Photo Fondation Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda
Poet

Pablo Neruda is one of the most influential and widely read 20th century poets of the Americas. “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.

In 2003, 30 years after Neruda’s death, an anthology of 600 of Neruda’s poems arranged chronologically was published as The Poetry of Pablo Neruda. The collection draws from 36 different translators, and some of his major works are also presented in their original Spanish. 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.”

[Poetry Foundation]

Finale

Matilde, years or days
sleeping, feverish,
here or there,
gazing off,
twisting my spine,
bleeding true blood,
perhaps I awaken
or am lost, sleeping:
hospital beds, foreign windows,
white uniforms of the silent walkers,
the clumsiness of feet.

And then, these journeys
and my sea of renewal:
your head on the pillow,
your hands floating
in the light, in my light,
over my earth.

It was beautiful to live
when you lived!

The world is bluer and of the earth
at night, when I sleep
enormous, within your small hands.

[Translated by William O’Daly]

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