Pablo Neruda

About Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto in Chile on July 12, 1904. He is said to be the greatest poet of his lifetime who wrote in Spanish.

Neruda started writing around the age of ten, and his first piece, Enthusiasm and Perseverance was published at the age of thirteen by a local newspaper, La Manana. His compilation of poems, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, was published in 1924. This work helped him become known as an important Chilean poet. With this success, Neruda ended his formal education to pursue his love of writing poetry.

In addition to writing, Neruda held various diplomatic posts starting in 1927. When he returned to Chile in 1943, he was elected to the Senate and became part of the Communist Party.

Communism was outlawed in Chile in 1948, and a warrant was issued for Neruda's arrest. Because of this, he lost his Senate seat and had to flee from the authorities. Despite having to hide, Neruda continued writing during this time and published Canto General (1950).

In 1952 he returned to Chile because there was no longer a threat of being arrested. It was during this time that he married his third and final wife.

Neruda received various awards during his lifetime:

  • International Peace Prize (1950)
  • Lenin Peace Prize (1953)
  • Stalin Peace Prize (1953)
  • Nobel Prize for Literature (1971)

Pablo Neruda died of leukemia in Santiago, Chile on September 23, 1973.

Interesting Facts about Pablo Neruda

  1. Neruda went to school to become a French teacher before dropping out and turning his attention to poetry.
  2. Some of his poetry has been difficult to translate out of its native Spanish.
  3. His family did not approve of him having a career as a poet, which is why he used the pseudonym Pablo Neruda, which he chose out of memory of the Czechoslovak poet Jan Neruda.
  4. He kept a framed picture of Walt Whitman on his table. Whitman was an inspiration for Neruda's own writing.
  5. Neruda's first wife could not speak Spanish.
  6. Neruda was known as the people's poet.
  7. Many of his poems showed a celebration of sexuality, which caused some controversy.
  8. His political views greatly influenced his poetry.
  9. The Chilean Communist party nominated Neruda for president in 1971.

References

    Poems by Pablo Neruda

  • Love Sonnet XI

    in Famous Love Poems

    I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
    Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
    Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
    I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

    More...

    Go To Poem Page

    • Stories 0
    • Shares 380
    • Favorited 1
    • Votes 36
    • Rating 4.19
  • Love

    in Famous Sad Love Poems

    Because of you, in gardens of blossoming
    Flowers I ache from the perfumes of spring.
    I have forgotten your face, I no longer
    Remember your hands; how did your lips

    More...

    Go To Poem Page

    • Stories 0
    • Shares 848
    • Favorited 12
    • Votes 118
    • Rating 4.31
  • A Dog Has Died

    in Famous Sad Poems

    My dog has died.
    I buried him in the garden
    next to a rusted old machine.

    More...

    Go To Poem Page

    • Stories 0
    • Shares 220
    • Favorited 3
    • Votes 51
    • Rating 4.08
  • Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines

    in Famous Sad Love Poems

    Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

    Write, for example, 'The night is shattered
    and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

    More...

    Go To Poem Page

    • Stories 3
    • Shares 3690
    • Favorited 29
    • Votes 439
    • Rating 4.46
    Featured Shared Story

    This poem reminded me of Ceara, whom I have recently fallen in love with. I was so out of my element by how I felt that I just blew it all to smithereens. I’m hurt but inspired because I had...

    Read complete story

    Share your story!

  • When I Die I Want Your Hands On My Eyes

    in Famous Love Poems

    When I die I want your hands on my eyes:
    I want the light and the wheat of your beloved hands
    to pass their freshness over me one more time
    to feel the smoothness that changed my destiny.

    More...

    Go To Poem Page

    • Stories 0
    • Shares 5156
    • Favorited 27
    • Votes 482
    • Rating 4.46
    • Poem of the Day
  • View All Poems by Pablo Neruda

Back to Top