INTRODUCTION: Several hundred people gathered at a cemetery in Santiago, Chile, last weekend (11 July) to celebrate the birthday anniversary of South America's most famous poet, Pablo Neruda.
SANTIAGO, CHILE 11 JULY, 1981 ( REUTERS - RAUL CUEVAS )
GV Crowd at Santiago cemetery
CU Poster of Pablo Neruda on his tomb
CU Neruda's widow Matilde PAN TO poet Francisco Coloane by tomb
SV Crowd of Neruda supporters PAN TO Coloane reading Neruda poems, ZOOM IN TO Matilde holding rose
CU PULL OUT Coloane reading poem
GV PAN Crowd applauding
Background: INTRODUCTION: Several hundred people gathered at a cemetery in Santiago, Chile, last weekend (11 July) to celebrate the birthday anniversary of South America's most famous poet, Pablo Neruda. Neruda died in September, 1973, having established a reputation as one of the most original writers of Spanish poetry this century. According to eye-witnesses, police watching the event made six arrests.
SYNOPSIS: Chile's great literary figure was born into a poor peasant family in 1904. As a youth he became a Communist and was later exiled. He returned after World War Two to become Chile's ambassador the France. throughout, he was writing his poetry and later won the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature. His themes were love, freedom, peace and brotherhood.
He was buried in a tomb here on the outskirts of the capital after his death at the age of 69. Those who came to pay tribute to his memory included Senor Francisco Coloane, a fellow poet, and his widow Matilde. she carried a single floral symbol of her love for the dead poet.
While police in plain clothes and in uniform watched, Senor Coloane read some of the great man's poetry.
Many of those at the cemetery were young people, a sign that Neruda continues to be a significant literary influence in the South American country.