Twenty previously unknown poems by Pablo Neruda have been discovered by the Pablo Neruda Foundation in Santiago, Chile. Seix Barral, Neruda’s Barcelona-based publisher, announced the news on Wednesday. Elena Ramirez, the company’s editorial director, called it “”the biggest find in Spanish literature in recent years,” and emphasized “the extremely high quality” of several of the poems.
Researchers at the foundation came across the poems while cataloging Neruda’s manuscripts, which are stored in boxes at the foundation’s library. The earliest dates from 1956. “It has not been possible to date all these poems, because they don’t all carry the date on which they were written; the poet only dated them in some cases,” Darío Oses, the director of the foundation’s library, said on the foundation’s website.
Six of the new works are love poems. The rest deal with a variety of subjects. Seix Barral, in Barcelona, plans to publish an annotated edition under the title “Poemas Inéditos: Pablo Neruda” later this year in Latin America and in early 2015 in Spain. An excerpt from an untitled 1964 poem was published in Spanish in the newspaper El País.
“These are not just any poems,” the poet and scholar Pere Gimferrer, who helped confirm the authenticity of the material and is working with Seix Barral on its publication, said in the publisher’s announcement. They bear comparison with his mature work, he said, showing the same “imaginative power and expressive abundance” found in such works as “Elemental Odes,” “La Barcalora,” “The Memorial of Isla Negra” and “Estravagario.”
Neruda, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971, died (murdered?) in 1973 at 69.