20 Never-Seen Poems of Pablo Neruda Discovered

They were found in boxes, said to be of 'extraordinary quality'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2014 2:13 PM CDT
20 Never-Seen Poems of Pablo Neruda Discovered
This 1971 photo shows Pablo Neruda, poet and then Chilean ambassador to France, talking with reporters in Paris after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.   (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

Someone combing through old boxes belonging to Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda made an amazing discovery: 20 unpublished poems from his prime years of productivity, reports the Guardian. His publisher says they are of "extraordinary quality," and one academic says they are full of "the imaginative power, the overflowing expressive fullness, and the same gift, the erotic or loving passion" as Neruda's best stuff. The poems, found among his manuscripts in his native Chile, will be published beginning later this year, reports the LA Times.

Sample line, translated to English: "Your pure hip rests and the bow of wet arrows / stretches in the night the petals that form your shape." Even those who aren't poetry fans might be familiar with Neruda given the intrigue surrounding his death in 1973. He had prostate cancer, but supporters think he got poisoned by the new regime of Augusto Pinochet over fears he would become a voice of opposition. Tests on his remains last year found no trace of poison, but the AP reports that a Chilean judge ordered new tests this month. (More Pablo Neruda stories.)

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