Pablo Neruda was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes y Basoalto in Chile in 1904. He published his first collection at the age of 19 and the following year his Viente poemas de amor y una canci
Neruda had a lifelong interest in politics and between 1927 and 1944 he was appointed to the consular service of Chile. His first book of political poems had been published in 1937. In 1947, while serving in the Chilean Senate, he published an open letter in which he accused the Chilean president of betrayal. An order for his arrest was put out and he went into hiding. It was during this time he wrote Canto General . In 1949 he escaped from Chile on horseback to Argentina and went into exile for several years. A romantic view of his exile is portrayed in the Oscar-winning Italian film Il Postino released in 1995.
He was later chosen as the Communist candidate for president in 1970. He also served as an ambassador to FranceContinued page 3/8