David Soul was introduced to the work of Chilean Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) in Santiago, Chile while on a concert tour of South America back in 1982. Pinochet was in power at the time and tensions in the country were high. While there, David was invited to a luncheon given by the Artists and Writers’ Society, a group of celebrated left-wing intellectuals and anti-government activists. David was made an honorary member of the group and given a book of poetry by Pablo Neruda called “The Captain’s Verses”. He was instantly captivated by the simplicity, beauty and passion that spilled off the pages.
Known in his homeland as the ”People’s Poet”, Neruda’s poetry was described by one famous writer as “closer to blood than to ink”.
Regarding David’s appearances at various U.K. venues during which he’s read the poetry of Chilean socialist/patriot Pablo Neruda: I hated poetry – and then I was introduced to Pablo Neruda. [He] has been a favorite poet of mine for I think about 25 years. It doesn’t say much for me because he’s been around a lot longer than I. He was a Nobel Prize winner in 1971, and he was a man who did some remarkable things from a very ordinary sort of start in his life. He wrote the definitive history of South America through epic poetry. He wrote about ordinary things … wrote incredible love poems. Neruda used to read in stadiums with 100,000 people, read his poetry. He was like a rock star at the time … beloved all over Latin America. I was never really into poetry before, but his poems are so full of passion, so sexy, so intimate. I fell in love with his work and it’s a love affair that has lasted. . . He writes the types of things men would love to be able to say and women would love to hear. There’s a real sense of history about his poems as well.
He lived what he wrote and wrote what he lived. It seems that everything he writes has a personal resonance.
Listen to an exclusive recording of David Soul reading the poetry of Pablo Neruda.