Biography of Pablo Neruda (Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto)

Pablo Neruda’s poetic works are full of love to his country and fervent commitment to communism.

Born: July 12, 1904
Parral, Maule Region, Chile
Poet, diplomat

Pablo Neruda

Biography of Pablo Neruda

Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto (which is the real name of Pablo Neruda) was the son of a teacher and a railway worker. Neruda’s mother died when he was less than a year old. Neruda wanted to become a teacher of French and even studied at the University of Chile, but writing poetry was by far much more appealing to him.

In 1927-1935 he lived in several countries, from Burma and Ceylon to Spain, which was required by the consulship posts he was appointed to by the government.


He played an active part in the Republican movement, served as a consul for the Spanish emigration and then Consul General in Mexico. He became senator of the Republic of Chile in 1945 (as a member of the Communist Party), but was forced to leave in 1949. Neruda died in 1973.

Creative work of Pablo Neruda

Neruda left an incredibly extensive poetic legacy. For instance, in 1968 his Obras Completas consisted of more than 3,000 pages. However, only a small portion of Neruda’s works can be found in English. Due to this fact the poet is not so well-known in North America.
Neruda was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1971, although there was a controversy in the committee because of the poet’s praise of Stalin. Interestingly enough, Neruda had another Nobel laureate, Gabriela Mistral, as a teacher in his early years.

Pablo Neruda poems

The first book of poems, “Crepusculario” was introduced in 1923, and a year later a cycle of love poems “Veinte poemas“ was published, which gained critical acclaim.

Three years later Neruda published the volume of verse called “Tentativa del hombre“, then he created the first two volumes of “Residencia en la Tierra“. The poet’s political views can be clearly seen in his poem “Canto general“.

In the course of time, however, Neruda wrote more and more poems on other subjects, sharing his impressions on things surrounding him in his daily life.

Popular poems by Pablo Neruda

  1. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
  2. Love Sonnet XVII
  3. If You Forget Me

Pablo Neruda death: 23 September 1973, Santiago, Chile