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And hard spirits finally consummated the annihilation of a superb race whose deeds, valor, and beauty Don Alonso de Ercilla carved in stanzas of jade and iron in his Araucana. There, in central Chile, vineyards thrive and wine is plentiful.

My mother, Dona Rosa Basoalto, died before I could have a memory of her, before I knew it was she my eyes gazed upon.

We used to walk to school, along the unpaved sidewalks, step- ping from stone to stone, despite the cold and the rain. Raincoats were expensive, I didn’t like gloves, my shoes got soaked through.

I’ll always remember the wet socks hanging next to the brazier, and lots of shoes, steaming like toy locomotives.

When the Spanish conquistadors pushed them back, after three hundred years of fighting, the Araucanian Indians retreated to those cold regions.

But the Chileans continued what they called “the pacification of Araucania,” their war of blood and fire to turn our countrymen out of their own lands.

Intervals of dreaming help us to stand up under days of work. The vegetable world keeps up its low rustle until a storm chums up all the music of the earth.

Many of the things I remember have blurred as I recalled them, they have crumbled to dust, like irreparably shattered glass. They soar 5 6 MEMOIRS up over the carpet of the secretive forest, and the foliage of each has its own style, linear, bristling, ramulose, lanceolate, as if cut by shears moving in infinite ways ... High up, red copihues (Lapageria rosea) dangle like drops from the magic forest’s arteries ... Anyone who hasn’t been in the Chilean forest doesn't know this planet.

1977 First published in Great Britain by Souvenir Press (Educational & Academic) Ltd 1977 Published in Penguin Books 1978 17 19 20 18 Confieso que he vivido: Memorias Copyright © The Estate of Pablo Neruda, 1974 Translation copyright © Farrar. 1976, 1977 All rights reserved Printed in England by Clays Ltd, St Ives pic Set in Linotype Janson The final editing of Pablo Neruda’s memoirs was interrupted by his death Matilde Neruda and Miguel Otero Silva prepared the manuscript for publication.

Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser Contents / 1 THE COUNTRY BOY 5 2 LOST IN THE CITY 29 3 THE ROADS OF THE WORLD 55 4 LUMINOUS SOLITUDE 77 5 SPAIN IN MY HEART III 6 I WENT OUT TO LOOK FOR THE FALLEN 7 MEXICO, BLOSSOMING AND THORNY 15O 8 MY COUNTRY IN DARKNESS 165 9 BEGINNING AND END OF EXILE 193 10 VOYAGE AND HOMECOMING 221 11 POETRY IS AN OCCUPATION 253 12 CRUEL, BELOVED HOMELAND 329 Chronology 353 Index 365 MEMOIRS / I n these memoirs or recollections there are gaps here and there, and sometimes they are also forgetful, because life is like that.

The poet gives us a gallery full of ghosts shaken by the fire and darkness of his time. The barely audible cry of some bewildered animal far off . The great southern rain, coming down like a waterfall from the Pole, from the skies of Cape Horn to the frontier.

Perhaps I didn’t live just in my self, perhaps I lived the lives of others. 1 stumble over a rock, dig up the uncovered hollow, an enormous spider covered with red hair stares up at me, motionless, as huge as a crab ... Going on, I pass through a forest of ferns much taller than 1 am: from their cold green eyes sixty tears splash down on my face and, behind me, their fans go on quivering for a long time ... On this frontier, my country’s Wild West, I first opened my eyes to life, the land, poetry, and the rain.

PENGUIN TWENTIETH-CENTURY CLASSICS PABLO NERUDA Pablo Neruda, the internationally acclaimed Latin American poet, was born in 1904 in Parral, Chile.

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