Wednesday, April 15, 2009


There was so much I took home with me after my study abroad in Valparaiso, Chile (and none of it needed antibiotics!)...But one of my most favorite things was a new-found love for Pablo Neruda.

I was able to visit his cottage by the sea, Casa la Isla Negra and walk the same route to university he took every day in Valpo...chills!

One evening after too much wine and broken Spanish with some friends, I stopped in a bookstore and bought Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair). It was a small chapbook and you had to rip the folded pages apart to get to the prose inside. I felt like I was opening a love letter written just for me each time I ripped a new page and read a new poem.

I struggled through the Spanish, well into the early morning.

Read this.

He was an activist, a lover, and one of the best poets to grace published pages.

Photo from the Selby.


  1. WOW! I went there too! I walked those streets too! I saw his houses and dreamed about him too! Instead of it making me want to buy a book, it almost made me get a tattoo of the Pablo Neruda fish - you know, the emblem with the fish and the circle with the eye slit looking thing. I didn't get it, though. But only because it was pre-Yam drinking days. However, I never did get to read the poems in the original Spanish. Which, of course, is my most compelling reason to learn more Spanish to date.

  2. Isn't Chile the bast place ever? I always imagine that when I'm an old biddy, I'll be living in Vina del Mar...I'm so glad you got to go there, too!

  3. That poem was amazing, and I'm an obnoxiously vocal poetry hater. I don't think there's anything in my life as magical as months spent in Chile... And, I'm sorry, but Songs of Despair?? Pablo, be mine!


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