Pablo Neruda

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.


    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.

    Read Complete Poem

    • Stories 0
    • Shares 5305
    • Favorited 11
    • Votes 515
    • Rating 4.32
    • Poem of the Day
  • 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

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    • Stories 0
    • Shares 3811
    • Favorited 45
    • Votes 708
    • Rating 4.40
    • Poem of the Day
  • A Dog Has Died

    in Famous Friendship Poems

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

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    • Stories 0
    • Shares 397
    • Favorited 6
    • Votes 97
    • Rating 4.12
  • 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.'

    Read Complete Poem

    • Stories 7
    • Shares 9205
    • Favorited 73
    • Votes 1463
    • Rating 4.51
    • Poem of the Week
    Featured Shared Story

    The poem reminded me of my very true love, someone I dearly adored. Even when he's gone, I feel like the love for him can never end. How could it end? It's imprisoned me in its shackles, and...

    Read complete 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.

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    • Stories 1
    • Shares 12947
    • Favorited 64
    • Votes 1336
    • Rating 4.53
    • Poem of the Week
    • Poem of the Day
    Featured Shared Story

    While I feel the love that he has for his beloved, I find the last sentence of the last stanza of the poem physically difficult to read. It just feels awkward. It is very touching and...

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  • View All Poems by Pablo Neruda

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