Pablo Neruda: With Reverence

Pablo Neruda

By now, many of us have heard that the body that carried our People’s Poet, Pablo Neruda, was exhumed on April 8, 2013 from his home grave at Isla Negra.

This is an occurrence that has left me with a feeling I can best describe as melancholy; triste. In it I find hints of the “archeological” atrocities committed against our ancestors whose remains and belongings have been unearthed and are displayed all over the world, for other people’s financial gains; hints of political insurgency directly supported by the power of the nation in which I was born and live and thrive in; hints of poetic irony, taking place, out of all months of the year, during National Poetry Month. And no matter how much I wrack my brain for something good to come out of this, I just can’t find it. No “final determination” will bring about any kind of closure or healing, for this act in itself speaks loud and clear about the unchanging dynamics between those who control and those who love.

Regardless, it’s an event which I felt I must cover, here at Condor, but have been unsure as to how to go about it. The coverage I’ve seen about this event has been shallow and sensationalistic, at best.

I’ve settled on offering you the following, so that if you desire, you can pay your respects to this wonderful spirit whose soul, through his poetry, has invaded every continent on this planet with love and resistance. Please consider this our personal wake, an open house for you to spend a few minutes of your day or evening, in mourning or celebration, paying respect. In addition, we’re pleased to share with you an excerpt of a treasured recording we have of Pablo Neruda reading his early poetry. If you like, you can listen while you watch the video of the exhumation below.

Click the play button to listen and mute the video below:

7 thoughts on “Pablo Neruda: With Reverence

  1. If Pablo Neruda was deliberately killed, this fact should be shared with the world. But if his death was an act of violence, then it was the deed of an individual, not on an entire nation or political system. Pablo Neruda’s words live on. And in that, his assassin (if there was such a person) failed to silence him. Such is the power of his words.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Raul. I agree with you, it is always an individual’s choice to go through with something or not, no matter how powerful the forces behind it. Yes, I felt tremendous pride playing his words during his exhumation. The people’s poet will never be silenced!

  3. Neruda has inspired me and continues to inspire me by word and deed! The impact of his courage and the beauty and truth in his poetry will be felt by the word forever! If he was killed by a regime to silence him, they ought to know by now they didn’t succeed! Still, I join you, querida, in remembrance of el gran poeta Pablo Neruda! Abrazos.

  4. I was a senior in high school, living at the time in Nicaragua, when our Spanish teacher assigned “Poema 20” for us to analyze. For me, that was a stunningly powerful and luminous moment. At once I knew that I was in the presence of a genius, and my life has been the richer for it ever since. The following year, don Pablo won the Nobel Prize. In this way, the greatness of his work came to the attention of poetry lovers throughout the world. He died the following year, only two weeks after the military coup in Chile. I have always believed that the timing was more than a coincidence. Don Pablo, speaking in exile, would have been the greatest thorn in the regime’s side. They could not afford to let him leave. Today, those of us who have long suspected foul play in the death of this marvelous poet will at last have the chance to know the truth. Still, regardless of the outcome, don Pablo, as well as those of us who have kept a candle lit all these years, will finally be able to rest in peace.

    • Thank you for your words, Silvio. I feel blessed that through the love and resistance of those of your generation Don Pablo’s voice was never silenced and generations born after his death are still able to be moved and inspired by his words.

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