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My obsession with Pablo Neruda began in 1987, when I found a couple of anthologies of his work in the poetry section of the Harvard Bookshop's downstairs sale section. I still own those books though I can't find them at this moment. Instead I am using Ben Belitt's Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda (Grove Press, 1961).
     Neruda was a great poet for many reasons. For some he will always be the orator in support of revolutions, the statesman with words making wings of his intentions. For others he is the poet of the infinitesimal truth, hidden in intimate moments; and for others still he is the Goethe of his world, describing malevolent winds, demiurges of the soul moving over the earth, over the lives of millions. The great poet, like Walt Whitman, understands both the multitudes and the one.

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