15 facts about pablo neruda
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Born: 12 July 1904, Parral, Chile
Died: 23 September 1973, Santiago, Chile
Prize motivation: "for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams"
In 1943, Neruda returned to Chile, and in 1945 he was elected senator of the Republic, also joining the Communist Party of Chile. Due to his protests against President González Videla's repressive policy against striking miners in 1947, he had to live underground in his own country for two years until he managed to leave in 1949. After living in different European countries he returned home in 1952. A great deal of what he published during that period bears the stamp of his political activities; one example is Las Uvas y el Viento (1954), which can be regarded as the diary of Neruda's exile. In Odas elementales (1954- 1959) his message is expanded into a more extensive description of the world, where the objects of the hymns - things, events and relations - are duly presented in alphabetic form.
In 1939, Neruda was appointed consul for the Spanish emigration, residing in Paris, and, shortly afterwards, Consul General in Mexico, where he rewrote his Canto General de Chile, transforming it into an epic poem about the whole South American continent, its nature, its people and its historical destiny. This work, entitled Canto General, was published in Mexico 1950, and also underground in Chile. It consists of approximately 250 poems brought together into fifteen literary cycles and constitutes the central part of Neruda's production. Shortly after its publication, Canto General was translated into some ten languages. Nearly all these poems were created in a difficult situation, when Neruda was living abroad.
Between 1927 and 1935, the government put him in charge of a number of honorary consulships, which took him to Burma, Ceylon, Java, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, and Madrid. His poetic production during that difficult period included, among other works, the collection of esoteric surrealistic poems, Residencia en la tierra (1933), which marked his literary breakthrough.
Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), whose real name is Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, was born on 12 July, 1904, in the town of Parral in Chile. His father was a railway employee and his mother, who died shortly after his birth, a teacher. Some years later his father, who had then moved to the town of Temuco, remarried doña Trinidad Candia Malverde. The poet spent his childhood and youth in Temuco, where he also got to know Gabriela Mistral, head of the girls' secondary school, who took a liking to him. At the early age of thirteen he began to contribute some articles to the daily "La Mañana", among them, Entusiasmo y Perseverancia - his first publication - and his first poem. In 1920, he became a contributor to the literary journal "Selva Austral" under the pen name of Pablo Neruda, which he adopted in memory of the Czechoslovak poet Jan Neruda (1834-1891).
some of his poetry:
Residence on Earth (1962)
The Heights of Macchu Picchu (1966)
Twenty Poems (1967)
A New Decade: Poems, 1958-1967 (1969)
Pablo Neruda: The Early Poems (1969)
Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1969)
Selected Poems (1970)
Stones of the Sky (1970)
Neruda and Vallejo: Selected Poems (1971)
The Captain's Verses (1972)
New Poems, 1968-1970 (1972)
Splendor and Death of Joaquin Murieta (1972)
Five Decades: A Selection (Poems 1925-1970) (1974)
Fully Empowered: Plenos poderes (1975)
Pablo Neruda and Nicanor Parra Face to Face (1977)
Isla Negra: A Notebook (1980)
Passions and Impressions (1982)
Windows That Open Inward: Images of Chile (1984)
A Separate Rose (1985)
100 Love Sonnets (1986)
Winter Garden (1986)
The Stones of Chile (1987)
The House at Isla Negra (1988)
The Sea and the Bells (1988)
Late and Posthumous Poems, 1968-1974 (1989)
Selected Odes of Pablo Neruda (1990)
The Yellow Heart (1990)
The Book of Questions (1991)
Spain in the Heart: Hymn to the Glories of the People at War (1993)
Pablo Neruda: An Anthology of Odes (1994)
Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon : Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda (1998)
- Rosa Basoalto: Pablo's mother who worked as a school teacher before her untimely death two months after his birth.
- José del Carmen Reyes: Pablo's father who worked as a railway employee. Discouraged him from writing as he wanted his son to have a practical job.
-Trinidad Candia Marverde (stepmother): Married José after he and Pablo moved to Temuco, Chile.
-Maryka Antonieta Hagenaar Vogelzang: Pablo's first wife, a dutch woman he met in Java during diplomatic service.
-Delia del Carril: Pablo's second wife, an older Argentine woman.
-Malva Marina Trinidad: Pablo's daughter and only child, was born with Maryka, and unfortunately died due to health problems at the age of 9.
- Rodolfo and Luara (half brother/sister): Lived with Pablo in Temuco.
"No writer of world renown is perhaps so little known to North Americans as Chilean poet Pablo Neruda," observed New York Times Book Review critic Selden Rodman. Numerous critics have praised Neruda as the greatest poet writing in the Spanish language during his lifetime, although many readers in the United States have found it difficult to disassociate Neruda's poetry from his fervent commitment to communism. An added difficulty lies in the fact that Neruda's poetry is very hard to translate; his works available in English represent only a small portion of his total output. Nonetheless, declared John Leonard in the New York Times, Neruda "was, I think, one of the great ones, a Whitman of the South."
By the time he finished high school, Neruda had published in local papers and Santiago magazines, and had won several literary competitions. In 1921 he left southern Chile for Santiago to attend school, with the intention of becoming a French teacher but was an indifferent student. While in Santiago, Neruda completed one of his most critically acclaimed and original works, the cycle of love poems titled Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada—published in English translation as Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. This work quickly marked Neruda as an important Chilean poet.
"In Veinte poemas," reported David P. Gallagher in Modern Latin American Literature, "Neruda journeys across the sea symbolically in search of an ideal port. In 1927, he embarked on a real journey, when he sailed from Buenos Aires for Lisbon, ultimately bound for Rangoon where he had been appointed honorary Chilean consul." Duran and Safir explained that "Chile had a long tradition, like most Latin American countries, of sending her poets abroad as consuls or even, when they became famous, as ambassadors." The poet was not really qualified for such a post and was unprepared for the squalor, poverty, and loneliness to which the position would expose him. "Neruda travelled extensively in the Far East over the next few years," Gallagher continued, "and it was during this period that he wrote his first really splendid book of poems, Residencia en la tierra, a book ultimately published in two parts, in 1933 and 1935." Neruda added a third part, Tercera residencia, in 1947.
Residencia en la tierra also marked Neruda's emergence as an important international poet. By the time the second volume of the collection was published in 1935 the poet was serving as consul in Spain, where "for the first time," reported Duran and Safir, "he tasted international recognition, at the heart of the Spanish language and tradition. At the same time . . . poets like Rafael Alberti and Miguel Hernandez, who had become closely involved in radical politics and the Communist movement, helped politicize Neruda." When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, Neruda was among the first to espouse the Republican cause with the poem España en el corazon—a gesture that cost him his consular post. He later served in France and Mexico, where his politics caused less anxiety.
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