Pablo Neruda was the pen-name and, later, the legal name of the Chilean poet-diplomat and politician — Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto (12/07/1904 —- 23/09/1973). He derived his pen-name from the Czech poet —- Jan Neruda.
Neruda became known as a poet while he was still a teenager. He wrote in a variety of styles, including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography and erotically-charged love poems, such s the one in his collections —— Twenty Love Poems and a Song Of Despair (1924). He often wrote in ‘green ink’, which was his personal symbol for ‘desire’ and ‘hope’.
The Columbian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, once called Neruda, “the greatest poet of the 20th Century in any language.” Harold Bloom included Neruda as one of the 26 writers central to the” Western Tradition”, in his book The Western Cannon. Neruda’s love-poems are widely regarded as some of the most romantic poetry ever written.
On July 15, 1945, at Pacaembu Stadium, in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Neruda read to 100,000 people in honour of the Communist revolutionary leader —— Luis Carlos Prestes. During his lifetime, Neruda occupied many diplomatic positions and served a term as a Senator for the Chilean Communist Party. When President Gonzalez Vidala outlawed Communism in Chile in 1948, a warrant was issued for Neruda’s arrest. Friends hid him for months in the basement of a house ,in the port city of Valpparaiso. Later, Neruda escaped through a mountain pass near Maihue Lake into Argentina. ———- He owned three houses in Chile. Today, they are all open to the public as museums : La Chascona in Santiago ; La Sabastiana in Valparaiso and Casa de Isla Negra in Isla Negra.
(1) The books that helped you most are those that make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading, but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ‘ship of thought’ —- deep freighted with ‘truth’ and ‘beauty’.
(2) Love is so short ; forgetting is so slow.
(3) You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot stop spring from coming.
(4) And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us,
(5) A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who doesn’t play has lost forever the child who lived in him and who he will miss terribly.
(6) Peace goes into the making of a poem —- as flour goes into the making of bread.
(7) But from each crime are born bullets that will, one day, seek out, in you, where the heart lies.
(8) I grew up in this town. My poetry was born between the hill and river, it took its voice from the rain and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.