Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, more popularly known as Pablo Neruda, was one of the most prominent Latin poets of the 20th century.
Pablo Neruda was born in 1904, in Chile. He started writing poetry at a very early age. He grew up in Temuco. His father did not approve of his poetry, and did not encourage him of it. His father discouraging him could be the reason why he started publishing under the pseudonym Pablo Neruda.
Even though Neruda did not get any support from his father, he wasn’t completely devoid of support. The major source of encouragement for him was Gabriela Mistral, a nobel prize laureate who won the nobel prize a few years before Neruda. Neruda published multiple poems in local newsletters and magazines.
Pablo Neruda published his first work, an essay at the age of 13 in a local magazine. In 1921, he left Chile to move to Santiago to study at the University of Chile in order to become a French teacher. He adopted a different lifestyle in Santiago almost that of a bohemian and was able to complete during that time his first collection of poems entitled Crepusculario (book of twilights) in 1923. A year later, he published another book, Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada which when translated into English means Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair published in 1924. Both of these books brought him recognition. For the next few years he dedicated himself fully to writing poetry and continued to publish poems.
But unfortunately, he was unable to make ends meet through just his poetry so he worked as a consul in Myanmar for about 5 years. After that he moved to Sri Lanka. By this time he was quite familiar with South Asian culture and wrote a book called Residencia en la tierra meaning Residence onEarth. In 1932, after spending time as a consul in Indonesia he moved to Chile with a woman he had married, Maria Antonieta Hagenaar. In 1933, he worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a consul. The following years Neruda moved around the world and became involved with the communist parties, also during this time he separated from his wife in 1936. He published another edition of Residencia en la tierra in 1935.
He moved back to Chile again in 1937 and became associated with the politics of his country. When he returned to his home country in 1943 from Mexico, he ran for senator and won in 1945 and joined th communist party. In 1948, he was exiled from the position of a senate for writing an open letter against the leader and he left the country so as to not get arrested. He spent his exile travelling around the world writing poems, he published Tercera residencia.
In 1952, he returned to Chile, again and lived there for the rest of his life. There he campaigned for political leaders and wrote a lot more books.
In 1971, he was awarded the Nobel Prize. He was terminally ill and died in 1973 in his home country of Chile.