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The Heights of Macchu Picchu

Program #NERP001. Recorded in Boulder, CO on September 14, 1988.

Produced by David Barsamian as part of The World Poetry series.

Speaker(s):

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda was the pen name of the Chilean poet, diplomat and politician Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after the Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He became known as a poet while still a teenager. He was extraordinarily prolific and wrote in a variety of styles from historical epics and political manifestos, to erotically-charged love poems such as in his famous 1924 collection Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair. His Canto General of which The Heights of Macchu Picchu is part, is considered his masterwork. He often wrote in green ink, which was his personal symbol for desire and hope. The Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language." He passed away on September 23, 1973, just days after the CIA coup in Chile.

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