Pablo Neruda

(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973 / Parral / Chile)

Biography of Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda poet

Pablo Neruda was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after Czech poet Jan Neruda.

Neruda wrote in a variety of styles such as erotically charged love poems as in 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." Neruda always wrote in green ink as it was his personal color of hope.

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. During his lifetime, Neruda occupied many diplomatic positions 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.

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.

Pablo Neruda's Works:

repusculario, 1923
Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada, 1924
Tentativa del hombre infinito. – Santiago: Nascimento, 1926
Anillos / Pablo Neruda, Tomás Lago. – Santiago: Nascimento, 1926
El habitante y su esperanza. – Santiago: Nascimento, 1926
El hondero entusiasta. – Santiago: Empresa Letras, 1933
Residencia en la tierra: 1925-1931. – Santiago: Nascimento, 1933
Residencia en la tierra: 1925-1935. – Enl. ed. – Madrid: Cruz & Raya, 1935. – 2 vol.
España en el corazón. – Santiago: Ercilla, 1937
Las furias y las penas. – Santiago: Nascimento, 1939
Canto general de Chile: Fragmentos. – Mexico City: Privately published, 1943
Tercera residencia: 1935-1945. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1947
Alturas de Macchu Picchu. – Santiago: Librería Neira, 1947
Canto general. – Mexico City: Talleres Gráficos de la Nación, 1950
Los versos del capitán. – Napol: Naples: L'Arte Tipografica, 1952
Las uvas y el viento. – Santiago: Nascimento, 1954
Odas elementales. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1954
Nuevas odas elementales. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1956
Obras completas. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1957. – Enl. ed. 1962, 2 vol. – Enl. ed. 1967. – Enl. ed. 1973, 3 vol.
Tercer libro de las odas. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1957
Estravagario. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1958
Navegaciones y regresos. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1959
Cien sonetos de amor. – Santiago: Editorial Universitaria, 1959
Canción de gesta. – Havana: Casa de las Américas, 1960
Las piedras de Chile. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1961
Cantos ceremoniales. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1961
Plenos poderes. – Buenos Aires Losada, 1962
Memorial de Isla Negra. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1964. – 5 vol.
Arte de pájaros. – Santiago: Sociedad de Amigos del Arte Contemporáneo, 1966
Una casa en la arena. – Barcelona: Lumen, 1966
Fulgor y muerte de Joaquín Murieta: bandido chileno injusticiado en California el *23 de julio de 1853. – Santiago: Zig-Zag, 1967
La barcarola. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1967
Las manos del día. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1968
Fin de mundo. – Santiago: Sociedad de Arte Contemporáneo, 1969
Aún. – Santiago: Nascimento, 1969
Maremoto. – Santiago: Sociedad de Arte Contemporáneo de Santiago, 1970
La espada encendida. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1970
Las piedras del cie. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1970
Geografía infructuosa. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1972
Incitación al nixonicidio y alabanza de la revolución chilena. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1973
La rosa separada. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1973
El mar y las campanas. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1973
Jardín de invierno. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1974
2000. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1974
El corazón amarillo. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1974
Libro de las preguntas. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1974
Elegía. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1974
Defectos escogidos. – Buenos Aires: Losada, 1974
Confieso que he vivido. – Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1974
Cartas a Laura. – Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispánica del Centro Iberoamericano de Cooperación, 1978
Para nacer he nacido. – Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1978
El río invisible: poesía y prosa de juventud. – Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1980
Cuadernos de Temuco: 1919-1920 / edición y prólogo de Víctor Farías. – Buenos Aires: Seix Barral, 1996
Yo acuso: discursos parlamentarios (1945-1948) / edición a cargo de Leonidas Aguirre Silva. – Bogotá: *Editorial Oveja Negra, 2002

Books of English translations of Neruda

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)
The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (City Lights, 2004) (translated by Robert Hass, Jack Hirschman, Mark Eisner, Forrest Gander, Stephen Mitchell, Stephen Kessler, and John Felstiner. Preface by Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

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Some Beasts

It was the twilight of the iguana:

From a rainbowing battlement,
a tongue like a javelin
lunging in verdure;
an ant heap treading the jungle,
monastic, on musical feet;
the guanaco, oxygen-fine
in the high places swarthed with distances,

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