Chilean Poetry

What is it about Chile that produces such world class writers? Chilean poets Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda won Nobel Prizes for literature; the first in 1945 and the second in 1971. Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American to win the prize. Is it Chile’s varied landscape, from desert to glaciers, from mountains to the sea; or the fighting soul of the Mapuche warriors that generated their passion? How do these writers inhabit our minds and souls with their words?

Give Me Your Hand by Gabriela Mistral

Give me your hand and give me your love,
give me your hand and dance with me.
A single flower, and nothing more,
a single flower is all we’ll be… (click title link for full text)

Check this article for an excellent read on Gabriela Mistral’s influence on Pablo Neruda as a child beginning creative writing.

Sonnet LXVI (66) from One Hundred Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire… (click title link for full text)

In an interesting turn of events, Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. Poetry is alive and well. Olé! Who is your favorite poet? Is it a singer songwriter? For me in Spanish, three Chilean poets vie for first: the ones I talked about in this and the previous post. In English, I like Maya Angelou, especially  the poem she wrote for President Clinton’s inauguration.

Gracias for reading! Rebecca

Para leer este ensayo en español, haz un clic aquí.



Rebecca Cuningham

3 thoughts on “Chilean Poetry

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