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  • Fiona Prior

More Neruda

More Neruda

Having received some lovely feedback from last week’s posting of Pablo Larraín’s biopic Neruda, I thought I’d share some titbits:

  • Neruda was born Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto and adopted the pen name Pablo Neruda to avoid his father’s displeasure at his writing and possibly to his publisher’s joy as ‘Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto’ would look nowhere as poetic as ‘Pablo Neruda’ on a book cover

  • Neruda was close friends with Greece’s most famous composer Mikis Theodorakis (Theodorakis scored the film Zorba the Greek)

  • It was Neruda’s first hand experience of the Spanish Civil War and the assassination of his friend, the famous Spanish poet Garcia Lorca by forces of Franco that influenced Neruda’s life-long commitment to Communism

  • Pablo Picasso was instrumental in Neruda’s escape from Chile to Paris, as was future Nobel prize-winner Miguel Ángel Asturias Rosales and it was on the latter’s passport that Neruda traveled to Europe

  • Neruda was allegedly assassinated by Pinochet in a cloak and dagger attempt worthy of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. The story goes that while in hospital being treated for prostate cancer Pinochet bribed a doctor to give Neruda a toxic injection and Neruda was dead in little more than six hours. In this period Neruda rang his wife telling her he had been poisoned and to come and take him home!

It is obvious that Neruda captured the imagination of many more than just mí mismo!

I was also delighted to receive the following poem

You will Remember

You will remember that leaping stream where sweet aromas rose and trembled, and sometimes a bird, wearing water and slowness, its winter feathers. You will remember those gifts from the earth: indelible scents, gold clay, weeds in the thicket and crazy roots, magical thorns like swords. You'll remember the bouquet you picked, shadows and silent water, bouquet like a foam-covered stone. That time was like never, and like always. So we go there, where nothing is waiting; we find everything waiting there.

How glorious is the poetry of Neruda!

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