On Oct 21, 1971 Pablo Neruda won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Born in Chile in 1904, Neruda had a lifelong passion for poetry, publishing his debut collection, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, in 1924. He’s one of the most celebrated poets in history, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez once called him “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.” Here are some of the most insightful quotes from Pablo Neruda’s poetry and life!
Image via NObelPrize.Org
1. Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
2. As if you were on fire from within. // The moon lives in the lining of your skin.
3. Laughter is the language of the soul.
Image via npr
4. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.
5. You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.
image via the Poetry Foundation
6. And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us.
7. I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
Image via hurriyetdailynews
8. Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us
Pablo Neruda was a fascinating character. Born in 1904, he started writing poetry at age 13 and wrote in a wide variety of styles including surrealism, historical epics, political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems. One of his most famous includes Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despairwhich became famous and rather infamous for its eroticism. It was first published in 1924 and became Neruda’s most famous work, going onto sell twenty million copies worldwide.
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In addition to his poetic accomplishment, Pablo Neruda was internationally recognized as a diplomat, fostering relations between Chile and the world. However, he came under scrutiny when President Gabriel Gonzalez Videla outlawed communism and a warrant was issued for his arrest on account of Neruda’s own communist beliefs. Neruda hid in a basement for months before escaping into the mountains and fleeing to Argentina. He later returned to Chile and became a close advisor to President Salvador Allende. During this time, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, dramatically recounting his escape years earlier during his lecture at the event.
He died in 1973 when a military coup overthrew Allende’s government. His death is suspected as foul play: he was initially hospitalized for cancer and was reported to have died of a heart failure. However, in 2015 examination of his death found evidence he may have been given an injection that killed him, likely due to enemies that were overthrowing the regime he was loyal to. The case is still being looked at but Spanish medical doctors have reported it is highly likely Neruda did not perish of heart failure as was claimed.
Whatever the case, Neruda is a fascinating politician, diplomat, and a masterful poet. Celebrate his winning of the Nobel Prize today and crack open a few of his poem collections. We recommend:
The T.S. Eliot Foundation announced the shortlist for the 2019 T.S. Eliot Prize. Considered one of the most prestigious prizes any poet can win, the winner of this prize will receive 25,000 pounds with the 10 shortlisted poets receiving 1,500 pounds each. The list itself includes some noticeable standouts.
Jay Bernard is a debut poet and was nominated for Surge, a collection of poems about the 1981 New Cross Fire that killed 13 black people. He joins previous T.S. Eliot prize winner Sharon Olds who was nominated for her poem Arias, following the intimate thoughts of a young woman.
Jay Bernard | Image Via Wikipedia
A common theme amongst the nominees is the discussion of controversial topics. This includes debut poet Alexander Anaxagorou, who’s poem After The Formalities talks about racial abuse. Fiona Benson’s Vertigo & Ghost series depicts Zeus as a serial rapist. Ilya Kaminsky’s the Deaf Republic follows an occupied country persecuting deaf boys.
Alexander Anaxagorou | Image Via The Independent
John Burnside, chairman of the judges for the prize, feels very confident in this year’s nominees:
In an excellent year for poetry, the judges read over 150 collections from every corner of these islands, and beyond. Each had its own vital energy, its own argument to make, its own celebration or requiem to offer, and we knew that settling upon 10 from so many fine books would be difficult. Nevertheless, as our deliberations progressed, the same titles kept coming to the fore.
Many people know Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper on The CW show Riverdale, but she is also an avid poet. Most of her works are shared on her public Tumblr profile, but fans of her posts can now take some of her poems home.
Image Via Allure
Reinhart will be publishing a small book of poems and illustrations titled Swimming Lessons. The poems will focus on themes of young love, fame, and anxiety, all topics that Reinhart already discusses in her other poems.
Image Via Amazon
The book is described as “relatable yet deeply intimate, provocative yet comforting, bite-sized yet profound, Lili’s poems reflect her trademark honesty and unique perspective.”
The book will be available on May 5th, 2020. It is available for pre-order now.
The raven is a poem with a lot to unpack. I definitely remember an english teacher insisting that the purple curtains were overt symbolism. They’re MOOD you philistine. Anyway. It’s relateable to anyone who’s been tormented by a bird after everyone they love dies of consumption. So maybe just Poe.
I Just Wanted a Nap
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This is the most relatable part of the poem to me. This guy is just trying to take a nice depression nap because his lover died, and now there’s this whole bird situation he has to deal with. Even if it wasn’t talking, a bird inside the house is a whole mess. It’s like all those videos of people trying to chase owls out of their houses. Never mind that this one’s basically dragging him. Can’t a guy get a break? I mean, it’s not like he killed her, there’s no need to rub it in.
Finely Aged Memes
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Sure, the Netflix and chill meme is deader than Lenore (Netflix has even made jokes about it – yikes), but this actually sounds like a great date. Take me to your wine cellar! I kid. I’d rather watch mortar dry. The nap thing though, that’s a gem of an idea. I’m taking notes. Who doesn’t want to sleep? Plus, it’s cost effective. Perfect for students, really. Poe was ahead of his time. What a relatable man.
Misery Hates Company
Image via Reddit
Sure, it sucks to be alone when you’re sad, but maybe not as much as it sucks to be yelled at by some guy. *New York voice* I’m moping here! But really, you could at least be like… sorry bro. Sucks. Or just say nothing. Was nothing maybe the right thing to say? Just repeating yourself without explanation would be annoying enough at the best of times, but when someone’s mourning it’s just kind of a dick move. What’s your goal, bird?
A Sensible Reaction
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Have you seen those SNL skits where people are professing their love and the object of their affection is just like… ok. This has a very similar energy. Also this CLASSIC tweet, when the word limit was expanded. I mean, if a raven came into my house and started shouting I’d either befriend it or chase it out, there’s no need to lose your mind over it, as this Twitter denizen proves. Again, and maybe this says more about me than about Poe, but if some bird was yelling at me in my own house I’d yell right back. Get outa here.
Image via Memedroid
Okay, great shot, but I do hope they then took the cigarette. The last thing a person needs is to be harassed by a bird with a nicotine addiction. I also think that’s a crow, not a raven, though. Still, semantics – ultimately they’re both harbingers of death or whatever. Fun fact – I’m sure everyone knows it’s a murder of crows, but the term for a group of ravens is an unkindness. The titular raven really represents that spirit, too. I don’t exactly approve, but still, what an icon.