1971 : Pablo Neruda

1971 : Pablo Neruda

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“for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent’s destiny and dreams”



July 12, 1904

Place of birth


Parral, Chile



September 23, 1973

Place of death


Santiago, Chile



Poet, Diplomat, Political figure




Notable award(s)


Nobel Prize in Literature 1971


His mother, Dona Rosa Basoalto, teacher, died one month after his birth. His father, Don Jose del Carmen Reyes Morales, remarrying in 1906. His first learning is the nature My Children, these are shoes wet, the broken trunks / tomb in the jungle, decorated with vines. It discovered the world of wind and foliage. From 1910 to 1920, he attended high school for boys in Temuco, Chile. At thirteen years already, he published his first poems and prose texts. From 1921, he studied language and French literature in Santiago and pedagogy. He chose his pseudonym in tribute to Czech poet Jan Neruda (1834-1891), and wants to become a French teacher. It is very fast fame with its publications and poetry recitals.

At nineteen, he published his first book Crepusculario (twilight). Follows a year later, Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and a desperate song). In 1927, Neruda joined the diplomatic service. He became consul in Rangoon, Colombo, Batavia, Calcutta, Buenos Aires. In 1932, he returned to Chile in 1933, he published Residencia en la tierra (Residence on Earth). From 1935, he was consul in Spain, where it maintains friendly relations with Federico Garcia Lorca that he had known in Buenos Aires and has a decisive influence on his life and work, but also with Rafael Alberti and Jorge Guillen. After Franco’s coup on July 18 and the murder of Garcia Lorca, Neruda is the advocate of the Spanish Republic. It is dismissed as consul and starts Espana en el corazon (Spain at heart) and publish it in 1937 and in which he takes a decisive step in its approach. His song, dark and lonely, became united and acting (Jean-Paul Vidal). The same year he founded the Spanish-American Committee to support Spain and the Alliance of Chilean intellectuals in defense of culture. It will be criticized for having issued a visa to David Siquieros Chile, organizer of the first attempted assassination of Trotsky, 24 May 1940. He made trips to Mexico, Cuba and Peru. He visits the Inca fortress of Machu Picchu. In 1945 he was elected to the Senate and became a member of the Communist Party of Chile. In 1946, Neruda runs the campaign Gonzalez Videla, who, after his election as president, will prove to be a dictator staunchly anticommunist. The poet responded with a speech in the Senate with the famous title of Emile Zola: J’accuse! It can hardly escape his arrest and took refuge abroad. His exile in Europe leads in the USSR, Poland, Hungary, Italy. He will also visit India and Mexico. It was there that appear in 1950’s Canto General (General Song), written in hiding. The work was immediately banned in Chile. In 1949, Neruda became a member of World Peace in Paris in 1955, he gets together with Pablo Picasso, the International Award for Peace and in 1953, the International Stalin Prize for Peace. He meets the woman of his life, Matilde Urrutia who inspires poems for love of a dazzling beauty sonetos Cien de amor (The Hundred Love). Back in Chile in 1952, he published in 1954 the Elementary Odes. In 1957 he became president of the Chilean Union writers, the following year he published: Extravagario (Vaguedivague). That same year, as in 1964, he fully supports the election of Salvador Allende Goossens as a candidate for the presidency. It was at that time one of the targets of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, anti-cultural association founded in 1950. In 1964, Neruda publishes Memorial de Isla Negra, the return on its past and its dream of a more fraternal humanity. In 1965 he was named Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Oxford. His only play: Fulgor y muerte de Joaquin Murrieta (Splendor and Death of Joaquin Murrieta) was founded in 1967. Neruda publish coup sur coup, La Barkarole (The Barcarola), Las manos del dia (The hands of day) and Arte de pajaros (The Art of Birds). In 1969, the Communist Party him as a presidential candidate, but Neruda waives in favor of Allende as candidate of the Unidad Popular. After the election of Allende, Neruda accepted the position of ambassador to France where he will meet Mikis Theodorakis and where he published The espada encendida (The flaming sword) and Las piedras del cielo (The stones from heaven), books, in which his meditation on the necessary solidarity and silence of the world, reached its most intense. On 21 October 1971, Pablo Neruda obtained after Gabriela Mistral in 1945 and Miguel Angel Asturias in 1967, as the third Latin American writer, the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1972 he returned to Chile and was triumphantly welcomed at Santiago. Neruda wrote incitacion al Nixoncidio y elogio de la revolucion (nixoncide Encouraging and praising the revolution). The coup d’etat of 11 September 1973 in Chile overthrew the elected president, Salvador Allende. Neruda’s house in Santiago was sacked and his books are thrown at stake. The poet and politician died on 23 September 1973 of pancreatic cancer at the Clinic of Santa Maria Santiago. His burial becomes, despite police surveillance frightening, a protest demonstration against terror military. In 1974, Neruda confieso autobiography that he vivido (I admit having lived), appears to posthumously excerpt: “I want to live in a country where there is no excommunicated. I want to live in a world where human beings are only, without other evidence that, without being obsessed by a rule, in a word, a label. I want to enter in all the churches in all printing. I want never wait person at the door of a city hotel to arrest him for deportation. I want all entering and leaving the town hall smiling. I do not want more than anyone else fled gondola, that person should be pursued by motorcycles. I want the vast majority, the only majority: everyone can speak, read, listen and flourish.


Works in Spanish:

  • Crepusculario – Santiago : Claridad, 1923

  • Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada – Santiago : Nascimento, 1924

  • Tentativa del hombre infinito – Santiago : Nascimento, 1926

  • Anillos / Pablo Neruda, Tomas Lago – Santiago : Nascimento, 1926

  • El habitante y su esperanza – Santiago : Nascimento, 1926

  • El hondero entusiasta – Santiago : Empresa Letras, 1933

  • Residencia en la tierra : 1925-1931 – Santiago : Nascimento, 1933

  • Residencia en la tierra : 1925-1935 – Enl. ed. – Madrid : Cruz & Raya, 1935 – 2 vol.

  • Espana en el corazon – Santiago : Ercilla, 1937

  • Las furias y las penas – Santiago : Nascimento, 1939

  • Canto general de Chile : Fragmentos – Mexico City : Privately published, 1943

  • Tercera residencia : 1935-1945 – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1947

  • Alturas de Macchu Picchu – Santiago : Libreria Neira, 1947

  • Canto general – Mexico City : Talleres Graficos de la Nacion, 1950

  • Los versos del capitan – Napol : Naples: L’Arte Tipografica, 1952

  • Las uvas y el viento – Santiago : Nascimento, 1954

  • Odas elementales – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1954

  • Nuevas odas elementales – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1956

  • Obras completas – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1957 – Enl. ed. 1962, 2 vol. – Enl. ed. 1967. – Enl. ed. 1973, 3 vol.

  • Tercer libro de las odas – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1957

  • Estravagario – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1958

  • Navegaciones y regresos – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1959

  • Cien sonetos de amor – Santiago : Editorial Universitaria, 1959

  • Cancion de gesta. – Havana : Casa de las Americas, 1960

  • Las piedras de Chile – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1961

  • Cantos ceremoniales – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1961

  • Plenos poderes – Buenos Aires Losada, 1962

  • Memorial de Isla Negra – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1964. – 5 vol.

  • Arte de pajaros – Santiago : Sociedad de Amigos del Arte Contemporaneo, 1966

  • Una casa en la arena – Barcelona : Lumen, 1966

  • Fulgor y muerte de Joaquin Murieta : bandido chileno injusticiado en California el 23 de julio de 1853 – Santiago : Zig-Zag, 1967

  • La barcarola – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1967

  • Las manos del dia – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1968

  • Fin de mundo – Santiago : Sociedad de Arte Contemporaneo, 1969

  • Aun – Santiago : Nascimento, 1969

  • Maremoto – Santiago : Sociedad de Arte Contemporaneo de Santiago, 1970

  • La espada encendida – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1970

  • Las piedras del cie – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1970

  • Geografia infructuosa – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1972

  • Incitacion al nixonicidio y alabanza de la revolucion chilena – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1973

  • La rosa separada – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1973

  • El mar y las campanas – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1973

  • Jardin de invierno – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1974

  • 2000 – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1974

  • El corazon amarillo – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1974

  • Libro de las preguntas – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1974

  • Elegia – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1974

  • Defectos escogidos – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1974

  • Confieso que he vivido – Barcelona : Seix Barral, 1974

  • Cartas a Laura – Madrid : Ediciones Cultura Hispanica del Centro Iberoamericano de Cooperacion, 1978

  • Para nacer he nacido – Barcelona : Seix Barral, 1978

  • El rio invisible : poesia y prosa de juventud – Barcelona : Seix Barral, 1980

  • Cuadernos de Temuco : 1919-1920 / edicion y prologo de Victor Farias – Buenos Aires : Seix Barral, 1996

  • Yo acuso : discursos parlamentarios (1945-1948) / edicio?n a cargo de Leonidas Aguirre Silva – Bogota? : Editorial Oveja Negra, 2002

Works in English:

  • Residence on Earth, and Other Poems / translated by Angel Flores – Norfolk, Conn.: New Directions, 1946

  • Elementary Odes / translated by Carlos Lozano – New York : Gaetano Massa, 1961

  • The Heights of Macchu Picchu / translated by Nathaniel Tarn – New York : Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1966

  • Poems from the Canto General / translated by Ben Belitt – New Yor k: Racolin, 1968

  • A New Decade : Poems, 1958-1967 / edited, with an introduction, by Ben Belitt, translated by Belitt and Alastair Reid – New York : Grove, 1969

  • Pablo Neruda : The Early Poems / translated by David Ossman and Carlos B. Hagen – New York : New Rivers, 1969

  • Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair / translated by W. S. Merwin. – London : Cape, 1969

  • The Captain’s Verses / translated by Donald Walsh – New York : New Directions, 1972

  • Extravagaria / translated by Alistair Reid – London: Cape, 1972

  • New Poems (1968-1970) / edited and translated, with an introduction, by Ben Belitt – New York : Grove, 1972

  • Splendor and Death of Joaquin Murieta / translated by Ben Belitt – New York : Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1972

  • Five Decades : A Selection : Poems, 1925-1970 / edited and translated by Ben Belitt – New York: Grove, 1974

  • Toward the Splendid City : Nobel Lecture – New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1974

  • Fully Empowered / translated by Alistair Reid – New York : Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1975

  • Pablo Neruda : A Basic Anthology / selected, with an introduction, by Robert Pring-Mill – Oxford : Dolphin, 1975

  • Song of Protest / translated, with an introduction, by Miguel Algarin – New York : Morrow, 1976

  • Memoirs / translated by Hardie St. Martin – New York : Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1977

  • Call for the Destruction of Nixon and Praise for the Chilean Revolution / translated by Teresa Anderson – Cambridge, Mass. : West End, 1980

  • Isla Negra : A Notebook / translated by Alistair Reid – New York : Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1981

  • Passions and Impressions / translated by Margaret Sayers Peden – New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1982

  • Elegy / translated by Jack Hirschman – San Francisco : David Books, 1983

  • Still Another Day / translated by William O’Daly – Port Townsend, Wash. : Copper Canyon, 1984

  • Art of Birds / translated by Jack Schmitt – Austin : University of Texas Press, 1985

  • A Separate Rose / translated by William O’Daly – Port Townsend, Wash. : Copper Canyon, 1985

  • One Hundred Love Sonnets / translated by Stephen Tapscott – Austin : University of Texas Press, 1986

  • The Stones of Chile / translated by Dennis Maloney – Fredonia, N.Y. : White Pine, 1986

  • Winter Garden / translated by William O’Daly – Port Townsend, Wash. : Copper Canyon, 1986

  • Stones of the Sky / translated by James Nolan – Port Townsend, Wash. : Copper Canyon, 1987

  • The House at Isla Negra : Prose Poems / translated by Dennis Maloney and Clark M. Zlotchew – Fredonia, N.Y. : White Pine, 1988

  • Late and Posthumous Poems, 1968-1974 / edited and translated by Ben Belitt – New York: Grove, 1988

  • The Sea and the Bells / translated by William O’Daly – Port Townsend, Wash. : Copper Canyon, 1988

  • Seaquake / translated by Maria Jacketti and Dennis Maloney – Fredonia, N.Y. : White Pine, 1990

  • Selected Odes of Pablo Neruda / translated, with an introduction, by Margaret Sayers Peden – Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990

  • The Yellow Heart / translated by William O’Daly – Port Townsend, Wash. : Copper Canyon, 1990

  • The Book of Questions / translated by William O’Daly – Port Townsend, Wash. : Copper Canyon, 1991

  • Canto General – Fiftieth Anniversary Edition / translated by Jack Schmitt. – Berkeley : University of California Press, 1991

  • Odes to Common Things / selected by Ferris Cook, translated by Ken Krabbenhoft – Boston : Little, Brown, 1994

  • Ceremonial Songs : Cantos ceremoniales / translated by Maria Jacketti – Pittsburgh: Latin American Literary Review Press, 1996

  • 2000 / translated by Richard Schaaf – Falls Church, Va. : Azul Editions, 1997

  • Fully Empowered / translated from the Spanish and with an introduction by Alastair Reid – New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001

  • On the Blue Shore of Silence : Poems of the Sea = A la orilla azul del silencio / English translations by Alastair Reid – New York : Rayo, 2003

  • The Poetry of Pablo Neruda / edited and with an introduction by Ilan Stavans – New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003

  • Memoirs / translated from the Spanish by Hardie St. Martin – London : Souvenir Press, 2004

  • The Essential Neruda : selected poems / edited by Mark Eisner – San Francisco : City Lights Books, 2004

Literature (a selection):

  • Rodriguez Monegal, Emir, l viajero inmovil : introduccion a Pablo Neruda – Buenos Aires : Losada, 1966

  • Alonso, Amado, Poesia y estilo de Pablo Neruda : Interpretacion de una poesia hermetica – Buenos Aires : Sudamericana, 1968

  • Villegas, Juan, Estructuras miticas y arquetipos en el “Canto General” de Neruda – Barcelona, cop. 1976

  • Skarmeta, Antonio, El cartero de Neruda – Barcelona : Plaza y Janes, 1996

  • Mendez-Ramirez, Hugo, Neruda’s Ekphrastic Experience : Mural Art and Canto general –

  • Lewisburg, Pa. : Bucknell University Press, 1999

  • Feinstein, Adam, Pablo Neruda : a Passion for Life – London : Bloomsbury, 2004


1971: Nobel Prize in Literature.

Presentation Speech:

Presentation Speech by Karl Ragnar Gierow, of the Swedish Academy.

Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,

No great writer gains lustre from a Nobel Prize. It is the Nobel Prize that gains lustre from the recipient – provided the right one has been chosen. But who is the right one? According to Nobel’s will, as we have just heard, the prize is to reward work in “an ideal direction”. This is not pure Swedish. One may work under conditions that are not ideal. One can, according to the presumption made by Oscar Wilde, be an ideal husband. The word ideal simply indicates something that corresponds to reasonable expectations. But that is not enough for a Nobel prize. In Nobel’s time the word still had philosophical connotations as well. By ideal was meant something which only exists in one’s imagination, never in the world of the senses. This is perhaps true of the ideal husband, but not of the ideal Nobel prize winner.

The spirit of Nobel’s will tells us what he had in mind. The contribution must be one which will benefit mankind. But any work of art worthy of the name does this, so does any literary work with a serious purpose, and so far that matter does that which aims at nothing more serious than raising a healthy laugh. The clause in the will has so much to say that it leaves us without a clear message. One of the few cases, however, where it does take on a definite meaning is this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature: Pablo Neruda. His work benefits mankind precisely because of its direction. It is my impossible task here to indicate this in a few words. To sum up, Neruda is like catching a condor with a butterfly net. Neruda, in a nutshell, is an unreasonable proposition: the kernel bursts the shell.

Nevertheless, one can do something to describe this kernel. What Neruda has achieved in his writing is community with existence. This sounds simple, and is perhaps our most difficult problem. He himself, in one of his New Elemental Odes, has defined it in the formula: harmony with Man and the Earth. The direction in his work, the direction which can so justly be called ideal, is indicated by the path which has brought him to this harmony. His starting point was isolation and dissonance.

So it was in the love poems of his youth. What these Twenty Poems of Love and One Ode of Desperation depict is the meeting between two people’s desolation in the shadow of destruction, and in the next major work, Residence on Earth, he is still “alone among shifting matter”.

The turning point was reached in Spain. It was as if a release from the shadow of death and a way towards fellowship were opened when he saw friends and fellow writers taken away in fetters and executed. He found the fellowship of the oppressed and persecuted. He found it when he returned from the Spain of the Civil War to his own country, the battleground for conquistadors over the centuries. But out of the fellowship with this territory of terror there grew, too, awareness of its riches, pride over its past, and hope for its future, for that which he saw shimmering like a mirage far to the East. With this, Neruda’s work was transformed into the poetry of political and social preparedness under the banner of redress and visions of the future – not least so in Canto general, partly written while in exile in his own country for no other offence than an opinion. The opinion was that his country belonged to him and his compatriots and that no man’s dignity should be insulted.

This huge collection is no more than a drop in Neruda’s brimming output. In his work a continent awakens to consciousness. To require moderation in such an inspiration is as if to demand system and order from a jungle and restraint from a volcano.

The fact that Neruda’s ?uvre is so difficult to view as a whole may also make it difficult to recognize what distances he has put behind him. One of his later collections of poems is called Estravagario. The word seems to be a new one and comprises both extravagance and vagabondage, whim and errantry. For the way from Canto general was still long and full of experiences, enriching or bitter. The territory of terror was found to lie in more than one part of the globe and Neruda saw this with the indignation of one who feels himself duped. The erstwhile idol who was set up everywhere in “the stucco statutes of a moustachioed god in boots” now appeared in an ever more merciless light, as did the similarity in methods and trappings between the two leader figures whom he called just Moustache and Little Moustache. But at the same time Neruda was also led to a new relationship to Love and to Woman, to the origin and continuance of life, perhaps most beautifully expressed in yet another masterpiece from recent years, La Barcarola. Whither Neruda’s path will take him now, it is not for anyone to say. But the direction is the one already set, harmony with Man and the Earth, and we shall follow with high expectations this remarkable poetry, which with the overflowing vitality of an awakening continent resembles one of its rivers, growing all the mightier and more majestic the closer it approaches the estuary and the sea.

Cher Maitre,

Votre Estravagario vous a mene loin a travers des pays et des epoques. Une fois il vous a mene vers une cite miniere ou les mineurs avaient peint un hommage sur cette terre qui est vraiment la votre. Il disait: Bienvenue a Neruda. C’etaient les mots de la dignite humaine opprimee a celui qui etait son porte-parole. Votre tour du monde vous a aujourd’hui mene ici: dans la ville aux clochers vert-de-grises que vous chantates une fois. Et je repete le meme hommage: Bienvenido Neruda. Avec lui je transmets aussi les felicitations de l’Academie suedoise et vous prie maintenant de recevoir des mains de Sa Majeste le Roi le Prix Nobel de litterature de cette annee.

Nobel Lecture:

December 13, 1971

Towards the Splendid City

My speech will be a long journey, a journey of mine by remote regions and poles apart, not least because countryside like the solitude of the north. I speak from the extreme south of my country. Whether we move away and both Chileans touch with our limits until the South Pole, we look at the geography of Sweden, who with rubs his head the north peak of the planet. That way, for those extensions of my homeland where I led and forgotten events in themselves, we must go through, I had to pass through the Andes looking for my country’s border with Argentina. Forests cover a large tunnel and inaccessible regions as our road was closed and hidden, accept only the weakest signs of direction. There were no footprints, no trails and my four companions were looking for a horse ride in undulating – by removing mighty trees, rivers impossible, required immense, desolate snow, rather guessing – the path of my own freedom. I knew that the accompanying guidance, given the large foliage, but to know more secure, mounted their horses, marked by a machete here and there, the bark of large trees, leaving footprints that would guide the return, when I left alone with my destiny. Everyone arrested was moving in that solitude without margins, in that quiet green and white, trees, large vines, the soil deposited by hundreds of years, the semi-felled logs that suddenly were a barrier in our march. Everything was both a dazzling and secret nature and yet a growing threat of cold, snow, persecution. Everything was mixed: loneliness, danger, silence and the urgency of my mission. Sometimes we still had a footprint thinnest, perhaps left by smugglers or common criminals, fugitives, and ignorabamos if many of them had died, suddenly surprised by the icy hands of winter, for the tremendous snowstorms that when discharged in the Andes, surround the traveler, under what sinking seven floors of whiteness. On each side of the track provides, in that wild desolation, something like a human construction. They were pieces of branches that had accumulated endured many winters, vegetable offerings of hundreds of passengers, high in tumuli wood to remember the fallen, to suggest that they could not continue and stay there forever beneath the snow. Also my colleagues with their machetes cut the branches that we played heads and that descended on us from the height of the huge conifers, from the oak trees whose foliage last throbs before the storms of winter. And also I was leaving a mound in each memory, a card made of wood, a branch cut from the forest to decorate the graves of either of the traveling strangers. We had to cross a river. These small strands born in the peaks of the Andes rush, downloaded dizzying and abuses its strength, turn into waterfalls, land and break rocks with energy and speed that brought the illustrious heights: but this time we found a haven, a great mirror of water, a ford. The horses entered, and lost nadaron walk toward the other side. Soon my horse was almost completely overrun by water, I began to mecerme without support, my feet are struggling adrift while the beast struggle to keep their heads outdoors. So we crossed. And just arrived on the other side, the baqueanos, peasants who were accompanying me asked me with a certain smile: – He had a lot of fear? – Very. I thought that my last hour had come – I said. – We went behind you with the lasso in hand – I replied. – Right there – said one of them – my father fell and dragged the flow. Was not going to spend the same with you. We continue to enter into a natural tunnel that maybe opened in rocks imposing a lost river flow, or a shudder of the planet available in the heights that work, one channel of rock eroded stone, granite, which enter. A few steps cabalgaduras the slide, trying to settle on the slopes of stone, to bow their legs, she sparks in horseshoes; more than once I was thrown from the horse and lying on the rocks. Cabalgadura was bleeding from my nose and feet but the vast continuing stubborn, splendid, the difficult path We expected something in the middle of that wild jungle. Suddenly, a singular vision, we reached a small meadow and carefully nestled in the lap of the mountains: clear water, green meadow, wildflowers, rumor rivers and the blue sky above, generous light uninterrupted by any foliage There, we stopped and within a magic circle, as guests of a sacred: a sacred and higher still had the ceremony in which I participated. The Cowboys dropped their cabalgaduras. At the center of the campus was placed, as in a ritual, an ox skull. My colleagues approached silently, one by one, to leave a few coins and some food in holes in bone. I joined them at that gift for coarse ulises astray and fugitives from all raleas to find bread and relief of bull orbits dead. But did not stop at this point the unforgettable ceremony. My friends are rustic robbed of their hats and began a strange dance, hopping on one foot around the abandoned skull, sifting through the circular imprint left by so many other balls that crossed over there before. I understood then in a vague way, next to my fellow impenetrable, that there was a communication from unknown to unknown, that there was a request, a request and response even in the most distant and remote solitude of this world. Further away, about to cross the borders for years to divert me from my homeland, arrived last night at the throats of the mountains. Suddenly we saw a light on it was a sign of human habitation and, as we approach, we found some desvencijadas buildings, some ramshackle barns apparently empty. We go to one of them and we saw at Claror of the fire, large logs burning in the center of the room, bodies of giant trees that there burning day and night and they left to escape through the cracks of the ceiling in a smoke vagaba midst of the darkness like a deep blue veil. We saw piles of cheeses accumulated by those who rennet those heights. Near the fire, bundled as bags, some men were lying. We distinguish the silence in the strings of a guitar and words of a song, born of the embers and darkness, we brought the first human voice that we had encountered along the way. It was a song of love and distance, a lament of love and nostalgia directed toward distant spring, to the cities where we came from, toward the infinite length of life. They were unaware of who we were, they knew nothing of the fugitive, they did not know my name nor my poetry. Or knew what? The real fact was that we sang along to that fire and ate and then walked into the darkness toward some elementary quart. Through them passed a thermal flow, where we were submerged volcanic water, heat arising from the ridges and welcomed us into their midst. Dabble joyful, cavandonos, clean the weight of the huge cavalcade. We feel fresh, born, baptized, began at dawn when the last kilometer journey that separated me from that eclipse of my homeland. We sing about our cabalgaduras away, full of a new air of an encouragement that pushed us toward the path of the great world that I was expecting. When we wanted to give (I remember it vividly) to the Highlanders some coins reward for the songs, for food, for the hot springs on the roof and beds, ie by the unexpected under which we went to the meeting, they rejected our offer without a shrug. We had served and nothing else. And in that “nothing else”, in that quiet had nothing more subentendidas many things, maybe the recognition, perhaps the same dreams. Ladies and Gentlemen: I do not learned in books any recipe for the composition of a poem: and I will print my time not even a tip, mode or style for the new poets get me one drop of alleged wisdom. If I have narrated in this speech some events of the past, if I have never forgotten revived a story on this occasion and on this site so different to what happened, is because in the course of my life I’ve always found somewhere in the assertion necessary, the formula that I looked,

On that long journey I found the doses necessary to the formation of the poem. There I was given the contributions of land and soul. And I think that poetry is an action passing or entering into a solemn pair measures solitude and solidarity, emotion and action, the privacy of one’s self, the intimacy of man and the revelation of the secret nature. And I think with no less faith that everything is sustained – man and his shadow, man and his attitude, the man and his poetry – in a community increasingly extensive, in an exercise that will forever in our reality and dreams, because such poetry unites and confused. And I like that I do not know, after so many years, if those lessons I got dizzy while crossing a river, to dance around the skull of a cow, to bathe my skin in water purifying of the highest regions, I say that I do not know if what came out of myself then to communicate with many other beings, or was the message that the other men were sending me as a requirement or location. I do not know if what I wrote or what I lived, I do not know if they were true or poetry, transitional or eternity, the verses that I experienced at the time, the experiences that I sang later. From all this, folks, there is a lesson that the poet must learn from other men. There is no loneliness impregnable. All roads lead to the same point: the communication of what we are. And it must pass through solitude and harshness, and the solitary silence campus to reach the magic that we can sing or dance torpemente with melancholy: but in this dance or that song is accomplis the oldest rites of consciousness: the be men of conscience and belief in a common destiny. In truth, though some or many people considered me a sectarian, not possible participation in the common table of friendship and responsibility, I would not be justified, I do not believe that the allegations or justifications have a place among the duties of the poet. After all, no poet administered poetry, and if any of them were arrested in accusing their peers, or if another thought that could be spent defending the lives of recriminations reasonable or absurd, it is my conviction that only vanity can distract to such extremes. I say that the enemies of poetry are not among those who profess or shelter, but the lack of consistency of the poet. Hence, no poet has more enemy essential that its own inability to reach agreement with the most neglected and exploited of his contemporaries: and this applies to all ages and for all the land. The poet is not a “little god”. No, not a “little god”. Is not marked by a destination cabalistic higher than those in other duties and offices. It is often said that the best poet is the man who gives us the daily bread: the nearest baker who does not believe God. The meet its majestic and humble task of amassing, put in the oven, brown and deliver the daily bread, as a community obligation. And if the poet comes to achieving this simple consciousness, awareness may also simply become part of a huge craft, construction of a simple or complicated, which is building society, the transformation of the conditions surrounding the man, Delivery of goods: bread, truth, wine, dreams. If the poet joins the fight ever spent for appropriation each other in the hands of his ration of commitment, his dedication and tenderness to the common working every day and every man, the poet will take part, the poets take part in sweat, in bread, in wine, in the dream of mankind. Only by this way of being inalienable common men will get to restore the poetry widths space you are cutting in every era, which we cut ourselves in every era. The errors that led me to a relative truth, and the truths that I repeatedly recondujeron error, and a few others I am not allowed – nor I ever tried it – guiding, directing, teaching what is known as the creator of the vericuetos literature. But yes, I realized one thing: that we ourselves create the ghosts of our own myth. Of the mortar of what we do, or do we want to emerge later impediments to our own and future development. We are inevitably led to the reality and realism, that is, to take a direct awareness of what surrounds us and the paths of transformation, and then understand where it appears late, we have built a limitation so exaggerated that we kill it instead of conducting live life to unfold and flourish. We impose a realism that later we are heavier than brick buildings, without this we have erected the building that contemplabamos as an integral part of our duty. And on the other hand, if we achieve to create a fetish of it incomprehensible (or what is understood by few), the mascot of the elite and secret, if you delete the reality and its degeneration realistic, we are suddenly surrounded by a impossible terrain, a tembladeral of leaves, mud, cloud, which sink our feet and strangles us an oppressive solitary confinement. As for us in particular, writers of the vast American, we hear the call relentlessly to fill that space with enormous beings of flesh and bone. We are conscious of our obligation to people and – while we find the essential duty of a critical communication in a world inhabited and uninhabited by no less full of injustices, punishments and pains – are also the commitment of regaining their old dreams sleep on the stone statues in the ancient monuments destroyed, in the thick silence of planetary pampas, thick jungles, rivers that sing like thunder. We need words to fill the confines of a continent and we are dumb drunk this task of fable and appoint. Perhaps that is the determining reason for my humble individual case: such circumstances and in my excesses, or my wealth, or my rhetoric, but did not come to be the simplest acts of the U.S. need each day. Every one of my verses wanted installed as a tangible object: each of my poems pretended to be a useful tool for the work: each of my songs aspired to serve in space as a sign of reunion where he crossed paths, or fragment of horn stone or wood on someone, others who will come, could put the new signs. Extending these duties by the poet, in truth or in error, to its conclusion, I decided that my attitude in society and to life should also be humble in favor. I decided to see what glorious failures, lonely victories, defeats dazzling. I understood, put on the stage of the struggles of America, that my mission was not human but also added to the extensive power of organized people, adding with blood and soul, with passion and hope, because only that can be born torrents drenched the changes needed to writers and people. And although my position lift and lift objections bitter or kind, the truth is that there is another way for the writer of our wide and cruel countries, if we want to beautify the dark, if you want the millions of men who have not yet learned to read or to read, write that still do not know nor write, was established in the area of dignity without which there can be integrated men. We inherit the lacerated life of the people who dragged a punishment for centuries, the people most Eden, the most pure, which built with stones and metal towers miraculous, dazzling brilliance of jewelry: people who suddenly were razed and muted by the terrible times of colonialism that still exists. Our stars are the primary fight and hope. But there is no hope lonely struggle. In every man joining the ancient times, inertia, mistakes, passions, emergency of our time, the speed of history. But what about me if I would, for example, had contributed in any way to the feudal past of the great American continent? How could I lift the front, illuminated by the honor that Sweden has given me, if I do not feel proud to have taken a small part in the ongoing transformation of my country? We must look at the map of America, faced with the great diversity, to the generosity of the cosmic space that surrounds us, to understand that many writers refuse to share the ignominy of past and dark gods of looting that went to the American peoples. I chose the difficult path of a shared responsibility and, before reiterating that the adoration toward the individual as the sun’s central system, I preferred to deliver my humble service to a considerable army that stretches can make mistakes, but walking without rest and is progressing, each day to face both the recalcitrant anachronistic as the infatuados impatient. Because I believe that my duties of the poet not only showed me the rose with Brotherhood and symmetry, with the exalted love and nostalgia with the infinite, but also with the harsh tasks that human joined my poetry. Exactly one hundred years ago today, a poor and wonderful poet, the most atrocious of the desperate, wrote this prophecy: “A l’Aurore, weapons d’une Ardente patience, entrerons aux we Splendide Villes.” “At dawn, armed with a burning patience, I will go to the splendid cities.” I believe in this prophecy of Rimbaud, the Seer. I come from an obscure province, a country separate from all others by blunt geography. I was the most abandoned of poets and my poetry was regional, painful and rainy. But I always trust in man. Do not ever lose hope. Maybe that’s why I came here with my poetry, and also with my flag. In conclusion, I say to men of goodwill, workers, to the poets that the whole future was expressed in the phrase of Rimbaud: only with a burning patience to conquer the splendid city which will give light, justice and dignity for all men. So there will be no poetry sung in vain.


Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

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