Pablo Neruda (Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto)

Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was accomplished in a wide variety of styles, ranging from erotically charged love poems, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos.

In 1924 he published his second volume of verse, ‘Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada’ (“Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair”). This collection of love poems was controversial for its eroticism, but I just find it immensely beautiful. These poems were translated into many languages and are my all time favourites.

Here is an English Translation for you to enjoy:

No further explanation, my hat goes down to you Mr. Neruda, you had fantastic skills and I just wish my Spanish was better, just to read these poems in their original form.

Pablo Neruda (Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto) PHOTO:

Anyhow, there is a love poem (Love Sonnet XVII) also written by Pablo Neruda, which I wish was included in his work of ‘Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair’. It would fit in perfectly. Here it is:

Love Sonnet XVII

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

Ah, and by the way, me being originally from Czechoslovakia, I have to mention, that Chilean poet Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto (Pablo Neruda), Nobel Prize in Literature 1971, took his pseudonym (‘Neruda’) after a Czech writer and poet Jan Neruda, who was the most prominent representative of Czech Realism, member of “the May school” known for his satirical depiction of the petty bourgeois of Prague. Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto eventually also decided to keep the surname ‘Neruda’ as his legal name.

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