Who’s your favorite poet? (Any chance he’s Pablo Neruda?) Wouldn’t it be fun if he would come spend the day with you at work? You could mutter in metrical verse to him about the latest news from HR. Or you could ask him to take the next call from a customer. You could even have him pop his head up over the cubicle wall and startle the bejeebers out of an unsuspecting colleague who needs a little more poetry in her life.
Take Your Poet to Work Day is coming July 17.
To help you play and celebrate with us, we’re releasing poets each week in a compact, convenient format that you can tuck in your pocket, tool belt, or lunchbox. Last week we brought you Sara Teasdale. We have requests for e.e. cummings, Billy Collins, Emily Dickinson and more. Some weeks maybe we’ll release full collections — the Beat Poets, the Big Six, the Confessionalists.
Is there a poet you’d like to see? Give us your suggestions in the comments. We’ll see what we can do.
Take Your Poet to Work: Pablo Neruda
Click here for a downloadable version of Take Your Poet to Work: Pablo Neruda that you can print and color.
Perhaps if you brought one of his poems along, you could have Pablo Neruda read it to your coworkers as they stop by the water cooler.
One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII
I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one who loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.
— Pablo Neruda, One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII
from The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems
Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet born in 1904. He was deeply involved in the politics of his beloved Chile, and in
ía Lorca and Manuel Altolaguirre. With Altolaguirre, he published a literary review, Caballo verde para la poesia.keeping with Latin American tradition, was appointed diplomatic roles, While in Spain, he forged friendships with Federico Garc
Neruda’s poetry ranges from historical epic to some of the world’s most potent love poetry. His politics informed his poetry, and he expected his poetic work to be a force for social change. He wrote in green ink, symbolizing hope. Neruda was expelled from the Chilean senate and went into exile for several years beginning in 1948. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.
His published works include Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, The Heights of Macchu Picchu, 100 Love Sonnets, and The Captain’s Verses, which was originally published anonymously. Neruda died of heart failure just days before the military ouster of his friend President Salvador Allende in 1973. Questions surrounding the cause of his death linger to this day.
Post and illustrations by Will Willingham.
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