Edward Hirsch on Pablo Neruda’s exile
In this video created by Rattapallax magazine exclusively for Sampsonia Way, the poet Edward Hirsch talks about Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s deep and lasting influence on him. Neruda went into exile in 1949 after the Radical Party President Gabriel González Videla outlawed communism and issued a warrant for Neruda’s arrest. After being in exile for nearly 30 years and winning the Novel Prize for literature, he returned to Chile at the invitation of president Salvador Allende, where he read to a crowd of 70,000 people.
Hirsch has been reading Neruda since he was a kid. He is the author of six volumes of poetry, most recently Lay Back the Darkness, and president of the Guggenheim Foundation. In this interview, Hirsch speaks about the weight exiled writers bare and reads his poem about reading Neruda while working in a box factory.
The interview is presented by Rattapallax magazine and produced by Ram Devineni, the magazine’s editor and publisher. Now in its tenth year, Rattapallax is more than a literary magazine. It is a publisher and film company that seeks to “create international dialogue using literature and focus on what is relevant to our society.” This means creating wildly inventive films, creating “webseries” with literary themes, and hosting events worldwide.