Pablo Neruda

(1904 - 1973)

Born in Parral, Chile, in 1904, Neruda became a literary celebrity following the 1924 publication of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, but continual financial desperation led him to take a series of consular positions. In 1945 Neruda joined the Communist Party and was elected to the senate; two years later, after publishing a letter critical of Chile’s anti-communist president, he went into hiding and completed Canto General. He died in 1973, twelve days after socialist Chilean president Salvador Allende, his friend, committed suicide during a coup d’état.

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