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Pablo Neruda

The Chilean poet and activist Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) became in his lifetime one of the most respected and widely read of modern poets. His poems sing of the grand themes of history, politics, dreams and nature, and yet they never stray far from the deeply personal. This was his gift, to love extravagantly and to write with compassion, conviction and grace that there was nothing nobler than the worker, the peasant, the gardener who by living fully and with great tenderness was the chief architect of history and its rightful heir. Neruda died of a broken heart after the US-backed assassination of his dear friend and colleague President Salvadore Allende and the destruction of democracy in Chile. Yet, his words continue to embody the hope that one day the rule of the conquistadors past and present, with their greed and violence, will finally be removed from his beloved countries of the Americas.
– Jack Manno

“Solitude and multitude will go on being the primary obligations of the poet in our time. In solitude, the battle of the surf on the Chilean Coast made my life richer. But I learned much more from the huge tide of lives, from the tenderness I saw in the thousands of eyes. This message may not come to all poets, but anyone who has felt it will keep it in his heart, will work it into his poems... To have embodied hope for many, even for one minute, is something unforgettable and profoundly touching for the poet.”
– from Pablo Neruda’s Memoirs translated by Hardie St. Martin