Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda

date of birth : 12/07/1904 | date of death : 23/09/1973
Born on 12 July, 1904, Chile, Poet, Diplomat, Writer

Birth, Birthplace, Time of birth:

He was born on 12 July, 1904, in the town of Parral in Chile.

Father s name: José del Carmen Reyes
Mother's name: Rosa Basoalto
Brother: -
Sister: -
Spouse: Maria Antonieta Hagenaar, Delia del Carril, Matilde Urrutia
Children: Malva Marina

Reputation, fame, nickname:

Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto

Personal Information:

Religion: Roman Catholic

Life events:

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) was one of the greatest Spanish-language poets of the 20th century. He 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 (she 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 his 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 his poetry. 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 1935, 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 (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), rising in the ranks of 20th-century poets. 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.


Neruda studied French and pedagogy at the University of Chile in Santiago.

Occupation and Career:

Pablo Neruda was poet, diplomat and politician Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto.
He began writing poetry at age 13, and at 20 he published his most widely read work, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924), inspired by an unhappy love affair. In 1927 he was named an honorary consul, and he later represented Chile in several Asian and Latin American countries; late in life he was ambassador to France. While in Asia he began Residence on Earth (1933, 1935, 1947) a verse cycle remarkable for its examination of social decay and personal isolation. In 1945 he was elected senator and joined the Communist Party; he later spent years in exile when the government turned toward the right. Canto General (1950), his great epic poem about the American continents, was deeply influenced by Walt Whitman and is the culminating expression of his political beliefs. Elemental Odes (1954) celebrates common, everyday objects. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.

Awards /Honors:

Pablo Neruda was one of the greatest Spanish-language poets of the 20th century. 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.


Selected works:
  • Crepusculario (1923, poetry)
  • Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada (1924, poetry)
  • Tentativa del Hombre Infinito (1926, poetry)
  • Anillos (1926, poetry, with Tomás Lago)
  • El Hondero Entusiasta (1933, poetry)
  • Residencia en la Tierra, 1925–1931 (1933, poetry)
  • Residencia en la Tierra, 1925–35 (1935, poetry, 2 vols.)
  • España en el Corazón (1937, poetry)
  • Canto General (1950, poetry)
  • Alturas de Macchu Picchu (1943, poetry)
  • Tercera Residencia, 1935–45 (1947, poetry)
  • Odas Elementales (1954, poetry)
  • Confieso que he Vivido (1974, memoir)

Hobbies and personal interests:

Some of his hobbies included reading, an involvement in politics and an interest in flora and fauna which he included in his epic poem Canto General.

Death, place of death, Time of death, place of burial:

Neruda died of heart failure on the evening of September 23, 1973, at Santiago's Santa María Clinic; He was buried at Casa de Isla Negra, Santiago, Chile.

Quotes and Memoirs:

  • You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.
  • A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who doesn't play has lost forever the child who lived in him and who he will miss terribly.
  • The books that help you most are those which make you think that most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.
  • I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees.
  • Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
  • Peace goes into the making of a poem as flour goes into the making of bread.