Artists on Writers - No. 3, Pablo Neruda

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Poet of Lovers & Rebels, Poet of Dreamersby MARX77


As is the case with all artists, poets too are greatly influenced by the world around them and how they perceive it.

The splendor of the heavens above, the dynamics of the earth beneath their feet. The uncertainty of life, the inevitability of death. But more importantly, a poet's inspiration comes from what they carry within themselves; their memories, relationships, their dreams, joy and grief. Verses borne of turmoil and tragedy decades ago continue to resonate to this day and are as relevant now as they were back then. Truly poetry is an art form for the ages!

Among the few greats still spearheading the world of literature today, long after they themselves have passed on, is none other than Chilean poet, diplomat, and Nobel Prize in Literature winner, Pablo Neruda.

Unlike many of his peers and contemporaries, Pablo Neruda, to me, never really came across as a product of his time - he was way, way ahead of his time. True he supported communism, and his affiliation with the likes of Batista, Castro and Stalin raised many an eyebrow, even endangering his shot at the coveted Nobel Prize, which he won eventually. But one thing even his biggest critics cannot deny is the sheer genius of the man when it comes to poetry. Pablo Neruda's body of literary work has persevered over the years, and remains ever pertinent in today's rapidly changing world. Be it surrealist, political commentary, or poems on love and of course, love making, this Chilean poet was firing on all cylinders.

About Artists on Writers


Writers will always find inspiration in the visions of artists, always feeling compelled to tell the stories behind the moments captured in artists’ unforgettable images,

Just as,

Artists will always find inspiration in the words of writers, always feeling compelled to lend visual reality and habitat to the characters described in the scribe’s haunting words.

A Quote From Pablo Neruda


“Someday, somewhere—anywhere, unfailingly, you'll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.”
— Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda Inspired Artwork

In You The Earth

by Pablo Neruda

Little rose, roselet,
at times,
tiny and naked,

it seems as though you would fit
in one of my hands,
as though I’ll clasp you like this
and carry you to my mouth,

but suddenly
my feet touch your feet and my mouth your lips:

you have grown,
your shoulders rise like two hills,
your breasts wander over my breast,
my arm scarcely manages to encircle the thin

new-moon line of your waist:
in love you loosened yourself like sea water:
I can scarcely measure the sky’s most spacious eyes
and I lean down to your mouth to kiss the earth.


Written by colbalt-rain

Sonnet XI

by Pablo Neruda

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

Si Tu Me Olvidas

by Pablo Neruda

Quiero que sepas
una cosa.

Tú sabes cómo es esto:
si miro
la luna de cristal, la rama roja
del lento otoño en mi ventana,
si toco
junto al fuego
la impalpable ceniza
o el arrugado cuerpo de la leña,
todo me lleva a ti,
como si todo lo que existe:
aromas, luz, metales,
fueran pequeños barcos que navegan
hacia las islas tuyas que me aguardan.

Ahora bien,
si poco a poco dejas de quererme
dejaré de quererte poco a poco.

Si de pronto
me olvidas
no me busques,
que ya te habré olvidado.

Si consideras largo y loco
el viento de banderas
que pasa por mi vida
y te decides
a dejarme a la orilla
del corazón en que tengo raíces,
que en esa día,
a esa hora
levantaré los brazos
y saldrán mis raíces
a buscar otra tierra.

Pero si cada día, cada hora,
sientes que a mí estás destinada
con dulzura implacable,
si cada día sube
una flor a tus labios a buscarme,
ay amor mío, ay mía,
en mí todo ese fuego se repite,
en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida,
mi amor se nutre de tu amor, amada,
y mientras vivas estará en tus brazos
sin salir de los míos.

More on Pablo Nerudaby MARX77



A “Nerudean” posthumous episode… In 1994 director Michael Radford filmed the novel “Il Postino” (“The Postman”) in Italy. The romantic tale is about a young wannabe poet in 1950 who manages to get the job of delivering Pablo Neruda’s mail (the poet being exiled for his political activities at the time on a small island off the coast of Italy). The young man seeks to gather tips on becoming a real poet. Smitten by a beautiful young lady, the novice poet cribs sensual lines of love poetry from his new mentor Neruda to win over the subject of his desire. The actor who starred as the Postman and contributed to the writing of the screenplay, Massimo Troisi, put his scheduled heart surgery on hold to complete the film. On the day after filming was complete, Massimo died of a massive heart attack. Such is the tragic romantic passion, wrapped in barbed wire bracelets of personal anguish and political tumult, that captures the heart and enflames the soul when one is touched by the poetic magic of Pablo Neruda.

  • He was only 18 years old when his first and most famous volume of poems was published, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. It was 1923 and the passionate eroticism that infused many of his poems was shocking to most critics, especially since the source was such a young man then studying at the University of Chile in Santiago.
  • “Neruda” was a pseudonym he chose to shield himself from his father’s disapproval of his poetry.
  • Neruda would become famous worldwide as a “poet of love,” yet his “other life” would be that of an adversary of the system who lived under police surveillance and official government condemnation. When communism was outlawed in Chile in 1948 he had to be hidden by friends (being an elected senator for the party) before escaping through midnight mountain passes to many years in exile abroad.

  • He would return to Chile in his later years (after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971) and become a close adviser to socialist President Salvador Allende.
  • When fascist forces overthrew Allende on 9/11/73, the aging Neruda was in the hospital. He died of heart failure two weeks after the coup.
  • His bones were exhumed earlier this year by court order to determine whether or not he was, as rumored, poisoned by Pinochet’s henchmen. No definitive answer has yet been proferred by the forensics experts.
  • Forty years after his death this poet continues to be a firebrand of controversy pitting the lovers of his intensely humanist poetry against those who consider him a wolf in sheep’s clothing fomenting rebellion against social order and authority.

Questions For the Reader


  1. Do your political beliefs or associations influence your work?
  2. Should artists try to remain relatively “pure” and apolitical – concentrating instead on their art alone? Or is political thought as much a component of an artist’s passion as love or pain?
  3. Has a poem, a song, or a text ever influenced you in your consideration of a political controversy?
  4. Are there artists whose art you really like, but whose politics or public comments really offend you? How do you reconcile this conflict? Is there an artist whose work you greatly enjoyed, but whom you have now “abandoned” because of something you found about their political or personal life?

Research & Curation


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Annabeth5110's avatar
Problem is people hardly ever read around here.