Pablo Neruda’s early books made him famous enough in his native Chile that the government awarded him a series of diplomatic posts in Ceylon, Burma, Singapore, and Spain (just before the Spanish Civil War). Neruda wrote three books during this period under the collective title Residencia en la Tierra (A Stay on Earth). The selections presented here are taken from the first of these. Born in 1904, Neruda was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1971. He died in 1973.