“Laughter is the language of the soul.”
—Pablo Neruda (and Lisa Simpson)
Born Neftalí Reyes, Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) was one of the most famous and acclaimed poets of the 20th century. And maybe of all time.
An ardent communist, he became drawn to it during the Spanish Civil War. He was also an admirer of Stalin, but became disillusioned when he learned all the horrors of his regime and his cult of personality. He didn’t abandoned communism, though.
He also was a diplomatic and a political figure in his native Chile, visiting a lot of countries which inspired some of his poems. When communism was declared illegal in 1948 he flew to return in 1952. He tried to run for president in 1970, but eventually gave his support to socialist Salvador Allende, who won but eventually got deposed and died in a coup d’etat in September 11th, 1973. A little more than a week later, he died of a heart failure.
His poems tend to be very erotic, surrealistic, historical or even political (guess on which side of the political spectrum), and a lot of them are known worldwide. He even won the Nobel Prize for Literature a couple of years before his death.
He also collected houses; the three of them are open for tourists in Chile, with all the weird things he collected on display.
Some works made by the poet are:
- Book of Twilights.
- Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.
- Residence on Earth.
- Spain in the Heart.
- General Song.
- And many more.
By the way, if you ask, his penname Neruda came from the Czech poet Jan Neruda. Who knows about Pablo (The Other Wiki says it could be from Paul Verlaine, though).
Tropes associated with him:
- Badass Boast: “Look around. There’s only one thing of danger for you here: poetry.” The fact that he said it to the armed forces searching through his house makes it even more badass.
- Big Fancy House: Three of them, actually, all in different cities. You can visit them if you want.
- More exactly, two of them ("La Sebastiana" and "La Chascona") are in Valparaíso and Santiago respectively. The third is in Isla Negra (and it's named after the place), a small coastal area. The three are open for tourist visits, and they're very famous.
- The Casanova
- Collector of the Strange: to name a few:
- Constantly Curious: His Book of Questions deals with him asking all kinds of stuff (metaphorical and nonsensical).
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: He thought his was when the government sent him to France to ship some refugees from the Spanish Civil War back to Chile.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Dirty Communist: That’s how the CIA saw him.
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
“I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”
- Never Live It Down: His former praise of Stalin gave him a lot of enemies and delayed his winning of the Nobel Prize.
- Nice Hat: Never left home without it.
- Pen Name
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Incitement to Nixonicide.
- Rule of Three: He had three women on his life: his first wife Maryka (mother of his Ill Girl daughter, Malva Marina), his second wife Delia del Carril, and the singer and nurse Matilde Urrutia.
- He also died three days after being hospitalized because of his long-time cancer.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: According to some.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Political?: Are you crazy? “Song to Stalingrad”, “New Song of Stalingrad”, “Salute to Batista”, etc.
- The World Is Just Awesome
- Word Salad Title.