In Honor of Tillerbabe - The Pablo Neruda Story  

TTigerAtty 62M
3769 posts
1/21/2006 6:47 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

In Honor of Tillerbabe - The Pablo Neruda Story

Our dear sweet friend, tillerbabe, was quite fond of quoting the poetry of Pablo Neruda in her blog postings. There were many times I was unable to even offer a comment because his deep messages were lost on my simple linear-thinking mind. Friends of Tiller all know how much these poems meant to her. And so, in her honor and in memory of one of our friends who is feeling a bit sad right now, please read and enjoy this biography of one of Tiller's favorite poets, Pablo Neruda, 1971 Nobel Prize winner in Literature. When you read the poem I've selected at the end of this posting, THE SADDEST POEM, please think of Tiller and pray that she will be happy once again!

Pablo Neruda ‒ Biography

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), whose real name is Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, was born on 12 July, 1904, in the town of Parral in Chile. His father was a railway employee and his mother, who died shortly after his birth, a teacher. Some years later his father, who had then moved to the town of Temuco, remarried doña Trinidad Candia Malverde. The poet spent his childhood and youth in Temuco, where he also got to know Gabriela Mistral, head of the girls' secondary school, who took a liking to him. At the early age of thirteen he began to contribute some articles to the daily "La Mañana", among them, Entusiasmo y Perseverancia - his first publication - and his first poem. In 1920, he became a contributor to the literary journal "Selva Austral" under the pen name of Pablo Neruda, which he adopted in memory of the Czechoslovak poet Jan Neruda (1834-1891). Some of the poems Neruda wrote at that time are to be found in his first published book: Crepusculario (1923). The following year saw the publication of Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada, one of his best-known and most translated works. Alongside his literary activities, Neruda studied French and pedagogy at the University of Chile in Santiago.

Between 1927 and 1935, the government put him in charge of a number of honorary consulships, which took him to Burma, Ceylon, Java, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, and Madrid. His poetic production during that difficult period included, among other works, the collection of esoteric surrealistic poems, Residencia en la tierra (1933), which marked his literary breakthrough.

The Spanish Civil War and the murder of García Lorca, whom Neruda knew, affected him strongly and made him join the Republican movement, first in Spain, and later in France, where he started working on his collection of poems España en el Corazón (1937). The same year he returned to his native country, to which he had been recalled, and his poetry during the following period was characterised by an orientation towards political and social matters. España en el Corazón had a great impact by virtue of its being printed in the middle of the front during the civil war.

In 1939, Neruda was appointed consul for the Spanish emigration, residing in Paris, and, shortly afterwards, Consul General in Mexico, where he rewrote his Canto General de Chile, transforming it into an epic poem about the whole South American continent, its nature, its people and its historical destiny. This work, entitled Canto General, was published in Mexico 1950, and also underground in Chile. It consists of approximately 250 poems brought together into fifteen literary cycles and constitutes the central part of Neruda's production. Shortly after its publication, Canto General was translated into some ten languages. Nearly all these poems were created in a difficult situation, when Neruda was living abroad.

In 1943, Neruda returned to Chile, and in 1945 he was elected senator of the Republic, also joining the Communist Party of Chile. Due to his protests against President González Videla's repressive policy against striking miners in 1947, he had to live underground in his own country for two years until he managed to leave in 1949. After living in different European countries he returned home in 1952. A great deal of what he published during that period bears the stamp of his political activities; one example is Las Uvas y el Viento (1954), which can be regarded as the diary of Neruda's exile. In Odas elementales (1954- 1959) his message is expanded into a more extensive description of the world, where the objects of the hymns - things, events and relations - are duly presented in alphabetic form.

Neruda's production is exceptionally extensive. For example, his Obras Completas, constantly republished, comprised 459 pages in 1951; in 1962 the number of pages was 1,925, and in 1968 it amounted to 3,237, in two volumes. Among his works of the last few years can be mentioned Cien sonetos de amor (1959), which includes poems dedicated to his wife Matilde Urrutia, Memorial de Isla Negra, a poetic work of an autobiographic character in five volumes, published on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, Arte de pajáros (1966), La Barcarola (1967), the play Fulgor y muerte de Joaquín Murieta (1967), Las manos del día (1968 ), Fin del mundo (1969), Las piedras del cielo (1970), and La espada encendida.

Further works
Geografía infructuosa/Barren Geography (poetry), 1972
El mar y las campanas/The Sea and the Bells, tr. (poetry), 1973
Incitación al nixonicidio y alabanza de la revolución chilena/A Call for the Destruction of Nixon and Praise for the Chilean Revolution, tr. (poetry), 1974
El corazón amarillo/The Yellow Heart (poetry), 1974
Defectos escogidos/Selected Waste Paper (poetry), 1974
Elegía/Elegy (poetry), 1974
Confieso que he vivido. Memorias/Memoirs, tr. (prose), 1974
Para nacer he nacido/Passions and Impressions, tr. (prose), 1978

From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1968-1980, Editor-in-Charge Tore Frängsmyr, Editor Sture Allén, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1993

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures. The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.

Pablo Neruda died on September 23, 1973.

Tiller ... The following Pablo Neruda poem is one that I can understand! Thank you for exposing me and others to his writings!


I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance."

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.

All the best from your many, many blogger friends! Take care and come back to us soon!



non illigitimae carborundum

Whispersoftly5 52F
15176 posts
1/21/2006 11:32 am

Wow - I've never read any Pablo Neruda before. I love it and can see why Tiller does. This is a nice post Tiger.

Tiller I don't really know you, but hope you're feeling better soon. I keep seeing so many nice comments about you. You must be a very special and sweet person.


rm_magnet4u22 49F
18406 posts
1/21/2006 12:33 pm

I understand this one, too....only to well.

I miss Tiller, of the other Trojan fans!


PrincessKarma 43F
6188 posts
1/21/2006 1:07 pm

See, this is the advantage of speaking Spanish, you can read poetry in two languages.

My sincere admiration for whomever translated Poem XX "Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche," verse is VERY hard to translate well!

Ohhh... *sniffle* now I'm in a tragic-romantic kind of mood... that poem always does that to me.

The Big Bang was the mother of all orgasms.PrincessKarma

TTigerAtty 62M

1/21/2006 1:17 pm

Two of my favorite ladies from the west coast (and two who bet and lost on the Trojans!)

Whispersoftly5 - I had never heard of Pablo Neruda before reading Tiller's blogs. Heck! He's a Nobel Prize winner! That's one of the neat things about this blogging. You meet nice people, and you learn so much by interacting! Tiller is out on the west coast with you Whisper. Just north of you in Seattle, WA. I've got your mailing address, so I'll be sending a pair of black and gold boxer shorts out there soon!

[blog magnet4u22] - Yep, Tiller is a PAC-10 fan! Her Washington, Huskies didn't fare too well this past season, but she was loyal to the PAC-10! That is the SADDEST POEM, isn't it? "Love is so short and oblivion so long." Up until finding this poem for Tiller, I quite frankly had never understood other poems by Pablo Neruda which Tiller posted. But I can relate to and understand this one! I'll send out a pair of boxer shorts for you if you'll just provide a mailing address! Ha! Ha! I could have never gotten into you gals' panties anyway! Whoops!? What did I just say? A Freudian slip!

TTigerAtty 62M

1/21/2006 7:57 pm

PrincessKarma - Good to see you out and about traveling freely throughout Blogville! When is the celebration of your return? Remember, the army is expecting lots of ale, wine and wenches!

rm_luke69iner 48M
3275 posts
1/22/2006 12:08 am

Very nice Tiger

I'm sure she will love reading this

S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo

TTigerAtty 62M

1/22/2006 1:51 pm

[blog luke69iner] - Hi Luke! Hope all is well out on the East Coast! I'm gonna have to post something else to flush Tiller out! Gotta get her back to bloggin'!

tillerbabe 55F

1/23/2006 9:05 am

You are SUCH the gentleman! {=}

TTigerAtty 62M

1/23/2006 9:34 am


keithcancook 60M
17718 posts
1/23/2006 2:24 pm

Jeeze, that is a sad poem. Those staves have brought a flood of memory along with some tears. Powerful words indeed to do that to me.

Blog On!

TTigerAtty 62M

1/23/2006 6:42 pm

keithcancook - Yes it is a sad poem. The line that really grabs me is "Love is so short and oblivion so long." Now, go forth and be happy!

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