Pablo Neruda still looks toward the Sea

Pics and text Adrián Soto

Neruda and his wife Matilde ramains in the garden of Isla Negra. © A.Soto

Neruda and his wife Matilde ramains in the garden of Isla Negra. © A.Soto

Pablo Neruda was 34 years old in 1938, when he returned to Chile from the Spanish civil war. Previously he had been working in Asia as a diplomat. At that time his names was already well known in literary circles. In cost of Central Chile, he saw and immediately fell in love, with a place on which huge black rocks stands on the shore of seaside beaten by the tireless Pacific Ocean´s waves.
Because of the rocks, he named the place is Isla Negra, Black Island. With the help of local carpenters Neruda started to build his house. In that house he composed some of his major works like “The Heights of Machu Pichu” and “The Captain’s Verses”
Sometime later Neruda wrote: “For me the sea is cleaner than the land. For that reason I decided to live in my home country in the coast, on Isla Negra, next to the foam of the great waves”. The house was never built ready. With time, new rooms and wings where added, so it became a sort of wooden labyrinth, with huge windows facing the sea.

The house became a pilgrim destination for Latin American intellectuals. Many memorable literary parties took place there. Neruda was with his third wife, Matilde Urrutia in 1971,when the news came from Stockholm that the Swedish Academy had granted him the Nobel Prize for Literature. Later on the poet was serving as ambassador of Chile in Paris when he was diagnosed cancer. He died in Santiago on September 1973, only two weeks after a bloody military coup overthrew his friend Salvador Allende from the country´s Presidency.
The house was closed down during the long period of military dictatorship. When democracy came back to Chile in 1989, the Pablo Neruda foundation turned the house into a museum. The human remains of Neruda and his wife were brought to Isla Negra and buried in the garden looking out to the sea.
Neruda foundation: http://www.neruda.cl
In 2013, following allegations that Neruda death was caused by poison, his human remains were exhumed. The same year in November, a team of 15 international forensic team stated that not chemical substances were found a cause of Neruda´s death.
Isla Negra is located some 120 Kms from the Capital city, Santiago. The road is good and a few steps from the Home-Museum there is a lovely lodging place but a little costly: Hosteria Candela. Nearby there are a number of more economic B&Bs.

The ships bells always tolled when the poet arrived home.  © A.Soto

The ships bells always tolled when the poet arrived home. © A.Soto


The ex-libri fish is the symbol of Neruda.  © A.Soto

The ex-libri fish is the symbol of Nerudian universe. © A.Soto


Nerudo wrote some of its major work in Isla Negra.  © A.Soto

Neruda wrote some of his major works in Isla Negra. © A.Soto

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2 Responses to “Pablo Neruda still looks toward the Sea”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hi, good post. I have been pondering this topic,so thanks for sharing. I will definitely be coming back to your site.

    Like

  2. Carlos Says:

    Se me vinieron a la mente tantos amores Adrían, cuando
    regrese voy a visitar Isla Negra:

    Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.

    Escribir, por ejemplo: “La noche está estrellada,
    y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos.”

    El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta.

    Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
    Yo la quise, y a veces ella también me quiso.

    En las noches como esta la tuve entre mis brazos.
    La besé tantas veces bajo el cielo infinito.

    Ella me quiso, a veces yo también la quería.
    Cómo no haber amado sus grandes ojos fijos.

    Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
    Pensar que no la tengo. Sentir que la he perdido.

    Oir la noche inmensa, más inmensa sin ella.
    Y el verso cae al alma como al pasto el rocío.

    Qué importa que mi amor no pudiera guardarla.
    La noche esta estrellada y ella no está conmigo.

    Eso es todo. A lo lejos alguien canta. A lo lejos.
    Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

    Como para acercarla mi mirada la busca.
    Mi corazón la busca, y ella no está conmigo.

    La misma noche que hace blanquear los mismos árboles.
    Nosotros, los de entonces, ya no somos los mismos.

    Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero cuánto la quise.
    Mi voz buscaba el viento para tocar su oído.

    De otro. Será de otro. Como antes de mis besos.
    Su voz, su cuerpo claro. Sus ojos infinitos.

    Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero tal vez la quiero.
    Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido.

    Porque en noches como esta la tuve entre mis brazos,
    mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

    Aunque este sea el ultimo dolor que ella me causa,
    y estos sean los ultimos versos que yo le escribo.

    Like

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