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Pablo Neruda
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The formative years...

Pablo Neruda

( 1904-1973)

Pablo Neruda was born on July 12, 1904 under the name Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto in the city of Parral, Chile. His mother died just a few weeks after his birth leaving him with his father and a family who, once he started becoming interested in poetry at the age of 10, tried to deter him from the craft and disapproved of his affinity for it. Though continually discouraged by family the principal from his sister school and future Nobel Laureate Gabriela Mistral, encouraged him to follow his passions. Due to this encouragement he published his first poem at 13 with the title "Entusiasmo y Perseverencia" ("Enthusiasm and Perseverance"). 

By 1920 he had ,because of his family's disapproval, taken the pseudonym Pablo Neruda (in memory of Czech poet Jan Neruda) while contributing to the literary journal "Selva Austral".

In 1933, Neruda met the poet Federico Garcia Lorca who he befriended. Lorcas' later murder during the Spanish Civil war affected Neruda very much causing him to join the Republican movement in Spain and later, in France. Then in the light of these events he started the collection "España en el Corazón" (" Spain in the Heart") which , because of publication during the civil war had great impact on readers.

A few years after his return to Chile in 1937 he was elected as a senator of the Republic of Chile and proceeded to join the communist party. After protesting against the President Gonzales Videral's policies and the newly illegal status poised onto the communist party, Neruda was forced into hiding later fleeing to Europe before returning in the 1950s, rich and well respected. Nerudas works are translated into many languages and for his efforts he has won a series of prestigious awards including the International Peace Prize (1950), the Lenin Peace Prize and Stalin Peace Prize ( 1953) and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.

Neruda died two years after being granted his Nobel Prize as he was diagnosed with Leukemia while serving a term as ambassador to France. He ended up resigning his position because of his medical state thusly ending his career as a diplomat and later dieing of his cancer in Satiago, Chile on September 23, 1973.

Website Courtesy Of: Ariat Cruz, Cristina Loreto, and Iyari Tolmos; Coral Gables Senior High , 12th AP/IB World Author Web Site Project. 2007.