Pablo Neruda

1904–1973
Pablo Neruda

“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.”

Born Ricardo Eliezer Neftali Reyes y Basoalto, Neruda adopted the pseudonym under which he would become famous while still in his early teens. He grew up in Temuco in the backwoods of southern Chile. Neruda’s literary development received assistance from unexpected sources. Among his teachers “was the poet Gabriela Mistral, who would be a Nobel laureate years before Neruda,” reported Manuel Duran and Margery Safir in Earth Tones: The Poetry of Pablo Neruda. “It is almost inconceivable that two such gifted poets should find each other in such an unlikely spot. Mistral recognized the young Neftali’s talent and encouraged it by giving the boy books and the support he lacked at home.”

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.

Veinte poemas also brought the author notoriety due to its explicit celebration of sexuality, and, as Robert Clemens remarked in the Saturday Review, “established him at the outset as a frank, sensuous spokesman for love.” While other Latin American poets of the time used sexually explicit imagery, Neruda was the first to win popular acceptance for his presentation. Mixing memories of his love affairs with memories of the wilderness of southern Chile, he creates a poetic sequence that not only describes a physical liaison, but also evokes the sense of displacement that Neruda felt in leaving the wilderness for the city. “Traditionally,” stated Rene de Costa in The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, “love poetry has equated woman with nature. Neruda took this established mode of comparison and raised it to a cosmic level, making woman into a veritable force of the universe.”

“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, published in English as Residence on Earth, is widely celebrated as containing “some of Neruda’s most extraordinary and powerful poetry,” according to de Costa. Born of the poet’s feelings of alienation, the work reflects a world which is largely chaotic and senseless, and which—in the first two volumes—offers no hope of understanding. De Costa quoted Spanish poet García Lorca as calling Neruda “a poet closer to death than to philosophy, closer to pain than to insight, closer to blood than to ink. A poet filled with mysterious voices that fortunately he himself does not know how to decipher.” With its emphasis on despair and the lack of adequate answers to mankind’s problems, Residencia en la tierra in some ways foreshadowed the post-World War II philosophy of existentialism. “Neruda himself came to regard it very harshly,” wrote Michael Wood in the New York Review of Books. “It helped people to die rather than to live, he said, and if he had the proper authority to do so he would ban it, and make sure it was never reprinted.”

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.

Communism rescued Neruda from the despair he expressed in the first parts of Residencia en la tierra, and led to a change in his approach to poetry. He came to believe “that the work of art and the statement of thought—when these are responsible human actions, rooted in human need—are inseparable from historical and political context,” reported Salvatore Bizzarro in Pablo Neruda: All Poets the Poet. “He argued that there are books which are important at a certain moment in history, but once these books have resolved the problems they deal with they carry in them their own oblivion. Neruda felt that the belief that one could write solely for eternity was romantic posturing.” This new attitude led the poet in new directions; for many years his work, both poetry and prose, advocated an active role in social change rather than simply describing his feelings, as his earlier oeuvre had done.

This significant shift in Neruda’s poetry is recognizable in Tercera residencia, the third and final part of the “Residencia” series. Florence L. Yudin noted in Hispania that the poetry of this volume was overlooked when published and remains neglected due to its overt ideological content. “Viewed as a whole,” Yudin wrote, “Tercera residencia illustrates a fluid coherence of innovation with retrospective, creativity with continuity, that would characterize Neruda’s entire career.” According to de Costa, as quoted by Yudin, “The new posture assumed is that of a radical nonconformist. Terra residencia must, therefore, be considered in this light, from the dual perspective of art and society, poetry and politics.”

“Las Furias y las penas,” the longest poem of Tercera residencia, embodies the influence of both the Spanish Civil War and the works of Spanish Baroque poet Francisco Gomez de Quevedo y Villegas on Neruda. The poem explores the psychic agony of lost love and its accompanying guilt and suffering, conjured in the imagery of savage eroticism, alienation, and loss of self-identity. Neruda’s message, according to Yudin, is that “what makes up life’s narrative (‘cuento’) are single, unconnected events, governed by chance, and meaningless (‘suceden’). Man is out of control, like someone hallucinating one-night stands in sordid places.” Yudin concluded that, “Despite its failed dialectic, ‘Las Furias y las penas’ sustains a haunting beauty in meaning and tone” and “bears the unmistakable signature of Neruda’s originality and achievement.”

While some critics have felt that Neruda’s devotion to Communist dogma was at times extreme, others recognize the important impact his politics had on his poetry. Clayton Eshleman wrote in the introduction to Cesar Vallejo’s Poemas humanos/ Human Poems that “Neruda found in the third book of Residencia the key to becoming the twentieth-century South American poet: the revolutionary stance which always changes with the tides of time.” Gordon Brotherton, in Latin American Poetry: Origins and Presence, expanded on this idea by noting that “Neruda, so prolific, can be lax, a ‘great bad poet’ (to use the phrase Juan Ramon Jimenez used to revenge himself on Neruda). And his change of stance ‘with the tides of time’ may not always be perfectly effected. But . . . his dramatic and rhetorical skills, better his ability to speak out of his circumstances, . . . was consummate. In his best poetry (of which there is much) he speaks on a scale and with an agility unrivaled in Latin America.”

Neruda expanded on his political views in the poem Canto general, which, according to de Costa, is a “lengthy epic on man’s struggle for justice in the New World.” Although Neruda had begun the poem as early as 1935—when he had intended it to be limited in scope only to Chile—he completed some of the work while serving in the Chilean senate as a representative of the Communist Party. However, party leaders recognized that the poet needed time to work on his opus, and granted him a leave of absence in 1947. Later that year, however, Neruda returned to political activism, writing letters in support of striking workers and criticizing Chilean President Videla. Early in 1948 the Chilean Supreme Court issued an order for his arrest, and Neruda finished the Canto general while hiding from Videla’s forces.

Canto general is the flowering of Neruda’s new political stance,” Don Bogen asserted in the Nation. “For Neruda food and other pleasures are our birthright—not as gifts from the earth or heaven but as the products of human labor.” According to Bogen, Canto general draws its “strength from a commitment to nameless workers—the men of the salt mines, the builders of Macchu Picchu—and the fundamental value of their labor. This is all very Old Left, of course.” Commenting on Canto general in Books Abroad, Jaime Alazraki remarked, “Neruda is not merely chronicling historical events. The poet is always present throughout the book not only because he describes those events, interpreting them according to a definite outlook on history, but also because the epic of the continent intertwines with his own epic.”

Although, as Bizzarro noted, “In [the Canto general], Neruda was to reflect some of the [Communist] party’s basic ideological tenets,” the work itself transcends propaganda. Looking back into American prehistory, the poet examined the land’s rich natural heritage and described the long defeat of the native Americans by the Europeans. Instead of rehashing Marxist dogma, however, he concentrated on elements of people’s lives common to all people at all times. Nancy Willard wrote in Testimony of the Invisible Man, “Neruda makes it clear that our most intense experience of impermanence is not death but our own isolation among the living. . . . If Neruda is intolerant of despair, it is because he wants nothing to sully man’s residence on earth.”

“In the Canto,” explained Duran and Safir, “Neruda reached his peak as a public poet. He produced an ideological work that largely transcended contemporary events and became an epic of an entire continent and its people.” According to Alazraki, “By bringing together his own odyssey and the drama of the continent, Neruda has simultaneously given to Canto general the quality of a lyric and an epic poem. The lives of conquistadors, martyrs, heroes, and just plain people recover a refreshing actuality because they become part of the poet’s fate, and conversely, the life of the poet gains new depth because in his search one recognizes the continent’s struggles. Canto general is, thus, the song of a continent as much as it is Neruda’s own song.”

Neruda returned to Chile from exile in 1953, and, said Duran and Safir, spent the last twenty years of his life producing “some of the finest love poetry in One Hundred Love Sonnets and parts of Extravagaria and La Barcarola; he produced Nature poetry that continued the movement toward close examination, almost still shots of every aspect of the external world, in the odes of Navegaciones y regresos, in The Stones of Chile, in The Art of Birds, in Una Casa en la arena and in Stones of the Sky. He continued as well his role as public poet in Canción de geste, in parts of Cantos ceremoniales, in the mythical La Espada encendida, and the angry Incitement to Nixonicide and Praise for the Chilean Revolution.

At this time, Neruda’s work began to move away from the highly political stance it had taken during the 1930s. Instead of concentrating on politicizing the common folk, Neruda began to try to speak to them simply and clearly, on a level that each could understand. He wrote poems on subjects ranging from rain to feet. By examining common, ordinary, everyday things very closely, according to Duran and Safir, Neruda gives us “time to examine a particular plant, a stone, a flower, a bird, an aspect of modern life, at leisure. We look at the object, handle it, turn it around, all the sides are examined with love, care, attention. This is, in many ways, Neruda . . . at his best.”

In 1971 Neruda reached the peak of his political career when the Chilean Communist party nominated him for president. He withdrew his nomination, however, when he reached an accord with Socialist nominee Salvador Allende. After Allende won the election he reactivated Neruda’s diplomatic credentials, appointing the poet ambassador to France. It was while Neruda was serving in Paris that he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, in recognition of his oeuvre. Poor health soon forced the poet to resign his post, however, and he returned to Chile, where he died in 1973—only days after a right-wing military coup killed Allende and seized power. Many of his last poems, some published posthumously, indicate his awareness of his death’s approach. As Fernando Alegria wrote in Modern Poetry Studies, “What I want to emphasize is something very simple: Neruda was, above all, a love poet and, more than anyone, an unwavering, powerful, joyous, conqueror of death.”

Commenting on Passions and Impressions, a posthumous collection of Neruda’s prose poems, political and literary essays, lectures, and newspaper articles, Mark Abley wrote in Maclean’s, “No matter what occasion provoked these pieces, his rich, tireless voice echoes with inimitable force.” As Neruda eschewed literary criticism, many critics found in him a lack of rationalism. According to Neruda, “It was through metaphor, not rational analysis and argument, that the mysteries of the world could be revealed,” remarked Stephen Dobyns in the Washington Post. However, Dobyns noted that Passions and Impressions “shows Neruda both at his most metaphorical and his most rational. . . . What one comes to realize from these prose pieces is how conscious and astute were Neruda’s esthetic choices. In retrospect at least his rejection of the path of the maestro, the critic, the rationalist was carefully calculated.” In his speech upon receiving the Nobel Prize, Neruda noted that “there arises an insight which the poet must learn through other people. There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are.”

In 2003, thirty years after Neruda’s death, an anthology of 600 of Neruda’s poems arranged chronologically was published as The Poetry of Pablo Neruda. The anthology draws from thirty-six different translators, and some of his major works are also presented in their original Spanish. Writing in the New Leader, Phoebe Pettingell pointed out that, although some works were left out because of the difficulty in presenting them properly in English, “an overwhelming body of Neruda’s output is here . . . and the collection certainly presents a remarkable array of subjects and styles.” Reflecting on the life and work of Neruda in the New Yorker, Mark Strand commented, “There is something about Neruda—about the way he glorifies experience, about the spontaneity and directness of his passion—that sets him apart from other poets. It is hard not to be swept away by the urgency of his language, and that’s especially so when he seems swept away.”



Career

Writer. Chilean consul to Rangoon, Burma, 1927, Colombo, Ceylon, 1929, and Batavia, Java, 1930, consul to Buenos Aires, Siam, Cambodia, Anam, and Madrid, early 1930s, and Mexico, 1941-44; elected to Chilean senate as Communist, 1945; self-exiled in Mexico, 1948-53; nominated for president on Chilean Communist Party ticket, 1970; Chilean ambassador to France, 1971-72. Founder and editor (with Manuel Altolaguirre) of El Caballo verde para la poesía (poetry periodical), 1935-36, and Aurora de Chile, 1938. Member of World Peace Council, 1950-73.

Bibliography

  • La Canción de la fiesta (poetry), Federacion de Estudiantes de Chile (Santiago, Chile), 1921.
  • Crepusculario (poetry), Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1923, 4th edition, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1971.
  • Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada, Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1924, definitive edition, 1932, 16th edition, Losada (Buenos Aires, Aregentina), 1972, translation by W. S. Merwin published as Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, J. Cape (London, England), 1969, reprinted, Penguin (New York, NY), 2004.
  • El Habitante y su esperanza (prose; also see below), Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1925, 2nd edition, Ercilla (Santiago, Chile), 1939.
  • (With Tomas Lago) Anillos (prose poems; also see below), Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1926.
  • Tentativa del hombre infinito (poem; also see below), Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1926, new edition, Orbe (Santiago, Chile), 1964.
  • Prosas de Pablo Neruda (prose), Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1926.
  • El Hondero entusiasta, 1923-1924 (poetry; also see below), Ercilla (Santiago, Chile), 1933, 3rd edition, 1938.
  • Residencia en la tierra (poetry and prose), Arbol (Madrid, Spain), Volume I (1925-31), 1933, Volume II (1931-35), 1935, published in one volume, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1944, 3rd edition, 1969, portions translated by Angel Flores as Selected Poems, privately printed, 1944, Volumes I and II translated by Flores as Residence on Earth and Other Poems, New Directions (New York, NY), 1946, revised edition, translated by Donald D. Walsh, 2004.
  • Poesías de Yillamediana presentadas por Pablo Neruda, Cruz y Raya (Madrid, Spain), 1935.
  • Homenaje a Pablo Neruda de los poetas españoles: Tres cantos materiales (poetry), Plutarco (Madrid, Spain), 1935, translation by Angel Flores published as Tres cantos materiales: Three Material Songs, East River Editions (New York, NY), 1948.
  • Sonetos de la muerte de Quevedo, presentados por Pablo Neruda, Cruz y Raya (Madrid, Spain), 1935.
  • España en el corazon: Himno a las glorias del pueblo en la guerra (poetry; first printed by Spanish Republican soldiers on the battlefront; also see below), Ercilla (Santiago, Chile), 1937, 2nd edition, 1938, translation by Richard Schaaf published as Spain in the Heart: Hymn to the Glories of the People at War, Azul Editions (Paris, France), 1993.
  • Las Furias y las penas (poetry), Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1939.
  • (With Emilio Oribe and Juan Marinello) Neruda entre nosotros (prose), A.I.A.P.E. (Montevideo, Uruguay), 1939.
  • Homenaje a García Lorca (prose), A.I.A.P.E. (Montevideo, Uruguay), 1939.
  • Chile os acoge (prose), [Paris, France], 1939.
  • Un Canto para Bolivar (poetry), Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (Mexico City, Mexico), 1941.
  • (Contributor of poetry) Presencia de García Lorca, Darro (Mexico), 1943.
  • Nuevo canto de amor a Stalingrado (poem), Comité de ayuda a Rusia en guerra (Mexico), 1943.
  • Canto general de Chile (poem), privately printed, 1943, portions published as El Mal y el malo, P. Alcantara y V. Amaya (Peterborough, NH), 1974.
  • Cantos de Pablo Neruda (poetry), Hora del Hombre (Lima, Peru), 1943.
  • Cantico, La Gran Colombia (Bogota, Colombia), 1943.
  • Pablo Neruda: Sus mejores versos, La Grand Colombia (Bogota, Colombia), 1943.
  • Saludo al norte y Stalingrado, privately printed, 1945.
  • Carta a México, Fondo de Cultura Popular (Mexico City, Mexico), 1947.
  • Tercera residencia, 1935-1945 (poetry; includes España en el corazon), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1947, 5th edition, 1971.
  • Viajes al corazon de Quevedo y por las costas del mundo (prose), Sociedad de Escritores de Chile (Santiago, Chile), 1947.
  • 28 de Enero, Partido Comunista de Chile (Chile), 1947.
  • Los Heroes de carcon encarnan los ideales de democracia e independencia nacional, El Tranviario (Santiago, Chile), 1947.
  • La Verdad sobre las ruputuras (prose), Principios (Santiago, Chile), 1947.
  • La Crisis democratica de Chile, Hora del Hombre (Lima, Peru), 1947, translation published as The Democratic Crisis of Chile, Committee for Friendship in the Americas (New York, NY), 1948.
  • Dura elegia, Cruz del Sur (Santiago, Chile), 1948.
  • Himno y regreso, Cruz del Sur (Santiago, Chile), 1948.
  • Que despierte el leñador! (poetry), Coleccion Yagruma (Havanna, Cuba), 1948, translation published as Peace for Twilights to Come!, Jayant Bhatt for People's Publishing House (Bombay, India), 1950.
  • Alturas de Macchu-Picchu (poetry), Libreria Neira (Santiago, Chile), 1948, definitive edition, Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1954, translation by Nathaniel Tarn published as The Heights of Macchu Picchu, J. Cape (London, England), 1966, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1967.
  • Coral de año nuevo para mi patria en tinieblas, privately printed, 1948.
  • Pablo Neruda acusa, Pueblos Unidos (Montevideo, Uruguay), 1948.
  • Y ha llegado el monento en que debemos elegir, privately printed, 1949.
  • Gonzalez Videla, el laval de America Latina: Breve biografia de un traidor, Fondo de Cultura Popular (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1949.
  • Dulce patria, Pacifico (Santiago, Chile), 1949.
  • Neruda en Guatemala (prose), Saker-Ti (Guatemala), 1950.
  • Patria prisionera, Hora del Hombre (Lima, Peru), 1951.
  • A la memoria de Ricardo Fonseca, Amistad (Santiago, Chile), 1951.
  • Cuando de Chile, Austral (Santiago, Chile), 1952.
  • Poemas, Fundamentos (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1952.
  • Los Versos del capitán: Poemas de amor (anonymously published until 3rd edition, 1963), privately printed (Naples, Italy), 1952, 7th edition, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1972, translation by Donald D. Walsh published as The Captain's Verses, New Directions (New York, NY), 1972, reprinted, 2004.
  • Todo el amor (poetry), Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1953.
  • En su muerte, Partido Comunista Argentino (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1953.
  • Poesía politica: Discursos politicos, two volumes, Austral (Santiago, Chile), 1953.
  • Las Uvas y el viento (poetry), Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1954.
  • Odas elementales (first volume of "Elementary Odes"; also see below), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1954, 3rd edition, 1970.
  • Discurso inauguracion fundación Pablo Neruda, Universidad de Chile (Santiago, Chile), 1954.
  • Alli murio la muerte, Centro de Amigos de Polonia (Santiago, Chile), 1954.
  • Regreso la sirena (poetry), Centro de Amigos de Polonia, 1954.
  • Viaies (prose), Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1955.
  • Nuevas odas elementales (second volume of "Elementary Odes"; also see below), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1956, 3rd edition, 1971.
  • Oda a la tipografía (poetry), Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1956.
  • Dos odas elementales, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1957.
  • Estravagario (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1958, 3rd edition, 1971, translation by Alastair Reid published as Extravagaria, J. Cape (London, England), 1972, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1974.
  • Tercer libro de las odas (third volume of "Elementary Odes"), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1959.
  • Algunas odas (poetry), Edicion del 55 (Santiago, Chile), 1959.
  • Cien sonetos de amor (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1959, 6th edition, 1971, translation by Stephen J. Tapscott published as One Hundred Love Sonnets, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1986.
  • Odas: Al libro, a las Americas, a la luz (poetry), Homenaje de la Asociacion de Escritores Venezolanos (Caracas, Venezuela), 1959.
  • Todo lleva tu nombre (poetry), Ministerio de Educacion (Caracas, Venezuela), 1959.
  • Navegaciones y regresos (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1959.
  • (With Federico García Lorca) Discurso al Alimon sobre Ruben Dario, Semana Dariana (Nicaragua), 1959.
  • (With Pablo Picasso) Toros: 15 lavis inedits, Au Vent d'Arles (Paris, France), 1960.
  • Canción de gesta (poetry), Imprenta Nacional de Cuba (Havana, Cuba), 1960, 3rd edition, Siglo (Montevideo, Uruguay), 1968.
  • Oceana (poem), La Tertulia (Havana, Cuba), 1960, 2nd edition, 1962.
  • Los Primeros versos de amor (poetry), Austral (Santiago, Chile), 1961.
  • Las Piedras de Chile (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1961, translation by Dennis Maloney published as The Stones of Chile, White Pine (Buffalo, NY), 1987.
  • Primer dia de la Sebastiana, privately printed, 1961.
  • Cantos ceremoniales (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1961, 2nd edition 1972, published as Ceremonial Songs, Latin American Literary Review (Pittsburgh, PA), 1996.
  • Plenos poderes (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1962, 2nd edition, 1971, translation by Alastair Reid published as Fully Empowered: Plenos poderes, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1975, reprinted, New Directions (New York, NY), 1995.
  • (With Mario Toral) Poema con grabado (poetry), Isla Negra (Santiago, Chile), 1962.
  • La Insepulta de Paita (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1962.
  • Con los catolicos hacía la paz, [Santiago, Chile], 1962, published as Cuba: Los Obispos, Paz y Soberania (Lima, Peru), 1962.
  • (With Nicanor Parra) Discursos (prose), Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1962.
  • Mensaje de paz y unidad, Internacionalismo proletario, [and] El poeta de la revolucion (addresses), Esclarecimiento (Lima, Peru), 1963.
  • (With Gustavo Hernan and Guillermo Atias) Presencia de Ramon Lopez Yelarde en Chile, Universitaria (Santiago, Chile), 1963.
  • Memorial de Isla Negra (poetry), Volume 1: Donde nace la lluvia, Volume 2: La Luna en el laberinto, Volume 3: El Fuego cruél, Volume 4: El Cazador de raices, Volume 5: Sonata critica, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1964, translation by Alastair Reid published as Isla Negra: A Notebook, bilingual edition, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1980.
  • Arte de párjaros, Sociedad de Amigos del Arte Contemporaneo (Santiago, Chile), 1966, translation by Jack Schmitt published as The Art of Birds, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1985.
  • Una Casa en la arena (poetry and prose), Lumen (Barcelona, Spain), 1966, 2nd edition, 1969.
  • La Barcarola (poem), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1967.
  • Fulgor y muerte de Joaquin Murieta: Bandido chileno injusticiado en California el 23 de julio de 1853 (play), Zig-Zag (Santiago, Chile), 1967, translation by Ben Belitt published as Splendor and Death of Joaquin Murieta, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1972.
  • (With Miguel Angel Asturias) Comiendo en Hungria (poetry and prose), Lumen (Barcelona, Spain), 1968.
  • Las Manos del dia (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1968, 2nd edition, 1970.
  • Aún: Poema, Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1969.
  • Fin de mundo (poem), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1969.
  • La Copa de sangre (poetry and prose), privately printed, 1969.
  • La Espada encendida, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1970, 2nd edition, 1972.
  • Las Piedras del cielo, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1970, translation by James Nolan published as Stones of the Sky, Copper Canyon Press (Port Townsend, WA), 1987.
  • Discurso pronunciado con occasion de la entrega del premio Nobel de literatura, 1971, Centre de recherches hispaniques (Paris, France), 1972, translation published as Toward the Splendid City: Nobel Lecture, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1974.
  • Cantos de amor y de combate (poetry), Austral (Santiago, Chile), 1971.
  • Geografia infructuosa (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1972.
  • Cuatros poemas escritos en Francia, Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1972.
  • Libro de las odas, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1972.
  • El Mar y las campanas: Poemas, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1973, translation by William O'Daly published as The Sea and the Bells, Copper Canyon Press (Port Townsend, WA), 1988.
  • La Rosa separada (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1973, translation by William O'Daly as A Separate Rose, Copper Canyon Press (Port Townsend, WA), 1985.
  • El Corazon amarillo (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1974, translation by William O'Daly published as The Yellow Heart, Copper Canyon Press (Port Townsend, WA), 1990.
  • Elegia (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1974, published as Elegia: Obra postuma, Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1976.
  • Incitacion al Nixonicidio y alabanza de la revolucion chilena (poetry), Grijalbo (Barcelona, Spain), 1974, translation by Steve Kowit published as Incitement to Nixonicide and Praise for the Chilean Revolution, Quixote (Houston, TX), 1974, 2nd edition, 1980.
  • Defectos escogidos (poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1974.
  • Oda a la lagartija (poem), P. R. Martorell (Camp Rico de Canovanas, Puerto Rico), 1974.
  • Jardin de invierno, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1974, published as Jardin de invierno: Obras postuma, Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1977, translation by William O'Daly published as Winter Garden, Copper Canyon Press (Port Townsend, WA), 1986.
  • Libro de las preguntas, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1974, translation by William O'Daly published as The Book of Questions, Copper Canyon Press (Port Townsend, WA), 1991.
  • Cartas de amor de Pablo Neruda (correspondence), compiled by Sergio Lorrain, Rodas (Madrid, Spain), 1974.
  • Confieso que he vivido: Memorias, Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1974, translation by Hardie St. Martin published as Memoirs, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1977.

OMNIBUS VOLUMES

  • Seleccion (poetry), compiled by Arturo Aldunate, Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1943.
  • 1947-1948 Coleccion residencia en la tierra: Obra poética, ten volumes, Cruz del Sur (Santiago, Chile).
  • Canto general (poetry), Comite Auspiciador (Mexico), 1950, 5th edition in two volumes, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1971.
  • Poesías completas, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1951.
  • Los Versos mas populares (poetry), Austral (Santiago, Chile), 1954.
  • Los Mejores versos de Pablo Neruda (poetry), [Buenos Aires], 1956.
  • Obras completas, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1957, 3rd edition published in two volumes, 1968.
  • El Habitante y su esperanza, El hondero entusiasta, Tentativa del hombre infinito, [and] Anillos, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1957, 4th edition, 1971.
  • Antología, Nascimento (Santiago, Chile), 1957, 4th enlarged edition, 1970.
  • The Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda, edited and translated by Ben Belitt, Grove (New York, NY), 1961.
  • Poesías, selected by Roberto Retamar, Casa de las Americas (Havana, Cuba), 1965.
  • Antología esencial, selected by Hernan Loyola, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1971.
  • Poemas immortales, selected by Jaime Concha, Quimantu (Santiago, Chile), 1971.
  • Obras escogidas (poetry), selected by Francisco Coloane, A. Bello (Santiago, Chile), 1972.
  • Antología popular 1972, [Santiago, Chile], 1972.
  • Pablo Neruda (includes poems, Nobel prize acceptance speech, interview, and chronologies), Noroeste (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1973.
  • Poesía, two volumes, Noguer (Barcelona, Spain), 1974.
  • Neruda's Garden: An Anthology of Odes, Latin American Literary Review (Pittsburgh, PA), 1995.
  • Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon: Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda, translated by Stephen Mitchell, Harper (New York, NY), 1997.
  • The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems, edited by Mark Eisner, translation by Forrest Gander, City Light Books (San Francisco, CA), 2004.

OTHER ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS

  • Let the Splitter Awake and Other Poems (selected from Que despierte el leñador!, and Canto général; also see below), translated by Waldeen, Masses & Mainstream (New York, NY), 1950, reprinted, International Publishing (New York, NY, 1989, portions published as Let the Rail-Splitter Awake, 1951.
  • Twenty Love Poems: A Disdaining Song, translated by W. S. Merwin, Grossman (New York, NY), 1961.
  • Elementary Odes, translated by Carlos Lozano, G. Massa (New York, NY), 1961.
  • Bestiary/Bestiario: A Poem, translated by Elsa Neuberger, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1965.
  • Nocturnal Collection: A Poem, translated by Angel Flores, [Madison, WI], 1966.
  • We Are Many (poem), translated by Alastair Reid, Cape Goliard Press, 1967, Grossman (New York, NY), 1968.
  • Twenty Poems (selected from Residencia en la tierra, Canto général, and Odas elementales), translated by James Wright and Robert Bly, Sixties Press (Madison, WI), 1967.
  • Ben Belitt, editor, A New Decade: Poems, 1958-1967, translated by Belitt and Alastair Reid, Grove (New York, NY), 1969.
  • Pablo Neruda: The Early Poems, translated by David Ossman and Carlos B. Hagen, New Rivers Press (New York, NY), 1969.
  • Nathaniel Tarn, editor, Selected Poems, translated by Anthony Kerrigan and others, J. Cape (London, England), 1970, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1972.
  • New Poems, 1968-1970, edited and translated by Ben Belitt, Grove (New York, NY), 1972.
  • Residence on Earth (includes Residencia en la tierra, Volumes I and II, and Tercera residencia), translated by Donald D. Walsh, New Directions (New York, NY), 1973.
  • Five Decades: A Selection (Poems 1925-1970), edited and translated by Ben Belitt, Grove (New York, NY), 1974.
  • Passions and Impressions, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1982.
  • Windows That Open Inward: Images of Chile, translated by Alastair Reid and others, White Pine (Buffalo, NY), 1984.
  • Still Another Day, translated by William O'Daly, Copper Canyon Press (Port Townsend, WA), 1984.
  • The House at Isla Negra, translated by Dennis Maloney and Clark Zlotchew, White Pine (Buffalo, NY), 1988.
  • Late and Posthumous Poems, 1968-1974, edited and translated by Ben Belitt, Grove (New York, NY), 1989.
  • Selected Odes of Pablo Neruda, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1990.
  • 2000, translated by Schaaf, Azul Editions (Paris, France), 1993.
  • Seaquake-Maremoto, translated by Dennis Maloney and Maria Giacchetti, White Pine (Buffalo, NY), 1993.
  • Pablo Neruda: An Anthology of Odes, edited by Yvette E. Miller, translated by Maria Giacchetti, Latin American Literary Review Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1994.
  • Ferris Cook, editor, Odes to Common Things, translated by Ken Krabbenhoft, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1994.
  • Ferris Cook, editor, Odes to Opposites, translated by Ken Krabbenhoft, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1995.
  • En el corazón de un poeta (selección), introduction and notes by Esteban Llorach Ramos, Gente Nueva (Havana, Cuba), 1999.
  • Prólogos, Sudamericana (Santiago, Chile), 2000.
  • Oda a las flores de Datitla, (reproductions of pages of leaves and wildflowers, pressed and arranged by Matilde Neruda with handwritten verses by author), Sintesys (Santiago, Chile), c. 2002.
  • The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, edited and with an introduction by Ilan Stavans, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2003.
  • On the Blue Shore of Silence : Poems of the Sea/ A la orilla azul del silencio, translations by Alastair Reid, paintings by Mary Heebner, Rayo (New York, NY), 2004.

OTHER

  • (Translator into Spanish) William Blake, Visiones de las hijas de Albion y el viajero mental, Cruz y Raya (Madrid, Spain), 1935.
  • (Translator into Spanish) William Shakespeare, Romeo y Julieta, Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1964.
  • (Translator into Spanish) Cuarenta y cuatro (Rumanian poetry), Losada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1967.
  • Pablo Neruda and Nicanor Parra Face to Face (speeches), E. Mellen Press (Lewsiton, NY), 1997.
  • Neruda at Isla Negra (prose poems), translations by Dennis Maloney and Clark M. Zlotchew, photographs by Milton Rogovin, foreword by Marjorie Agosin, afterword by Ariel Dorfman, White Pines Press (Freedonia, NY), 1998.
  • Pablo Neruda en Breve (poems), prologue by Nelson Osorio T., Universidad de Santiago (Santiago, Chile), 2001.

Also author of Cartas de amor, edited by Sergio Larrain, 1974; Cartas a Laura, edited by Hugo Montes, 1978; Para nacer he nacido, 1980; (with Hector Eandi) Correspondancia, edited by Margarita Aguirre, 1980; and Poemas, Horizonte. Also editor and translator of Paginas escogidas de Anatole France, 1924. Work represented in anthologies, including Anthology of Contemporary Latin American Poetry, edited by Dudley Fitts, New Directions (New York, NY), 1942; and Modern European Poetry, edited by Willis Barnstone, Bantam (New York, NY), 1966. Contributor to books, including Neruda and Vallejo: Selected Poems, compiled by Robert Bly, translated by Bly and others, Beacon Press (Boston, MA), 1971; For Neruda, for Chile: An International Anthology, edited by Walter Lowenfels, Beacon Press, 1975; Three Spanish American Poets: Pellicer, Neruda, Andrade, edited by Lloyd Mallan, translated by Mary Wicker, Gordon Press (New York, NY), 1977; and Macchu Picchu, photographs by Barry Brukoff, translated by Stephen Kessler, prologue by Isabel Allende, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2001. Contributor of poems and articles to periodicals, including Selva austral, Poetry, Nation, Commonweal, Canadian Forum, and California Quarterly.

Further Reading

BOOKS

  • Benson, Rachel, translator, Nine Latin American Poets, Las Americas, 1968.
  • Bizzarro, Salvatore, Pablo Neruda: All Poets the Poet, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1979.
  • Bloom, Harold, editor, Pablo Neruda, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1989.
  • Brotherton, Gordon, Latin American Poetry: Origins and Presence, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, NY), 1975.
  • Burnshaw, Stanley, editor, The Poem Itself, Holt (New York, NY), 1960.
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 1, 1973, Volume 2, 1974, Volume 5, 1976, Volume 7, 1977, Volume 9, 1978, Volume 28, 1984.
  • de Costa, Rene, The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1979.
  • Duran, Manuel, and Margery Safir, Earth Tones: The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1981.
  • Gallagher, David P., Modern Latin American Literature, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1973.
  • García Lorca, Federico, Obras completas, Aguilar, 1964.
  • Neruda, Pablo, Confieso que he vivado: Memorias, Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1974, translation by Hardie St. Martin published as Memoirs, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1977.
  • Neruda, Pablo, Poemas humanos/ Human Poems, translated by Clayton Eschelman, Grove (New York, NY), 1969.
  • Reiss, Frank, The Word and the Stone: Language and Imagery in Neruda's "Canto général," Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1972.
  • Santi, Enrico-Mario, Pablo Neruda: The Poetics of Prophecy, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1982.
  • Willard, Nancy, Testimony of the Invisible Man: William Carlos Williams, Francis Ponge, Rainer Maria Rilke, Pablo Neruda, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1970.

PERIODICALS

  • Americas, March-April, 1991; September-October, 1991; September-October, 1992; July-August, 1995, p. 60.
  • Booklist, July, 2003, review of The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, p. 1858.
  • Books, June, 1966.
  • Books Abroad, winter, 1972, p. 49.
  • Book Week, May 28, 1967.
  • Encounter, September, 1965.
  • English Journal, September, 1987.
  • Evergreen Review, December, 1966.
  • Forum for Modern Language Studies, January, 1988.
  • Hispania, March, 1985, p. 55.
  • International Wildlife, May-June, 1987.
  • Library Journal, June 1, 2003, Jack Shreve, review of The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, p. 126.
  • Maclean's, February 7, 1983, p. 50.
  • Modern Poetry Studies, spring, 1974.
  • Nation, July 1, 1966; January 27, 1992, p. 95.
  • New Leader, July 3, 1967; July-August, 2003, Phoebe Pettingell, review of The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, p. 29.
  • New Statesman, June 4, 1965.
  • New Yorker, September 8, 2003, Mark Strand, "The Ecstasist," p. 091.
  • New York Review of Books, October 3, 1974; March 21, 1996, p. 16.
  • New York Times, June 18, 1966; August 1, 1966; March 4, 1977.
  • New York Times Book Review, July 10, 1966; May 21, 1967.
  • Poetry, June, 1947; February, 1963; October, 1967; June, 1968.
  • Publishers Weekly, October 23, 1995, p. 65.
  • Ramparts, September, 1974.
  • Saturday Review, July 9, 1966; November 13, 1971.
  • Washington Post, February 27, 1983, p. 4.

ONLINE

  • Nobel e-Museum, http://www.nobel.se/ (April 12, 2004), Pablo Neruda, "Towards the Splendid City" (Nobel Lecture, December 13, 1971).

Articles About PABLO NERUDA

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POET’S REGION Latin America

LIFE SPAN 1904–1973

Pablo Neruda

Biography

“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 . . .

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