuco, where his father married Trinidad Candia Marverde, a woman with whom he had had a child nine years earlier, a boy named Rodolfo. Neruda also grew up with his half-sister Laura, one of his father's children by another woman.

The young Neruda was christened "Neftalí", his late mother's middle name. His father was opposed to Neruda's interest in writing and literature, but Neruda received encouragement from others, including future Nobel Prize winner Gabriela Mistral, who headed the local girls' school. His first published work was an essay he wrote for the local daily newspaper, La Mañana, at the age of thirteen: Entusiasmo y perseverancia ("Enthusiasm and Perseverance"). By 1920, when he adopted the pseudonym of Pablo Neruda, he was a published author of poetry, prose, and journalism. He assumed his pen partly because it was in vogue, partly to hide his poetry from his father, a rigid man who wanted his son to have a "practical" occupation. The pen name was derived from Czech writer and poet Jan Neruda; Pablo is thought to be from Paul Verlaine.

Veinte poemas

In the following year (1921), he moved to Santiago to study French at the Universidad de Chile with the intention of becoming a teacher, but soon Neruda was devoting himself full time to poetry. In 1923 his first volume of verse, Crepusculario ("Book of Twilights"), was published, followed the next year by Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada ("Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair"), a collection of love poems that was controversial for its eroticism, especially considering its author's young age. Both works were critically acclaimed and were translated into many languages. Over the decades, Veinte poemas would sell millions of copies and become Neruda's best-known work.

Neruda's reputation was growing both inside and outside of Chile, but he was plagued by poverty. In 1927, out of desperation, he took an honorary consulship in Rangoon, then a part of colonial Burma and a place of which he had never heard before. Later, he worked stints in Colombo (Ceylon), Batavia (Java), and Singapore. In Java he met and married his first wife, a tall Dutch bank employee named Maryka Antonieta Hagenaar Vogelzang. While on diplomatic service, Neruda read large amounts of poetry and experimented with many different poetic forms. He wrote the first two volumes of Residencia En La Tierra, which included many surrealistic poems.

Spanish Civil War

After returning to Chile, Neruda was given diplomatic posts in Buenos Aires and then Barcelona, Spain. He later replaced Gabriela Mistral as consul in Madrid, where he became the center of a lively literary circle, befriending such writers as Rafael Alberti, Federico García Lorca, and the Peruvian poet César Vallejo. A daughter, Malva Marina Trinidad, was born in Madrid in 1934; she was to be plagued with health problems, especially hydrocephalus, for the whole of her short life. During this period, Neruda became slowly estranged from his wife and took up with Delia del Carril, an Argentine woman who was twenty years his senior and who would eventually become his second wife. He divorced from his Dutch wife in 1936, who moved to the Netherlands with his only child who died in 1943.

As Spain became engulfed in civil war, Neruda became intensely politicized for the first time. His experiences of the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath moved him away from distinctive, privately focused labor in the direction of collective obligation and better cohesion. Neruda became an ardent communist, and remained so for the rest of his life. The radical leftist politics of his literary friends, as well as that of del Carril, were contributing factors, but the most important catalyst was the execution of García Lorca by forces loyal to Francisco Franco. By means of his speeches and writings, Neruda threw his support behind the Republican side, publishing a collection of poetry called España en el corazón ("Spain in The Heart"). Neruda’s wife and child moved to Monte Carlo; he was never to see either of them again. After leaving his wife, he took up full time with del Carril in France.

Following the election in 1938 of President Pedro Aguirre Cerda, whom Neruda supported, he was appointed special consul for Spanish emigration in Paris. There Neruda was given responsibility for what he called "the noblest mission I have ever undertaken": shipping 2,000 Spanish refugees, who had been housed by the French in squalid camps, to Chile on an old boat called the Winnipeg. Neruda is sometimes charged with only selecting communists for emigration while excluding others who had fought on the side of the Republic[citation needed]; others deny these accusations, pointing out that Neruda chose only a few hundred of the refugees personally; the rest were selected by the Service for the Evacuation of Spanish Refugees, set up by Juan Negrín, president of the Spanish Republican government-in-exile.


Neruda's next diplomatic post was as Consul General in Mexico City, where he spent the years 1940 to 1943. While in Mexico, he divorced Hagenaar, married del Carril, and learned that his daughter had died, age eight, in Nazi-occupied Netherlands from various health problems. He also became a friend of the Stalinist assassin Vittorio Vidali.

After the failed 1940 assassination attempt against Leon Trotsky, Neruda arranged a Chilean visa for the Mexican painter David Alfaro Siqueiros who was accused of having been one of the conspirators. Neruda later said he did it at the request of Mexican President Manuel Ávila Camacho. This enabled Siqueiros, then jailed, to leave Mexico for Chile, where he stayed at Neruda's private residence. In exchange for Neruda's assistance, Siqueiros spent over a year painting a mural in a school in Chillán. Neruda's relationship with Siqueiros attracted criticism and Neruda dismissed the allegations that his intent had been to help an assassin as "sensationalist politico-literary harassment". In Mexico, Pablo Neruda met the famous Mexican writer Octavio Paz where he nearly came to blows in 1942.

Return to Chile

In 1943, following his return to Chile, Neruda made a tour of Peru, where he visited Machu Picchu. The austere beauty of the Inca citadel later inspired Alturas de Macchu Picchu, a book-length poem in twelve parts which he completed in 1945 and which marked a growing awareness and interest in the ancient civilizations of the Americas: themes he was to explore further in Canto General. In this work, Neruda celebrated the achievement of Machu Picchu, but also condemned the slavery which had made it possible. In the Canto XII, he called upon the dead of many centuries to be born again and to speak through him. Martin Espada, poet and professor of creative writing at the University of Massachusetts, has hailed the work as a masterpiece, declaring that "there is no greater political poem".

Neruda and Stalinism

Bolstered by his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, Neruda, like many left-leaning intellectuals of his generation, came to admire the Soviet Union of Joseph Stalin, partly for the role it played in defeating Nazi Germany (poems Canto a Stalingrado (1942) and Nuevo canto de amor a Stalingrado (1943)). Pablo Neruda was credited for one of Hitler's greatest downfalls, the "Literary Attack" or "Punch to the Face" as some called it, that was believed to contribute to his suicide. Artist Pablo Picasso was granted credit for the action, and Pablo Neruda wouldn't be awarded it for decades to come from Picasso's confession. In 1953 Neruda was awarded the Stalin Peace Prize. On Stalin's death that same year, Neruda wrote an ode to him, as he also (during World War II) wrote praise of Fulgencio Batista (Saludo a Batista, i.e. Salute to Batista) and later to Fidel Castro.

His fervent Stalinism eventually drove a wedge between Neruda and longtime friend Octavio Paz who commented that "Neruda became more and more Stalinist, while I became less and less enchanted with Stalin".[citation needed] Their differences came to a head after the 1939 Nazi-Soviet Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact when they almost came to blows in an argument over Stalin. Although Paz still considered Neruda "the greatest poet of his generation", in an essay on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn he wrote that when he

thinks of ... Neruda and other famous Stalinist writers I feel the gooseflesh that I get from reading certain passages of Dante’s Inferno. No doubt they began in good faith, but insensibly, commitment by commitment, they saw themselves becoming entangled in a mesh of lies, falsehoods, deceits and perjuries, until they lost their souls.[citation needed]

Neruda called Lenin the "great genius of this century". Another speech (June 5, 1946) is a tribute to the late Soviet leader Mikhail Kalinin, who for Neruda was "man of noble life", "the great constructor of the future", "a comrade of arms of Lenin and Stalin". [4]

Neruda later came to rue his support of the Soviet leader; after Nikita Khrushchev's famous Secret Speech at the Soviet 20th Party Congress in 1956, which denounced the "cult of personality" that surrounded Stalin and accused him of committing crimes during the Great Purges, Neruda wrote in his memoirs "I had contributed to my share to the personality cult," explaining that "in those days, Stalin seemed to us the conqueror who had crushed Hitler's armies". Of a subsequent visit to China in 1957, Neruda would later write: "What has estranged me from the Chinese revolutionary process has not been Mao Tse-tung but Mao Tse-tungism", which he dubbed Mao Tse-Stalinism: "the repetition of a cult of a Socialist deity".[citation needed] However, despite his disillusionment with Stalin, Neruda never lost his essential faith in communist theory and remained loyal to "the Party". Anxious not to give ammunition to his ideological enemies, he would later refuse publicly to condemn the Soviet repression of dissident writers like Boris Pasternak and Joseph Brodsky: an attitude with which even some of his staunchest admirers disagreed.


On March 4, 1945 Neruda was elected a Communist party senator for the northern provinces of Antofagasta and Tarapacá in the arid and inhospitable Atacama Desert. He officially joined the Communist Party of Chile four months later.

In 1946, Radical Party presidential candidate Gabriel González Videla asked Neruda to act as his campaign manager. González Videla was supported by a coalition of left-wing parties and Neruda fervently campaigned on his behalf. Once in office, however, González Videla turned against the Communist Party. The breaking point for Senator Neruda was the violent repression of a Communist-led miners' strike in Lota in October 1947, where striking workers were herded into island military prisons and a concentration camp in the town of Pisagua. Neruda's criticism of González Videla culminated in a dramatic speech in the Chilean senate on January 6, 1948 called Yo acuso ("I accuse"), in the course of which he read out the names of the miners and their families who were imprisoned at the concentration camp.


A few weeks later, Neruda went into hiding and he and his wife were smuggled from house to house hidden by supporters and admirers for the next thirteen months. While in hiding, Senator Neruda was removed from office and in September 1948 the Communist Party was banned altogether under the Ley de Defensa Permanente de la Democracia (Law for the Permanent Defense of Democracy), called by critics the Ley Maldita ("Accursed Law"), which eliminated over 26,000 people from the electoral registers, thus stripping them of their right to vote. Neruda moved later to Valdivia in southern Chile. From Valdivia he moved to Fundo Huishue a forestry estate in the vicinities of Huishue Lake. Neruda's life underground ended in March 1949 when he fled over the Lilpela Pass on the Andes Mountains to Argentina on horseback. He would dramatically recount his escape from Chile in his Nobel Prize lecture.

Once out of Chile, he spent the next three years in exile. In Buenos Aires a friend of Neruda, the future Nobel winner and novelist Miguel Ángel Asturias, was cultural attaché to the Guatemalan embassy. There was some slight resemblance between the two men, so Neruda went to Europe using Asturias's passport. Pablo Picasso arranged his entrance into Paris[citation needed] and Neruda made a surprise appearance there to a stunned World Congress of Peace Forces, the Chilean government meanwhile denying[citation needed] that the poet could have escaped the country.

Neruda spent those three years traveling extensively throughout Europe as well as taking trips to India, China, Sri Lanka and the Soviet Union. His trip to Mexico in late 1949 was lengthened due to a serious bout of phlebitis. A Chilean singer named Matilde Urrutia was hired to care for him and they began an affair that would, years later, culminate in marriage. During his exile, Urrutia would travel from country to country shadowing him and they would arrange meetings whenever they could. Matilde Urrutia was the muse for "Los versos del Capitán", which he later published anonymously in 1952.

While in Mexico, Neruda also published his lengthy epic poem Canto General, a Whitmanesque catalog of the history, geography, and flora and fauna of South America, accompanied by Neruda's observations and experiences. Many of them dealt with his time underground in Chile, which is when he composed much of the poem. In fact, he had carried the manuscript with him on his escape on horseback. A month later, a different edition of five thousand copies was boldly published in Chile by the outlawed Communist Party based on a manuscript Neruda had left behind. In Mexico, he was granted honorary Mexican citizenship.

His 1952 stay in a villa owned by Italian historian Edwin Cerio on the island of Capri was fictionalized in the popular film Il Postino ("The Postman", 1994).

Return to Chile

By 1952, the González-Videla government was on its last legs, weakened by corruption scandals. The Chilean Socialist Party was in the process of nominating Salvador Allende as its candidate for the September 1952 presidential elections and was keen to have the presence of Neruda—by now Chile's most prominent left-wing literary figure—to support the campaign.

Neruda returned in August of that year and rejoined Delia del Carril, who had traveled ahead of him some months earlier, but the marriage was crumbling. Del Carril eventually learned of his torrid affair with Matilde Urrutia and he sent her back to Chile in 1955. She convinced the Chilean officials to lift his arrest allowing Urrutia and Neruda to go to Capri, Italy. Now united with Urrutia, Neruda would spend the rest of his life in Chile, many foreign trips notwithstanding and a stint as Allende's ambassador to France from 1970 to 1973.

By this time, Neruda enjoyed worldwide fame as a poet, and his books were being translated into virtually all the major languages of the world. He was also vocal on political issues, vigorously denouncing the U.S. during the Cuban missile crisis (later in the decade he would likewise repeatedly condemn the U.S. for the Vietnam War). But being one of the most prestigious and outspoken leftwing intellectuals alive also attracted opposition from ideological opponents. The Congress for Cultural Freedom, an anti-communist organization covertly established and funded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, adopted Neruda as one of its primary targets and launched a campaign to undermine his reputation, reviving the old claim he had been an accomplice in the attack on Trotsky in Mexico City in 1940[citation needed]. The campaign became more intense when it became known that Neruda was a candidate for the 1964 Nobel prize, which was eventually awarded to Jean-Paul Sartre.

Neruda recording his poetry at the U.S. Library of Congress in 1966.

In 1966, Neruda was invited to attend an International PEN conference in New York City. Officially, he was barred from entering the U.S. because he was a communist, but the conference organizer, playwright Arthur Miller, eventually prevailed upon the Johnson Administration to grant Neruda a visa. Neruda gave readings to packed halls, and even recorded some poems for the Library of Congress. Miller later opined that Neruda's adherence to his communist ideals of the 1930s was a result of his protracted exclusion from "bourgeois society". Due to the presence of many East Bloc writers, Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes later wrote that the PEN conference marked a "beginning of the end" of the Cold War.

La Sebastiana, Neruda's house in Valparaíso

Upon Neruda's return to Chile, he stopped off in Peru, where he gave readings to enthusiastic crowds in Lima and Arequipa and was received by President Fernando Belaúnde Terry. However, the visit prompted an unpleasant backlash. The Peruvian government had come out against the government in Cuba of Fidel Castro, and in July 1966 retaliation against Neruda came in the form of a letter signed by more than one hundred Cuban intellectuals who charged Neruda with colluding with the enemy, and called him an example of the "tepid, pro-Yankee revisionism" then prevalent in Latin America. The affair was particularly painful for Neruda because of his previous outspoken support for the Cuban revolution, and he never visited the island again, even after an invitation in 1968.

After the death of Che Guevara in Bolivia in 1967, Neruda wrote several articles regretting the loss of a "great hero".[citation needed] At the same time, he told his friend Aida Figueroa not to cry for Che, but for Luis Emilio Recabarren, the father of the Chilean communist movement, who preached a pacifist revolution over Che's violent ways.[5]

La Chascona, Neruda's house in Santiago.

Final years

In 1970, Neruda was nominated as a candidate for the Chilean presidency, but ended up giving his support to Salvador Allende, who later won the election and was inaugurated in 1970 as the first democratically elected socialist head of state. Shortly thereafter, Allende appointed Neruda the Chilean ambassador to France (lasting from 1970–1972; his final diplomatic posting). Neruda returned to Chile two and half years later due to failing health.

In 1971, having sought the prize for years, Neruda was finally awarded the Nobel Prize. This decision did not come easily, as some of the committee members had not forgotten Neruda's past praise of Stalinist dictatorship. But his Swedish translator, Artur Lundkvist, did his best to ensure the Chilean the prize.[6]

Inside "La Sebastiana", home of Pablo Neruda in Valparaíso

As the disturbances of 1973 unfolded, Neruda, then terminally ill with prostate cancer, was devastated by the mounting attacks on the Allende government. The military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet on September 11 saw Neruda's hopes for a marxist Chile destroyed. Shortly thereafter, during a search of the house and grounds at Isla Negra by Chilean armed forces at which he was present, Neruda famously remarked:

Look around—there's only one thing of danger for you here—poetry.

Neruda died of heart failure on the evening of September 23, 1973, at Santiago's Santa María Clinic.[7][8][9] The funeral took place amidst a massive police presence, and mourners took advantage of the occasion to protest against the new regime, established just a couple of weeks before.

Casa la Isla Negra, Neruda's third home in Chile

Matilde Urrutia subsequently compiled and edited for publication the memoirs that Neruda had been working on just days prior to his death including, possibly his final poem 'Right Comrade, It's the Hour of the Garden'. These and other activities brought her into conflict with Pinochet's government, which continually sought to curtail Neruda's influence on the Chilean collective consciousness. Urrutia's own memoir, My Life with Pablo Neruda, was published posthumously in 1986.

Neruda owned three houses in Chile; today they are all open to the public as museums: La Chascona in Santiago, La Sebastiana in Valparaíso, and Casa de Isla Negra in Isla Negra, where he and Matilde Urrutia are buried.

Personal life

Neruda had one daughter, Malva Marina Trinidad (1934–1943), living in Gouda, The Netherlands.[10] She died at age nine.[citation needed]

Neruda was good friends with Venezuelan intellectuals and diplomats, such as Arturo Uslar Pietri, Juan Oropeza and Miguel Otero Silva.

Neruda always wrote in green ink because it was the color of Esperanza (hope).


During the late 1960s, Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges was asked for his opinion of Pablo Neruda. After describing a brief meeting with him when both were young, Borges stated,

"I think of him as a very fine poet, a very fine poet. I don't admire him as a man, I think of him as a very mean man."[11]

When asked for the reasons for this, Borges continued,

"Well, he wrote a book -- well, maybe here I'm being political -- he wrote a book about the tyrants of South America, and then he had several stanzas against the United States. Now he knows that that's rubbish. And he had not a word against Perón. Because he had a lawsuit in Buenos Aires, that was explained to me afterwards, and he didn't care to risk anything. And so, when he was supposed to be writing at the top of his voice, full of noble indignation, he had not a word to say against Perón. And he was married to an Argentine lady, he knew that many of his friends had been sent to jail. He knew all about the state of our country, but not a word against him. At the same time, he was speaking against the United States, knowing the whole thing was a lie, no? But, of course, that doesn't mean anything against his poetry. Neruda is a very fine poet, a great poet in fact. And when they gave [ Miguel de Asturias ] the Nobel Prize, I said that it should have been given to Neruda! Now when I was in Chile, and we were on different political sides, I think he did the best thing to do. He went on a holiday during the three or four days I was there so there was no occasion for our meeting. But I think he was acting politely, no? Because he knew that people would be playing him up against me, no? I mean, I was an Argentine, poet, he was a Chilean poet, he's on the side of the Communists, I'm against them. So I felt he was behaving very wisely in avoiding a meeting that would have been quite uncomfortable for both of us."[12]


  • A bust of Neruda stands on the south side of the Organization of American States building in Washington D.C.
  • In 2009 the Chilean Google homepage displayed a logo commemorating his birthday on July 12. [13]


  • Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis set to music the famous "Canto General" (one of the most famous poems by Neruda) when he was exiled from his homeland by the dictatorship in Greece (1967–1974).
  • Folk rock / progressive rock group Los Jaivas, famous in Chile, used Las Alturas de Macchu Picchu as the text for their album of the same name. The band later made a full-length video of the piece for Chilean television. Taped at Macchu Picchu itself, the programme was hosted by Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa.
  • Neruda Songs, a classical and operatic cycle based on five of Neruda's love poems, received the $200,000 University of Louisville's Grawemeyer Award for Musical Composition. The composer, Peter Lieberson, dedicated the music to his wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, who performed the music exemplifying what Neruda referred to as "the arc of love" at its world premiere.
  • Neruda's verse is quoted on the back of Jackson Browne's album The Pretender
  • Neruda is one of the people toasted to in the song "La Vie Boheme" from the Tony-winning rock opera Rent.
  • The South African musician Johnny Clegg drew heavily on Neruda in his early work with the band Juluka.
  • Canadian rock group Red Rider named their 1983 LP/CD release, Neruda.
  • Pop singer Madonna has read his poem "If You Forget Me" rather beautifully on a version of her song "Frozen", calling it "Frozen (Poetry Edit)".
  • Pop band Sixpence None the Richer set his poem "Puedo Escribir" to music on their platinum selling self-titled album (1997).
  • The Guatemalan Singer Ricardo Arjona mentioned Neruda in his own woman anthem "Mujeres"
  • The group "Brazilian Girls" turned Poema 15 (poem 15) from Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada (20 love poems and a song of despair) into their song "Me Gusta Cuando Callas" from their self-titled album.


  • An edition of Neruda's On the Blue Shore of Silence was printed in honour of the poet's 100th birthday in 2004. The book featured translations of Neruda's original poems by Scottish poet Alastair Reid and original paintings from artist Mary Heebner's series Isla Negra. A companion collection, Intimacies: Poems of Love, with paintings by Mary Heebner from Muse was published in 2008.
  • Neruda is referred to frequently as "The Poet" in the novel The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. One character, Clara "the Clarivoyant" Trueba, is said to have helped him in his rise to fame and another member of the Trueba family later attends his funeral.
  • In 2008 the writer Roberto Ampuero published a novel El caso Neruda, about his private eye Cayetano Brulé, where Pablo Neruda is one of the protagonists.*
  • Neruda is referred to as the poet-statesmen in the 1998 Spanglish novel Yo-Yo Boing! by Giannina Braschi.
  • A short excerpt is quoted in William Gibsonʻs novel "Count Zero" in the dedication "For My D" as follows:
Quiero hacer contigo
lo que la primavera
hace con los cerezos

Films and television

  • In the film G.I. Jane, Master Chief John Urgayle (played by Viggo Mortensen) quotes Pablo Neruda by saying "When I see the sea once more will the sea have seen or not seen me?". This is taken from Neruda's work The Book of Questions.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Neruda is referenced in an argument between Bart and Lisa over the nature of the soul: (Lisa: "Hmm. Pablo Neruda said 'Laughter is the language of the soul.'" Bart: "I am familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda.")
  • Pablo Neruda is mentioned in How I Met Your Mother in the episode "The Naked Man" and in "The Three Days Rule" in the quote: (Stan: "I wait for it and it envelops me, and so you, bread and light and shadow are." Marshall: "I do not know what bread was doing in there, but that touched me, here and here.")
  • In the Italian film Il Postino, Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret) is living in exile on Salina Island near Sicily during the 1950s. While there, he befriends the local postman and inspires in him a love of poetry.
  • A documentary film is in production on Neruda's life, times, and poetry, Pablo Neruda: The Poet's Calling'', directed by Mexican director Carlos Bolado and Mark Eisner.
  • In the movie Patch Adams, a portion of Neruda's Love Sonnet 17 is read as a remembrance of the character's dead lover.
  • In Kevin Fry loses his beard the character Brandee states "I won't miss your beard so much, but I do love me so Pablo Neruda!.

See also


  1. ^ All Things Considered. "A Reading in Honor of Pablo Neruda's Centennial". NPR. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  2. ^ Neruda | La vida del poeta | Cronología | 1944–1953, Fundación Neruda, University of Chile. Retrieved 29 December 2006.
  3. ^ Wyman, Eva Goldschmidt Wyman; Fuentes, Zurita Harris, Victoria Frankel Montealegre, Jorge (December 2002). The Poets and The General: Chile's Voices Of Dissent Under Augusto Pinochet. Lom Ediciones. p. 18. 
  4. ^ "Alberto Acereda - El otro Pablo Neruda - Libros". 1990-01-01. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  5. ^ "Pablo Neruda: The Poet's Calling <>"
  6. ^ A critical review
  7. ^ "Pablo Neruda, Nobel Poet, Dies in a Chilean Hospital", The New York Times, September 24, 1973.
  8. ^ Neruda and Vallejo: Selected Poems, Robert Bly, ed.; Beacon Press, Boston, 1993, p. xii.
  9. ^ Earth-Shattering Poems, Liz Rosenberg, ed.; Henry Holt, New York, 1998, p. 105.
  10. ^ Aguayo, Rafael Aguayo (1987). Neruda: un hombre de la Araucanía. LAR. p. 82. .
  11. ^ Richard Burgin, Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges, Holt, Rhinehart, & Winston, 1968. Page 95.
  12. ^ Burgin 1968, page 96.
  13. ^


  • Jaime Perales Contreras, " Paz and Neruda: A Clash of Literary Titans", Americas Magazine,(Organization of American States). July 2008.
  • Adam Feinstein, Pablo Neruda: A Passion for Life, Bloomsbury, 2004. (ISBN 1-58234-410-8)
  • Neruda, Pablo. Memoirs (translation of Confieso que he vivido: Memorias), translated by Hardie St. Martin, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1977. (1991 edition is ISBN 0-374-20660-0)
  • Neruda, Pablo. "Passion, Poetry, Politics". Enslow. 

Further reading


  • Pablo Neruda, Selected Poems, ed. Ilan Stavans (2003).
  • Translating Neruda: The Way to Macchu Picchu, by John Felstiner (1980)
  • Pablo Neruda / Durán, Manuel., 1981
  • Pablo Neruda: The Secrets of the Chilean Poet and Diplomat, 1981
  • Pablo Neruda: all poets the poet / Bizzarro, Salvatore., 1979
  • The poetry of Pablo Neruda / Costa, René de., 1979
  • Pablo Neruda: Memoirs (Confieso que he vivido: Memorias) / tr. St. Martin, Hardie., 1977
  • The Essential Neruda / ed. Mark Eisner, intro by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (City Lights), 2004
  • "Paz and Neruda: Clash of Literary Titans". Free Online Library. July 2008.  Americas Magazine, Jaime Perales Contreras

Recent English translations of Neruda's late and posthumous work

  • World's End (Copper Canyon Press, 2009) (translated by William O'Daly)
  • The Hands of the Day (Copper Canyon Press, 2008) (translated by William O'Daly)
  • The Book of Questions (Copper Canyon Press, 1991, 2001) (translated by William O'Daly)
  • The Yellow Heart (Copper Canyon Press, 1990, 2002) (translated by William O'Daly)
  • Stones of the Sky (Copper Canyon Press, 1990, 2002) (translated by William O'Daly)
  • The Sea and the Bells (Copper Canyon Press, 1988, 2002) (translated by William O'Daly)
  • Winter Garden (Copper Canyon Press, 1987, 2002) (translated by James Nolan)
  • The Separate Rose (Copper Canyon Press, 1985) (translated by William O'Daly)
  • Still Another Day (Copper Canyon Press, 1984, 2005) (translated by William O'Daly)
  • On the Blue Shore of Silence: Poems of the Sea (Rayo Harper Collins, 2004) (translated by Alastair Reid, epilogue Antonio Skármeta)
  • Intimacies: Poems of Love (Harper Collins, 2008) (translated by Alastair Reid)


  • Pablo Neruda y su tiempo. Las furias y las penas / David Schidlowsky, RIL editores, Santiago de Chile 2008, 2 Volumes.
  • Paz y Neruda: Historia de una amistad/Jaime Perales Contreras.,2008. Revista Américas, (Organización de los Estados Americanos), julio 2008.
  • Pablo Neruda en Cuba y Cuba en Pablo Neruda / Angel I Augier., 2005
  • Neruda por Skármeta / Antonio Skármeta., 2004
  • Neruda, memoria crepitante / Virginia Vidal., 2003
  • Voy a vivirme : variaciones y complementos nerudianos / Volodia Teitelboim., 1998
  • Neruda y Arauco / Maria Maluenda., 1998
  • Para leer a Neruda / Hugo Montes., 1997
  • Neruda y la mujer / Berna Pérez de Burrell., 1993
  • Para leer a Pablo Neruda / José Carlos Rovira., 1991
  • Neruda, voz y universo / Mario Ferrero., 1988
  • Neruda total / Eulogio Suárez., 1988
  • Nuevas aproximaciones a Pablo Neruda / Angel Flores., 1987
  • Neruda : un hombre de la Araucania / Rafael Aguayo., 1987
  • Asturias y Neruda : cuatro estudios para dos poetas / Giuseppe Tavani., 1985
  • Neruda, 10 años después / Floridor Pérez., 1983
  • El pensamiento poético de Pablo Neruda / Alain Sicard., 1981
  • Poesía y estilo de Pablo Neruda / Amado Alonso., 1979
  • Mi pequeña historia de Pablo Neruda / Arturo Aldunate Phillips., 1979
  • Conocer Neruda y su obra / Alberto Cousté., 1979
  • La poesía de Neruda / Luis Rosales., 1978
  • Pablo Neruda : naturaleza, historia y poética / Eduardo Camacho Guizado., 1978
  • Rilke, Pound, Neruda : tres claves de la poesía contemporánea / José Miguel Ibáñez Langlois., 1978
  • Poesía y estilo de Pablo Neruda : interpretación de una poesía hermética / Amado Alonso., 1977


  • Buğdayın Türküsü (Original: Oda al trigo, Translated by Hilmi Yavuz and composed by Selim Atakan for Yeni Türkü, which is a Turkish music grup. It was found albums of "Buğdayın Türküsü", which was debut album for the group in 1979 and "Rumeli Konseri" in 1991. It was published in Nihat Behram's "Türk Halk ve Dünya Edebiyatından Başkaldırı Şiirleri Antolojisi" book in 2001.)
  • Oğulları Ölen Analara Türkü (Original: Canto a las madres de los milicianos muertos, it was published in Nihat Behram's "Türk Halk ve Dünya Edebiyatından Başkaldırı Şiirleri Antolojisi" book in 2001.)
  • Karakas'taki Migual Otero Silva'ya Mektup (Original: Carta a Miguel Otero Silva, en Caracas, it was published in Nihat Behram's "Türk Halk ve Dünya Edebiyatından Başkaldırı Şiirleri Antolojisi" book in 2001.)
  • Diktatörler (Original: Los dictadores, it was published in Nihat Behram's "Türk Halk ve Dünya Edebiyatından Başkaldırı Şiirleri Antolojisi" book in 2001.)
  • Bazı Şeyleri Açıklıyorum (Original: Explico algunas cosas, it was published in Ülkü Tamer's "Çağdaş latin Amerika Şiiri Antolojisi" in 1982 and in 1999 and Nihat Behram's "Türk Halk ve Dünya Edebiyatından Başkaldırı Şiirleri Antolojisi" one in 2001.)
  • Okyanusun İhtiyar Kadınları (Origial: Las mujeres suicidas del océano, it was published in Ülkü Tamer's book of "Çağdaş latin Amerika Şiiri Antolojisi" in 1982 and in 1999)
  • Magellan'ın Yüreği (1519) (Original: El corazón magallánico (1519), it was published in Ülkü Tamer's book of "Çağdaş latin Amerika Şiiri Antolojisi" in 1982 and in 1999)
  • Tavşanlı Çocuk (Original: Oda al niño de la liebre, it was published in Ülkü Tamer's book of "Çağdaş latin Amerika Şiiri Antolojisi" in 1982 and in 1999)
  • Odun Kokusu (Original: Olor a madera, it was published in Ülkü Tamer's book of "Çağdaş latin Amerika Şiiri Antolojisi" in 1982 and in 1999)
  • Gemi (Original: El navío, it was published in Ülkü Tamer's book of "Çağdaş latin Amerika Şiiri Antolojisi" in 1982 and in 1999)
  • Guilermina Acaba Nerde ? (Original: ¿Dónde estará la Guillermina? , it was published in Ülkü Tamer's book of "Çağdaş latin Amerika Şiiri Antolojisi" in 1982 and in 1999)
  • Walking Around (it was published in Ülkü Tamer's book of "Çağdaş latin Amerika Şiiri Antolojisi" in 1982 and in 1999)
  • Alberto Rojas Jimenez Geliyor Uçarak (Original: Alberto Rojas Giménez viene volando, it was published in Ülkü Tamer's book of "Çağdaş latin Amerika Şiiri Antolojisi" in 1982 and in 1999)

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Someday, somewhere — anywhere, unfailingly, you'll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.

Pablo Neruda (1904-07-121973-09-23) was a Chilean poet, born Neftalí Reyes Basoalto (in full, Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto)


  • Quién escribe tu nombre con letras de humo entre las estrellas del sur?
    Ah déjame recordarte cómo eras entonces, cuando aún no existías.
    • Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
      Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.
    • "Every Day You Play" (Juegas Todos los Días), from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair [Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada] (1924), XIV, trans. William S. Merwin [Penguin Classics, 1993, ISBN 0-140-18648-4] (p. 35)
  • Quiero hacer contigo lo que la primavera hace con los cerezos.
    • I want to do with you what spring does with cherry trees.
    • "Every Day You Play" (Juegas Todos las Días), from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair [Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada] (1924), XIV, trans. William Merwin [Penguin Classics, 1993, ISBN 0-140-18648-4] (p. 35)
  • Me gustas cuando callas porque estás como ausente,
    y me oyes desde lejos, y mi voz no te toca.
    • I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent,
      and you hear me from far away and my voice does not touch you.
    • "I Like for You to be Still" (Me Gustas Cuando Callas), from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair [Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada] (1924), XV, trans. William Merwin [Penguin Classics, 1993, ISBN 0-140-18648-4] (p. 37)
  • Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
    • Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
    • "Tonight I Can Write" (Puedo Escribir), from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair [Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada] (1924), XX, trans. William Merwin [Penguin Classics, 1993, ISBN 0-140-18648-4] (p. 49)
  • Es tan corto el amor y tan largo el olvido.
    • Love is so short and forgetting is so long.
    • "Tonight I Can Write" (Puedo Escribir), from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair [Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada] (1924), XX, trans. William Merwin [Penguin Classics, 1993, ISBN 0-140-18648-4] (p. 51)
  • Estoy solo entre materias desvencijadas,
    la lluvia cae sobre mí, y se me parece,
    se me parece con su desvarío,solitaria en el mundo muerto,
    rechazada al caer, y sin forma obstinada.
    • I am alone with rickety materials,
      the rain falls on me, and it is like me,
      it is like me in its raving, alone in the dead world,
      repulsed as it falls, and with no persistent form.
    • "Weak with the Dawn" (Débil del Alba) from Residence on Earth [Residencia en la Tierra] (1933), trans. William Merwin in Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 45)
  • Enterrado junto al cocotero hallarás más tarde
    el cuchillo que escodí allí por temor de que me mataras,
    y ahora repentinamente quisiera oler su acero de cocina
    acostumbrado al peso de tu mano y al brillo de tu pie:
    bajo la humedad de la tierra, entre las sordas raíces,
    de los lenguajes humanos el pobre sólo sabría tu nombre,
    y la espesa tierra no comprende tu nombre
    hecho de impenetrables y substancias divinas.
    • Later on you will find buried near the coconut tree
      the knife which I hid there for fear you would kill me,
      and now suddenly I would be glad to smell its kitchen steel
      used to the weight of your hand, the shine of your foot:
      under the dampness of the ground, among the deaf roots,
      in all the languages of the men only the poor will know your name,
      and the dense earth does not understand your name
      made of impenetrable divine substances.
    • "Widower's Tango" (Tango del Viudo) from Residence on Earth [Residencia en la Tierra] (1933), trans. William Merwin in Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (pp. 81/83)
  • Si me preguntáis en dónde he estado
    debo decir "Sucede."
    Debo de hablar del suelo que oscurecen las piedras,
    del río que durando se destruye:
    no sé sino las cosas que los pájaros pierden,
    el mar dejado atrás, o mi hermana llorando.
    Por qué tantas regiones, por qué un día
    se junta con un día? Por qué una negra noche
    se acumula en la boca? Por qué muertos?
    • If you should ask me where I've been all this time
      I have to say "Things happen."
      I have to dwell on stones darkening the earth,
      on the river ruined in its own duration:
      I know nothing save things the birds have lost,
      the sea I left behind, or my sister crying.
      Why this abundance of places? Why does day lock
      with day? Why the dark night swilling round
      in our mouths? And why the dead?
    • "There's No Forgetting (Sonata)" from Residence on Earth, II [Residencia en la Tierra, II] (1935) trans. Nathaniel Tarn in Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 121)
  • No quiero para mí tantas desgracias.
    No quiero continuar de raíz y de tumba,
    de subterráneo solo, de bodega con muertos
    ateridos, muriéndome de pena.
    • I do not want to be the inheritor of so many misfortunes.
      I do not want to continue as a root and as a tomb,
      as a solitary tunnel, as a cellar full of corpses,
      stiff with cold, dying with pain.
    • "Walking Around" from Residence on the Earth [Residencia en la Tierra, II] (1935), trans. by William Merwin in Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 105)
  • Preguntaréis: Y dónde están las lilas?
    Y la metafísica cubierta de amapolas?
    Y la lluvia que a menudo golpeaba
    sus palabras llenándolas
    de agujeros y pájaros?
    • You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?
      and the poppy-petalled metaphysics?
      and the rain repeatedly spattering
      its words and drilling them full
      of apertures and birds.
    • "I'm Explaining a Few Things" (Explico Algunos Cosas) from Tercera Residencia (1947), Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 151)
  • Preguntaréis por qué su poesía
    no nos habla del sueño, de las hojas,
    de los grandes volcanes de su país natal?

    Venid a ver la sangre por las calles,
    venid a ver
    la sangre por las calles,
    venid a ver la sangre
    por las calles!

    • And you will ask: why doesn't his poetry
      speak of dreams and leaves
      and the great volcanoes of his native land?

      Come and see the blood in the streets.
      Come and see
      the bloods in the streets.
      Come and see the blood
      in the streets!

    • "I'm Explaining a Few Things" (Explico Algunos Cosas) from Tercera Residencia (1947), Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 155)
  • Aprendió el alfabeto del relámpago.
    • He learned the alphabet of the lightning
    • "Education of a Chieftain" (Educación del Cacique) from General Song [Canto General] (1950): Los Libertadores, trans. Anthony Kerrigan in Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 215)
  • Debajo de tu piel vive la luna.
    • The moon lives in the lining of your skin.
    • "Ode to a Beautiful Nude" (Oda a la Bella Desnuda), from Nuevas Odas Elementales (1956), trans. Nathaniel Tarn in Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 349)
  • Sabes que en las calles no hay nadie
    y adentro de las casas tampoco?

    Sòlo hay ojos en las ventanas.
    Si no tienes dònde dormir
    toca una puerta y te abrirán,
    te abrirán hasta cierto punto
    y verás que hace frío adentro,
    que aquella casa está vacía,
    y no quiere nada contigo,
    no valen nada tus historias,
    y si insistes con tu ternura
    te muerden el perro y el gato.

    • Don't you know there is no one in the streets
      and no one in the houses?

      There are only eyes in the windows.
      If you don't have a place to sleep,
      knock on a door and it will open,
      open up to a certain point
      and you will see that it is cold inside,
      and that that house is empty
      and wants nothing to do with you,
      your stories mean nothing,
      and if you insist on being gentle,
      the dog and the cat will bite you.

    • "Soliloquy at Twilight" (Soliloquio en Tinieblas) from Book of Vagaries [Estravagario] (1958)
  • Y algo golpeaba en mi alma,
    fiebre o alas perdidas,
    y me fui haciendo solo,
    aquella quemadura
    y escribí la primera línea vaga,
    vaga, sin cuerpo, pura,
    pura sabiduría
    del que no sabe nada,
    y vi de pronto
    el cielo
    y abierto.
    • And something started in my soul,
      fever or forgotten wings,
      and I made my own way,
      that fire,
      and I wrote the first faint line,
      faint, without substance, pure
      pure wisdom
      of someone who knows nothing,
      and I suddenly saw
      the heavens
      and open.
    • "Poetry" (Poesía) from Memorial of Isla Negra [Memorial de Isla Negra] (1964), Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 457)
  • Allí en Rangoon comprendí que los dioses
    eran tan enemigos como Dios
    del pobre ser humano.
    de alabastro tendidos
    como ballenas blancas,
    dioses dorados como las espigas,
    dioses serpientes enroscados
    al crimen de nacer,
    budhas desnudos y elegantes
    sonriendo en el coktail
    de la vacía eternidad
    como Cristo en su cruz horrible,
    todos dispuestos a todo,
    a imponernos su cielo,
    todos con llagas o pistola
    para comprar piedad o quemarnos la sangre,
    dioses feroces del hombre
    para esconder la cobardía,
    y allí todo era así,
    toda la tierra olía a cielo,
    a mercadería celeste.
    • There in Rangoon I realized that the gods
      were enemies, just like God,
      of the poor human being.
      in alabaster extended
      like white whales,
      gods gilded like spikes,
      serpent gods entwining
      the crime of being born,
      naked and elegant buddhas
      smiling at the cocktail party
      of empty eternity
      like Christ on his horrible cross,
      all of them capable of anything,
      of imposing on us their heaven,
      all with torture or pistol
      to purchase piety or burn our blood,
      fierce gods made by men
      to conceal their cowardice,
      and there it was all like that,
      the whole earth reeking of heaven,
      and heavenly merchandise.
    • "Religion in the East" (Religión en el Este) from Memorial of Isla Negra [Memorial de Isla Negra] (1964), trans. by Anthony Kerrigan in Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 463)
  • Es la hora, amor mío, de apartar esta rosa sombría,
    cerrar las estrellas, enterrar la ceniza en la tierra:
    y, en la insurrección de la luz, despertar con los que despertaron
    o seguir en el sueño alcanzando la otra orilla del mar que no tiene otra orilla.
    • It is time, love, to break off that sombre rose,
      shut up the stars and bury the ash in the earth;
      and, in the rising of the light, wake with those who awoke
      or go on in the dream, reaching the other shore of the sea which has no other shore.
    • "The Watersong Ends" (La Barcarola Termina) (1967), trans. Anthony Kerrigan in Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 500)
  • Sólo con una ardiente paciencia conquistaremos la espléndida ciudad que dará luz, justicia y dignidad a todos los hombres. Así la poesía no habrá cantado en vano.
    • Only with a burning patience can we conquer the splendid City which will give light, justice and dignity to all mankind. In this way the song will not have been sung in vain.
    • Nobel lecture, "Towards the Splendid City" [Hacia la ciudad espléndida] (1971-12-13). In the passage directly preceding these words, Neruda identified the source of his allusion:

      "It is today exactly one hundred years since an unhappy and brilliant poet, the most awesome of all despairing souls, wrote down this prophecy: 'À l'aurore, armés d'une ardente patience, nous entrerons aux splendides Villes.' 'In the dawn, armed with a burning patience, we shall enter the splendid Cities.' I believe in this prophecy of Rimbaud, the Visionary." (Hace hoy cien años exactos, un pobre y espléndido poeta, el más atroz de los desesperados, escribió esta profecía: "À l'aurore, armes d'une ardente patience, nous entrerons aux splendides Villes". "Al amanecer, armados de una ardiente paciencia, entraremos a las espléndidas ciudades." Yo creo en esa profecía de Rimbaud, el Vidente.)

      The quotation is from Arthur Rimbaud's poem "Adieu" from Une Saison en Enfer (1873)

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

File:Pablo Neruda (1966).jpg
Neruda recording his poems at the U.S. Library of Congress in 1966

Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904September 23, 1973) was a Chilean poet who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971. He wrote in Spanish and most of his works have been translated into a great number of languages.



Neruda was born in the City of Parral in Chile on July 12, of 1904 and his real name was Ricardo Neftali Reyes. Neruda’s mother died shortly after he was born, but the child Neruda came to love his stepmother as if she had been his real mother. Neruda started to write poetry as a young boy but his father wanted him to study mathematics so he could become a teacher. Neruda was mainly interested in literature and writing poems, which he would mail out to magazines; to prevent his parents discovering that he was doing this he changed his name to Pablo Neruda.

In 1920 Neruda moves to Santiago to study French at the University of Chile, which he did to please his parents who wanted him to be a teacher. Soon Neruda became deeply involved in his poetry and in 1923 he published his first book: Crepusculario(Twilight Book).

After a number of years Neruda became a very famous person in his country and the world and was assigned diplomatic posts in various countries for long periods of time, such as Indonesia, Spain and France.

Neruda died from cancer at the age of 69 in Santiago, Chile in 1973. He also had a sister that was born dead when he was 3 or 4 years old.

Themes and style

Some of Neruda’s poetry is very difficult to understand because they are about events of World history such as the colonization of America, the Spanish Civil War, Nazi Germany and other conflicts. Neruda also references (mentions) important figures of World history. In some of his poetry Neruda tends to link historical events from different eras (periods of history) and different parts of the world into one major conflict as in his Canto General (1950).

But Neruda also wrote poetry that can be easily appreciated by all, such as his odes which Neruda wrote on all sorts of common things, such onions, lemons, and the common cat.

Neruda was very concerned in how his poetry sounded, he liked rhythm and many have claimed he had a “musical intelligence” ie. he wrote with music in his mind. He would record many of his poems on a tape recorder and many of his recordings were sold like records in the Spanish speaking world.


Many academics and scholars consider Neruda to be one of the most important and widely read poets of the 1900s. Many go as far as to place him alongside Shakespeare and Dante. This is probably because Neruda wrote poems on all sorts of topics, appealing to people of all ages and interests: poems about love, on historical events (like wars), he wrote about native people, about nature and about simple things.

Neruda was also an avid collector of all sorts of things. He had one of the largest collections of seashells in the world and collected bottles and model ships.

Many of Neruda’s poems have been used in movies and in music, such as in the classical music of the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, and in the movies, such as "Il Postino" or "Patch Adams". Many famous people have also recorded narrations (spoken word) of his poems, such as Julia Roberts, Madonna, Andy Garcia, and Glen Close.

Other websites

mrj:Неруда, Пабло


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