Pablo Neruda is one of the most influential poets of Latin America. He was born as Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto in Chile. During his adolescence, Neruda took on the name of a 19th c. Czech writer, Jan Neruda, as his pen to conceal his writing career from his disapproving father. By 1923, he had published his first book of poetry. Much of Neruda’s poetry reflected his sympathy for the people who fought fascism and lost.
In 1943 he aligned himself with the Communists who impressed him as a solution to the struggle for social reform in Latin America. Neruda’s tolerance for Communism was not looked upon with favor and he was forced into exile for a number of years. In 1972 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for literature for his astonishing poetry and literature.