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article imageBBC World celebrates Pablo Neruda’s 'Poem 15' in 21 languages

By Igor I. Solar     Sep 23, 2013 in Entertainment
London - On the 40th anniversary of the death of Pablo Neruda, BBC World pays tribute to the famous poet through a video of Poem 15, one of Neruda’s most famous works, recited in 21 of the 28 languages operated by the BBC World Service.
The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda died on September 23, 1973, a few days after the military coup that toppled President Salvador Allende. At the time of the coup, Neruda was hospitalized in a clinic in Santiago de Chile suffering from prostate cancer. He died twelve days later. Although tests have confirmed that he had advanced cancer, other possible causes of his death are still under investigation.
Pablo Neruda received the Nobel Prize in Literature 1971. His work is remembered and admired not only in Chile, Latin America, and Spanish-speaking countries, but also in many countries in all continents. The celebrated poet is one of the most translated authors in the world. Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel Prize in Literature 1982, has referred to Neruda as "the greatest poet of the twentieth century in any language".
At 40 years after his death, BBC World pays tribute to the famous poet through a video of Poem 15, one of the poet’s most famous works recited in 21 of the languages operated by the BBC World Service (see video below).
The Poem 15 is part of the work "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair" which Neruda published in 1924 when he was 19. This poetry collection launched its author to fame, and is one of the most renowned literary works of the twentieth century in the Spanish language.
The following is an English translation of Poem 15 by Pablo Neruda:
Poem 15
It pleases me when you grow silent, as though you were absent,
and you hear me from afar, and my voice does not touch you.
It seems that your eyes have flown from you
and it seems that a kiss has closed your mouth.
As everything is filled with my soul,
you emerge from everything, filled with that soul.
Dream butterfly, you resemble my soul
and you resemble the word melancholy.
It pleases me when you grow silent and are as if far away.
As if moaning, butterfly lulled to sleep.
And you hear me from afar, and my voice does not arrive:
let me quiet myself with your silence.
Let me speak with you also with your silence,
clear as the lamplight, simple as a ring.
You are like the night, quieted and clustered with stars.
Your silence is of the star, so far away and simple.
It pleases me when you grow silent, as though you were absent.
Distant and dolorous as though you were dead.
One word then, one smile is enough.
And I am happy, happy that that is not so.
(Translation: Terence Clarke)
More about Pablo Neruda, Poem 15, Nobel prize winner, Spanish Literature
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