Pablo Neruda, (1904-1973, pseudonym of Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto) was a Chilean poet, he is considered as one of the most important in Latin America.
He was born on July 12, 1904 in the city of Paral, Chile, his father was a railroad worker and his mother a teacher who died just a month after his birth. Two years later his father moved to Temuco in southern Chile where he remarried. Neruda began writing poetry at the age of 10, which worried his father. Perhaps because of his father's negativity, he began publishing his poems under a pseudonym, which he later adopted as his real name.
After finishing school in Temuco , having read countless books and having published many poems in newspapers and magazines till then, he moved in 1921 to the capital Santiago to study French literature.
During the period of his studies he published two collections of poetry and after finishing he continued to write but the money he earned was not enough so he tried and succeeded in being appointed to the Diplomatic Corps. He served from 1927 to 1935 as consul in Burma, Ceylon, Java, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Barcelona and Madrid. His experiences of impoverished countries and dictatorial regimes, as well as his friendship with Lorca in Spain, led him to become a follower of communism. The shift can be seen in his works as they turned from romantic to political, culminating in Canto general, where he expressed his Marxist views.
Neruda was married in Java, divorced after six years of marriage and while in Spain. There he entered into relations with the Argentine Delia del Carril who was twenty years older than him and became his second wife. When communism was banned in Chile, Neruda was persecuted for his views and writings and a warrant was issued for his arrest. To avoid imprisonment, he managed to leave the country. He went to Argentina and then to Europe. During his exile he met the Chilean Matilde whom he married in 1966 after his second divorce.
When the dictatorship in Chile was overthrown, he returned to his homeland,a well-known and rich poet by then. In 1971 he fell ill with cancer and in the same year he was awarded the Nobel Prize. The following year he helped Allende in his election campaign and shortly after Allende's assassination on September 23, 1973, he died of cancer; there were some people who claimed that he was poisoned by the dictator Pinochet. Pinochet forbade his public funeral but the crowd defied his order and flooded the streets turning the funeral into a protest. His works were banned in Chile until 1990.