Born Neftal-Ricardo Reyes Basoalto in Southern Chile, Pablo Neruda led a life full of poetry and political activity. He published his first book, Crepusculario ('Twilight') in 1923; his second book published the following year Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desperada ('Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair') turned him into a celebrity.
In 1927 he began a long political career as a diplomat, serving as Chilean consul in numerous places, including Burma, Madrid, Mexico, and France. Elected to Chilean Senate in 1943 he was later expelled for being a Communist. He began a period of exile from Chile, returning in 1952. For the next twenty-one years, he continued a career that combined public and private concerns, and he became known as the people's poet. It was also during this period that he produced, what is considered to be his greatest love poems.
Numerous literary critics considered him the greatest poet writing in the Spanish language during his lifetime.
He was received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. It was said by the Nobel Prize Committee, that he was awarded the prize 'for poetry with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams'.
Tarn, Nathaniel. Pablo Neruda: selected poems, translated by Anthony Kerrigan, et al. London, Vintage Books, 2012. Preface.
On our shelves:
- The heights of Macchu Pichu
- Sonnet XVII - 'I do not love you as if you were a salt-rose, or topaz,
- Worek, Michael. 'Pablo Neruda.' Nobel: a century of prize winners. New York: Firefly Books, 2008, p.212.
- Plunkett, Felicity, 'Music of another mind: Pablo Neruda's 'lost' poems, scrawled on napkins, receipts, are worth the wait', The Australian, April 15-16, p. 22.
- eNotes: Pablo Neruda
- The Academy of American Poets - Pablo Neruda
- Biography of Pablo Neruda - Chilean Culture
- Here Pablo Neruda read his poetry in English for the first time, days before his Nobel Prize acceptance (1971) - (8:22) Open Culture: Poetry
- Poetry Foundation - Pablo Neruda
Other online resources:
- Nobel Prize for Literature (1971) - Pablo Neruda
- Pablo Neruda is finally going home - In November the Chilian government admitted for the first time the Nobel Laureate may have been assassinated
Criticism and interpretation:
- Lynn, Roa. 'Pablo Neruda wrote me a poem'. The New Yorker, July 6, 2016
- Maynard, Joyce. 'In Chile, where Pablo Neruda lived and loved.' New York Times: Travel. 16 December 2015
- Seminara, Dave. 'Chile through Pablo Neruda's eyes'. BBC Travel
- Neurda (2016) From the Internet Movie Database: An inspector hunts down Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, who becomes a fugitive in his home country in the late 1940s for joining the Communist Party.