When presenting the legendary Chilean poet Pablo Neruda with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, Karl Ragnar Gierow of the Swedish Academy proclaimed, "Neruda is like catching a condor with a butterfly net. Neruda, in a nutshell, is an unreasonable proposition: the kernel bursts the shell."
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Also Known As:
Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto (real name)
Date of Birth:
July 12, 1904
Place of Birth:
Date of Death:
September 23, 1973
|Place of Death:
University of Chile, Santiago
International Peace Prize, 1950; Stalin Peace Prize, 1953; Lenin Peace Prize, 1953; Nobel Prize for Literature, 1971
|Neruda's Romantic Reflections|
|Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair|
Pablo Neruda, W. S. Merwin (Translator)
First published by Neruda at the tender age of 19 in 1924, this collection of love poems caused a scandal with its frank and intense sexuality. More of Neruda's love-themed poems appear in 100 Love Sonnets -- a bit less racy, but no less passionate and poignant.
100 Love Sonnets
|Neruda at the Movies|
|A memorable -- if fictional -- portrayal of Neruda on the silver screen came in the Oscar-winning 1994 Italian film Il Postino (The Postman). The film's story centers around a Neruda (Philippe Noiret) forced into exile and granted sanctuary by the Italian government. The uneducated Mario (Massimo Troisi) is appointed as Neruda's personal postman, and the two slowly form a poignant and improbable friendship. A tragic footnote: writer/co-director/star Troisi postponed heart surgery so he could complete the film; the day after filming was complete, he suffered a fatal heart attack.|
|Poetic Ponderings||A Master's Memoirs|
|The Book of Questions|
Pablo Neruda, William O'Daly (trans.)
A fascinating reflection of Neruda's desire to live the examined life, this groundbreaking collection of poems is composed entirely of 316 unanswerable questions about death, nature, and rebirth. Written in the last year of his life, it's a compelling combination of youthful wonder and adult experience.
Pablo Neruda, Hardie St. Martin (trans.)
In his poetry, Neruda addressed universal ideas, writing about love, nature, the beauty of one's homeland (in his case, Chile), and the human condition. In his memoirs, first published in Spain a few months after his death in 1973, Neruda expanded upon these themes to provide a full portrait of one of the great poets of our age.