Pablo Neruda

1904-1973

Pablo Neruda was born on July 12, 1904 and died September 23, 1973. During his life, Neruda occupied many diplomatic posts and served a stint as senator for the Chilean Communist Party.  Chilean President Videla banned communism in Chile, and so a warrant was made for Neruda's arrest. Friends hid him for months in a basement of a home in the Chilean port of Valparaiso. Neruda then escaped into exile through a mountain pass into Argentina.

Neruda was a close collaborator to Socialist President Salvador Allende. On top of returning to Chile after his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Allende invited Neruda to read at the Chilean national soccer stadium in front of 70,000 people, the largest poetry reading in recorded history.

Sample:

                                                    Tower of Light

                                           O tower of light, sad beauty

                           that magnified necklaces and statues in the sea,

                             calcareous eye, insignia of the vast waters,

                              cry of the mourning petrel, tooth of the sea,

                                          wife of the Oceanian wind,

    O separate rose from the long stem of the trampled bush that the depths,

                                         converted into archipelago,

                                        O natural star, green diadem,

                  alone in your lonesome dynasty, still unattainable, elusive

                                            desolate like one drop,

                                          like one grape, like the sea.

http://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/8503/tower_o...