Pablo Neruda



Pablo Neruda is buried in a plot on his estate at Isla Negra, Santiago, Chile. He was originally buried in Santiago's Cementerio General, but his remains were moved in 1992 after the restoration of democracy.

Grave of Pablo Neruda

Neruda, the son of a Chilean railwayman, was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto but assumed the surname of the Czech poet Jan Neruda.

His first volume of verse Crepusculario (1923) was self-published but the following year he found a publisher for his well known collection Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair).

As one of the leading young Chilean poets of his day, he was offered a position in the country's diplomatic service - a career which he followed until his death in 1973. He worked in many consulates throughout the world, and while in Buenos Aires began a friendship with the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. Following Lorca's murder during the Spanish Civil War, Neruda was inspired to write Espana en el corazon (1937).

In 1943 Neruda joined the Communist Party and was elected to the Chilean Senate. Five years later he was forced to flee the country on horseback when trouble flared up between the Communist Party and the government.

Pablo Neruda


He returned to Chile again in 1952 and married Matilde Urrutia, his third wife. (His first two marriages ended in divorce.)

He died on 23rd September 1973 - 12 days after the murder of his friend Salvador Allende in a coup. (In 1970 Neruda stood down for Allende in the presidential elections.) In 2013, Neruda's body was exhumed to discover whether he had been murdered by General Pinochet's regime.

Neruda was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.

Antigua noche y sal desordenada
golpean las paredes de mi casa:
sola es la sombra, el cielo
es ahora un latido del océano,
y cielo y sombra estallan
con fragor de combate desmedido:
toda la noche luchan
y nadie sabe el nombre
de la cruel claridad que se irá abriendo
como una torpe fruta:
así nace en la costa,
de la furiosa sombra, el alba dura,
mordida por la sal en movimiento,
barrida por el peso de la noche,
ensangrentada en su cráter marino.

La noche en Isla Negra (The Night in Isla Negra)

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