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Chile Admits Pablo Neruda May Have Been Killed by Pinochet Regime

Chile Admits Pablo Neruda May Have Been Killed by Pinochet Regime

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

The Chilean government on Thursday recognized for the first time that Nobel-prize winning poet and leftist diplomat Pablo Neruda may have been murdered by the regime of Augusto Pinochet, following the U.S.-backed coup that led to Pinochet's rise to power in 1973.

Chile's Interior Ministry made the statement in response to a ministry document published in May and obtained by the Spanish newspaper El PaĂ­s.

Essential Pablo Neruda:
1904 - 1973
I’m Explaining a Few Things
(written in response to the savagery of the Spanish civil war)

You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?
and the poppy-petalled metaphysics?
and the rain repeatedly spattering
its words and drilling them full
of apertures and birds?
I’ll tell you all the news.

I lived in a suburb,
a suburb of Madrid, with bells,
and clocks, and trees.

From there you could look out
over Castille’s dry face:
a leather ocean.
My house was called
the house of flowers, because in every cranny
geraniums burst: it was
a good-looking house
with its dogs and children.
Remember, Raul?
Eh, Rafel? Federico, do you remember
from under the ground
my balconies on which
the light of June drowned flowers in your mouth?
Brother, my brother!
loud with big voices, the salt of merchandises,
pile-ups of palpitating bread,
the stalls of my suburb of Arguelles with its statue
like a drained inkwell in a swirl of hake:
oil flowed into spoons,
a deep baying
of feet and hands swelled in the streets,
metres, litres, the sharp
measure of life,
stacked-up fish,
the texture of roofs with a cold sun in which
the weather vane falters,
the fine, frenzied ivory of potatoes,
wave on wave of tomatoes rolling down the sea.

And one morning all that was burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings –
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood.

Jackals that the jackals would despise,
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate!

Face to face with you I have seen the blood
of Spain tower like a tide
to drown you in one wave
of pride and knives!

see my dead house,
look at broken Spain :
from every house burning metal flows
instead of flowers,
from every socket of Spain
Spain emerges
and from every dead child a rifle with eyes,
and from every crime bullets are born
which will one day find
the bull’s eye of your hearts.

And you’ll ask: why doesn’t his poetry
speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land?

Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see
The blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood
In the streets!


Of course they had to kill him.

The voice of a truth teller is louder than all the guns and bombs and loudspeakers in the world.

And an artist telling the truth makes that truth clear.

The voice of Pablo Neruda lives on. It will be strong and clear and loud long after all his killers are moldering in the ground.


Too little, too late but at least it is a start. And the US silence on its part in orchestrating the demise of both Neruda and Allende and propping up of Pinochet is deafening.


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"Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood.

Jackals that the jackals would despise,
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate!"

That says it all, for all, past, present and future.


(upon hearing of Chile’s announcement that Pinochet murdered Neruda)

What sadness there is
lives in a house of squares
and calliopes
the circus of many moons and campaigns
and the devils in the highways
of all the oil-stained wolves
and the last tribes lost in the trees:

we will find them and kill their books
and songs, we will kill
their poets.
It will be done
because it is what we do.

In the last houses of song
where all the blood petals
and nose rings
of the legends of gypsies
in the caves above the Albaicin
across the oceans of trash
all the way to the great desert
along the western rib of the Andes
Neruda’s soul
rises up from the rare rain
and the carpets of jewelfish
that bloom in the ash.

I have cried for less.
But he is us, and she
is us
and all the children of the hourglass
and plums on the table
before you can say
this is the marrow
of those who have told the truth
and those who have been told the truth
and have been shunned and tortured for it, yes
they are us.

I have nothing more to add.
The lust of oil and highways
to the heartless islands
sinking in the melt
and the fires
have stunned us into silence.

How much of our lyric gospel
the plethora of secrets
not secret, myths
that passed on into the rewritten tomes
of what the tyrants are willing to tell us
how much can we lose?

we can pass this little tune to you.
It is everything we can do
under the hammer of the cancer
of phosphorus flares
that eat through to the bone
and find you in your basements
under the latest bombs
unless you pretend to be quiet
unless you pretend to be docile
and dumb:

I believe in you
This is what will go on.
Neruda, Lorca, the poets singing
in the back of the truck to the ash pits
and ovens in the hills,
the poison they slipped you
when you could not sleep
and were battling your own
version of death.

Go on.
Tell this story
the slow way
mouth to mouth,
to kiss.


Thanks, Poet, but you should credit the translator. Did you translate the poem yourself?

For Clovis:
An English translation of “I’m Explaining a Few Things” by Nathaniel Tam can be found here:

Below is Neruda’s poem en Espanol for purpose of your comparison:


Y dónde están las lilas?
Y la metafĂ­sica cubierta de amapolas?
Y la lluvia que a menudo golpeaba
sus palabras llenándolas
de agujeros y pájaros?

Os voy a contar todo lo que me pasa.

Yo vivĂ­a en un barrio
de Madrid, con campanas,
con relojes, con árboles.

Desde allĂ­ se veĂ­a
el rostro seco de Castilla
como un océano de cuero.
Mi casa era llamada
la casa de las flores, porque por todas partes
estallaban geranios: era
una bella casa
con perros y chiquillos.
RaĂşl, te acuerdas?
Te acuerdas, Rafael?
Federico, te acuerdas
debajo de la tierra,
te acuerdas de mi casa con balcones en donde
la luz de junio ahogaba flores en tu boca?
Hermano, hermano!
eran grandes voces, sal de mercaderĂ­as,
aglomeraciones de pan palpitante,
mercados de mi barrio de ArgĂĽelles con su estatua
como un tintero pálido entre las merluzas:
el aceite llegaba a las cucharas,
un profundo latido
de pies y manos llenaba las calles,
metros, litros, esencia
aguda de la vida,
pescados hacinados,
contextura de techos con sol frĂ­o en el cual
la flecha se fatiga,
delirante marfil fino de las patatas,
tomates repetidos hasta el mar.
Y una mañana todo estaba ardiendo
y una mañana las hogueras
salĂ­an de la tierra
devorando seres,
y desde entonces fuego,
pĂłlvora desde entonces,
y desde entonces sangre.
Bandidos con aviones y con moros,
bandidos con sortijas y duquesas,
bandidos con frailes negros bendiciendo
venían por el cielo a matar niños,
y por las calles la sangre de los niños
corría simplemente, como sangre de niños.

Chacales que el chacal rechazarĂ­a,
piedras que el cardo seco morderĂ­a escupiendo,
vĂ­boras que las vĂ­boras odiaran!

Frente a vosotros he visto la sangre
de España levantarse
para ahogaros en una sola ola
de orgullo y de cuchillos!

mirad mi casa muerta,
mirad España rota:
pero de cada casa muerta sale metal ardiendo
en vez de flores,
pero de cada hueco de España
sale España,
pero de cada niño muerto sale un fusil con ojos,
pero de cada crimen nacen balas
que os hallarán un día el sitio
del corazĂłn.

Preguntaréis por qué su poesía
no nos habla del sueño, de las hojas,
de los grandes volcanes de su paĂ­s natal?

Venid a ver la sangre por las calles,
venid a ver
la sangre por las calles,
venid a ver la sangre
por las calles!


It’s odd: you’re not really saying anything different from what a lot of posters on CD say every day-in a less erudite way. All I can say is-pull up a chair, order a drink, and have a smoke. You are in the company of America bashers.

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“Fascism can never be defeated. It must be transcended.”

It’s a fight that can never be abdicated. True words, NTO1.

David Atlee Phillips, CIA was deeply involved in 1973 CIA Chile Coup as he was CIA’s pervious Coups in Dallas (1963) and Guatemala. Everyone MUST read the incredible new book The Devil’s Chessboard by David Talbot.

The voices of all poets that speak the truth live on. Viva Roque Dalton, Bertolt Brecht, Li Po, Nazim Hikmet Pablo Neruda, Tom McGrath and many more. Long live the poets that continue that dangerous tradition ignored by academe and by most of the American “left” (but not by the NSA). Those poets can be found in the Blue Collar Review.

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Thanks for the link. I checked it out and there were some good, honest poems there - not the heartless academic crap that passes for poetry in so many MFA edited/MFA written poetry mags.