Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto (12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973), better known by his pen name and, later, legal name Pablo Neruda (/nəˈruːdə/; Spanish: [ˈpaβlo neˈɾuða]), was a Chilean poet-diplomat and politician who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. Neruda became known as a poet when he was 13 years old, and wrote in a variety of styles, including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems such as the ones in his collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924).
Pablo Neruda was born Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto in the Chilean town of Parral in 1904. His father worked for the railroad, and his mother was a teacher who died shortly after his birth. At age 13, he began his literary career as a contributor to the daily La Mañana, where he published his first articles and poems. In 1920, he contributed to the literary journal Selva Austral under the pen name Pablo Neruda, which he assumed in honor of Czech poet Jan Neruda.
Some of Neruda's early poems are found in his first book, Crepusculario (Book of Twilight), published in 1923, and one of his most renowned works, Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair), was published the following year. Twenty Love Poems made Neruda a celebrity, and he thereafter devoted himself to verse.
In 1927, Neruda began his long diplomatic career (in the Latin American tradition of honoring poets with diplomatic posts), and he moved frequently around the world. In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began and Neruda chronicled the atrocities, including the execution of his friend Federico García Lorca, in his España en el corazón (Spain in Our Hearts).
Over the next 10 years, Neruda would leave and return to Chile several times. Along the way, he was named Chile's consul to Mexico and won election to the Chilean Senate. He would also begin to attract controversy, first with his praise of Joseph Stalin (in poems such as "Canto a Stalingrado" and "Nuevo canto de amor a Stalingrado") and later for his poetry honoring Fulgencio Batista ("Saludo a Batista") and Fidel Castro.
Always left-leaning, Neruda joined the Communist Party of Chile in 1945, but by 1948 the Communist Party was under siege, and Neruda fled the country with his family. In 1952, the Chilean government withdrew its order to seize leftist writers and political figures, and Neruda returned to Chile once again.
For the next 21 years, Pablo Neruda continued to write prodigiously, rising in the ranks of 20th century poets. (The collection of his complete works, which is continually being republished, filled 459 pages in 1951; by 1968 it amounted to 3,237 pages, in two volumes.) He also received numerous prestigious awards, including the International Peace Prize in 1950, the Lenin Peace Prize and the Stalin Peace Prize in 1953, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.
- Veinte Poems of Love and a Desperate Song.
- Tentative of the Infinite Man.
- The enthusiastic Slinger.
- The inhabitant and his Hope.
- Residence on Earth.
- Spain in the Heart.
- Nuevo Canto de Amor a Stalingrado.
- Tercera Residencia.
- General Song.
- The Verses of the Captain.
- All the Love.
- The Grapes and the Wind.
- Elemental Odes.
- New Elemental Odes.
- One Hundred Sonnets of Love.
- Song of Gesta.
- The Stones of the Sky.
- Stockholm’s Talk.
- The Separated Rose.
- Wake up from the Woodcutter.
- The sea and the Bells.
- The Yellow Heart.
- Winter Garden.
- I confess that I have lived.
- Book of Questions.
- The end of the Journey.
- “Love is so short and forgetting is so long.”
- “I like you when you keep quiet because you are absent.”
- “My nothing saves us from death, unless love saves us from life.” “In a kiss, You will know everything I have kept silent.”
- “Knowing the love of those we love is the fire that feeds life.”
- “For your heart, your chest is enough, for your freedom, my wings are enough.”