Happy birthday to one of the most widely read poets of the Americas, Chilean poet-diplomat Pablo Neruda, born on this day July 12, 1904 in the city of Parral in Chile’s Maule Region. Gabriel García Márquez once called Neruda “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.”
Neruda achieved recognition as a writer at the young age of 13, and his well known early publication of love poetry, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada), was published in 1924 when he was only 20. Some of his other highly acclaimed works include Residence on Earth (Residencia en la tierra) and One Hundred Love Sonnets.
Here is an excerpt from Pablo Neruda’s book Gift of a Poet (Regalo de un Poeta):
At night I dream that you and I are two plants-Pablo Neruda, Regalo de un Poeta
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.