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Taking after the Czech poet Jan Neruda Chilean writer and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto is better known in the Pablo Neruda in the literary realm, and later on, in the political arena.
A master of surrealism in poetry and political manifestos in the 20th century, he was awarded the 1971 Novel Prize for Literature.
I have yet to read his controversial collection of love poems, Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada but even in the most political of his works--from his speeches to other political writings--his talent is easy to sense, weaving each word unto each sentence, as if it were each rightful place, in between each space and comma and colons and dashes and pauses that abide by the ardent punctuation of each thought.
And yet of all the words spoken of him by the people of his time, it is from Borges perhaps that the fine line that divides the dimensions of his thought into subdivisions of poetics and politics are made visible and clear to all:
"I think of him as a very fine poet, a very fine poet. I don't admire him as a man, I think of him as a very mean man."
And yet again, for a nation that has went through so much oppression from within its own boundaries, his meanness was so great as to give up his own presidential nomination to support the man who at his time was thought of to become, and today has been, the notable Salvador Allende of Chile's democratic socialist state.