Pablo Neruda (1904–1973), received the Nobel Prize in 1971. Find information on the life of poet Pablo Neruda through the official page of the Nobel Prize and through EDSITEment-reviewed Academy of American Poets. Neruda was a multi-faceted poet stylistically, writing unforgettable love poems, odes to everyday objects, as well as poetry dealing with the labors and struggles of the common man. Critic John Leonard of the New York Times said of Neruda: he “was, I think, one of the great ones, a Whitman of the South,” according to Neruda’s biography page from EDSITEment-reviewed The Poetry Foundation. This interactive Launchpad will guide you through several resources to learn about Neruda’s life, works, and one of his poems from Odas elementales, “Oda al mar.”
Pablo Neruda was born on July 12, 1904, in Parral, Chile, the son of a railway employee and a teacher. His mother died shortly after his birth. Resources from The Academy of American Poets and the Nobel Prize official page paint a general picture of the life of the great poet. In Spanish, the University of Chile presents, on its page on the life of Pablo Neruda, the different life stages of the poet, with a collection of photographs. Using these sources, and in particular, the Neruda biography available through the Nobel Prize official page, answer the biographical questions, below.
New York Times Book Review critic Selden Rodman, in the EDSITEment-reviewed resource The Poetry Foundation, said, “No writer of world renown is perhaps so little known to North Americans as Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.” As unknown as he may be, Neruda has been praised as the greatest Spanish-speaking poet of his lifetime. An interview with the poet in Spanish is available through the University of Chile. You can use this interview to learn more about the poet and his creative process. You can also hear the poet reciting some of his most famous poems in Spanish on this page from the same site. Finally, with the help of The Poetry Foundation and Pablo Neruda’s biography page from the Nobel website, answer the following questions about Neruda:
The poem “Oda al mar” was featured in the popular, world-acclaimed Italian film Il postino, in which Pablo Neruda was played by French actor Philippe Noiret. It appeared in the collection Odas Elementales (1954), and is available via the University of Chile. Odas Elementales reveals Neruda’s poetry as a way to appreciate everyday things for their individual essence or value and their relationship to the lives and struggles of the common man. The Odas Elementales explore the struggle of individuals and their connection with daily life and the universal. A translation of the poem in English is available through Calque, a literary translation journal. Follow the instructions to complete the exercises and questions below: