Originally published in Willow Springs 15

About Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after Czech poet Jan Neruda.

Neruda wrote in a variety of styles such as erotically charged love poems as in his collection Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.” Neruda always wrote in green ink as it was his personal color of hope.


William O’Daly’s published works include eight books of the late-career and posthumous poetry of Chilean Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda (Still Another Day, The Separate Rose, Winter Garden, The Sea and the Bells, The Yellow Heart, The Book of Questions, The Hands of Day,and World’s End with Copper Canyon Press), and two chapbooks of his own poems, The Whale in the Web and The Road to Isla Negra. As a finalist for the 2006 Quill Award in Poetry, he was profiled by NBC news correspondent Mike Leonard on The Today Show. A National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, his poems, translations, essays, and reviews have been published in a wide range of journals and anthologies. He received his M.F.A. in Poetry, Translation, and Literary Editing from Eastern Washington University.