Pablo Neruda was a Nobel Prize-winning Chilean writer and one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century.
He was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto in Parral in southern Chile on July 12, 1904. His pen name, which he later adopted as a personal name, was derived from the Czech poet Jan Neruda.
Neruda began his literary career when he was 13 years old as contributor in the local daily newspaper La Mañana. Among the many published works, the most renowned is Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, published in 1924.
During his lifetime, Neruda was accomplished in a variety of styles such as love poems, surrealist poems, historical epics, and political manifestos.
Pablo Neruda received numerous prestigious awards, including the International Peace Prize in 1950 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.
In addition to the literature, Neruda also was a diplomat and served a stint as a senator for the Chilean Communist Party.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.'Tonight I Can Write', Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924)
I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.'Every Day You Play', Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924)
A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who doesn’t play has lost forever the child who lived in him and who he will miss terribly.Unknown source
And one by one the nights
between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us.'Ode and Burgeonings', The Captain's Verses (1952)
But from each crime are born bullets that will one day seek out in you where the heart lie.'Song for the Mothers of Slain Militaimen', Spain in Our Hearts (1937)
Poetry is an act of peace. Peace goes into the making of a poem as flour goes into the making of bread.Memoirs (1974)
I have gone marking the atlas of your body with crosses of fire. My mouth went across: a spider, trying to hide. In you, behind you, timid, driven by thirst.'I Have Gone Marking', Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924)
You are like nobody since I love you.'Every Day You Play', Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924)
I like for you to be still, and you seem far away.'I Like For You To Be Still', Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924)
My struggle is harsh and I come back with eyes tired at times from having seen the unchanging earth, but when your laughter enters it rises to the sky seeking me and it opens for me all the doors of life.'Your Laughter', The Captain's Verses (1952)
Ah, love is a voyage with water and a star, in drowning air and squalls of precipitate bran; love is a war of lights in the lightning flashes, two bodies blasted in a single burst of honey.'Morning XII', One Hundred Love Sonnets (1959)
Hate is like a swordfish, working through water invisibly and then you see it coming with blood along its blade, but transparency disarms it.'Autumn Testament', Extravagaria (1958)
Take bread away from me, if you wish, take air away, but do not take from me your laughter.'Your Laughter', The Captain's Verses (1952)
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.'Tonight I Can Write', Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924)
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.'Sonnet XVII',One Hundred Love Sonnets (1959)
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.'Sonnet XVII',One Hundred Love Sonnets (1959)
But I love your feet only because they walked upon the earth and upon the wind and upon the waters, until they found me.'Your Feet', The Captain's Verses (1952)
We the mortals touch the metals, the wind, the ocean shores, the stones, knowing they will go on, inert or burning, and I was discovering, naming all the these things: it was my destiny to love and say goodbye.Still Another Day (1969)
I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair. Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets. Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.'Sonnet XI',One Hundred Love Sonnets (1959)
Holding your hips, I hold the wheat in its fields again.'Sonnet V',One Hundred Love Sonnets (1959)
Everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me.'If You Forget Me', The Captain's Verses (1952)
So I wait for you like a lonely house till you will see me again and live in me. Till then my windows ache.'Sonnet LXV',One Hundred Love Sonnets (1959)
Only do not forget, if I wake up crying it’s only because in my dreams I’m a lost child hunting through the leaves of the night for your hands.'Sonnet XXI',One Hundred Love Sonnets (1959)
Then love knew it was called love. And when I lifted my eyes to your name, suddenly your heart showed me my way.'Sonnet LXXIII',One Hundred Love Sonnets (1959)