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Thursday, June 06, 2013

EXHUMING NERUDA

by Catherine Chandler


Was Pablo Neruda killed by Pinochet? When the great poet died 40 years ago in Chile, it was said to be from cancer. Now, lawyers say it was murder. --Nick Clark, The Independent, June 2, 2013


At Isla Negra, NeftalĂ­, you sang of joy and pain,
of poverty, Matilde, birds, of artichokes and rain.

And once at Isla Negra, they searched each corner of
your hideaway, but all they found was bread and wine and love.

And now at Isla Negra, they are digging up your bones;
they'll fly them to the capital then rearrange the stones.

In Santiago, Chile, nearly forty years have passed;
may this, your final journey bring the truth to light, at last.


Catherine Chandler is the author of four books of poetry, including Lines of Flight (Able Muse Press, 2011) and This Sweet Order (White Violet Press, 2012). Her second full length collection, Glad and Sorry Seasons will be published by Biblioasis Press (Windsor, Ontario) in March 2014. Catherine is a native of New York City, but has lived and worked in Canada for many years, most recently as lecturer at McGill University's Department of Translation Studies.