Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy birthday, poet Pablo Neruda

It is the birthday of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904), who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. He is best remembered today for his erotically-charged love poems, including his most well-known book, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924). He was also a communist activist and politician, and served as a close advisor to Salvadore Allende, Chile's socialist president. Neruda published his first writing, an essay, at age 13. He wrote poems and essays for local publications as a youngster. His first book of poetry, Book of Twilights, was published in 1923. Other work includes The Trying of Infinite Man (1926) and a novel, The Inhabitant and His Hope (1926), as well as the poetry collection Residence on Earth, a three-volume set published in 1933, 1935 and 1947.  He also wrote Canto General (1950). Neruda died of heart failure in 1973. It is alleged that Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet had him poisoned because of his support of Allende.

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