The garden at Isla Negra was located in such a lovely spot overlooking the ocean. There were several large pieces of art accenting different sections, including this one. I don't know the significance of this particular piece, but it was striking. There was definitely an arty feel to the landscape design, which featured varied plantings, flowers and sculptural objects throughout.
I wanted to include more pictures from Casa de Isla Negra since the view was so beautiful!. Once again these were taken from the garden looking towards the beach area. It was a hot afternoon, so bathers were actually going in the water. Currents from Antarctica keep the water cold around parts of Chile, but there didn't seem to be a problem on this day.
Pablo Neruda was born Ricardo Eliecer Neftali Reyes Basoalto in 1904. At the age of 13 he published his first essay in the local newspaper. He soon was devoting most of his time to writing, his reputation growing. Although finding success, he had no money to speak of so worked in the diplomatic service for many years.
Neruda wrote poems on common everyday things, love poems and political poems. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. He was an agnostic and avowed communist. He was married three times and his only daughter had medical problems from the time she was born and died around 8 years of age.
Pablo took his name from a Czechoslovakian poet he admired, Jan Neruda.
Although experiencing success with his writing, Neruda was not financially independent so he turned to diplomatic service. While working as special consul for Spanish emigration, Neruda was responsible for shipping 2,000 Spanish refugees to Chile. These refugees had been placed in rundown camps by the French. He arranged for them to be transported to Chile on the boat, Winnepeg. (info. from wikipedia)
While in the garden we found this plaque, which tells of his intervention. It recognizes what he felt was his "noblest mission ever undertaken":
"They all boarded the boat /in its struggle, my poetry had managed to find them a new homeland/ and I felt proud." P. Neruda--The Spaniards of the Winnipeg 1939-1997.
This is the perfect place for dreaming up poems about the sea and it is understood that Pablo Neruda feared the sea, although he loved it. The nearest he would get to it was in this boat, which was situated in his garden... firmly situated. We were told that he enjoyed having an adult beverage in this vessel, while enjoying his view of the ocean without having to leave land. The view was spectacular from here!
Just as the inside of Neruda's home was accented with interesting and original pieces, his garden was likewise. Not only did we appreciate the breath-taking view of the ocean, but we got to experience the tranquility of his garden. Groups of pelicans flew overhead, beachgoers romped in the waves and a gentle ocean breeze cooled us as we explored the grounds.
Pablo Neruda's home was unique, each room showcasing some type of original collection. Whether it was figureheads, ships in bottles or insects it became obvious that Neruda was a collector!
Although we saw most of the rooms, there were a few that were closed to the public--his bar being one of these rooms. This room held a collection of bottles lining shelves along the windows.
I took my picture of the bar from the outside of the house. It looked like a nice place to retreat to at the end of a long and creative day of writing!
A walk along the outside of the house provided a close up view of the interesting architecture. Isla Negra is one of three homes owned by Pablo Neruda. The home contained 15 rooms, 11 of which were open for the tour.
Rooms of his homes are narrow with low ceilings, to approximate the feeling one has on ships. Nautical instruments, old maps, ships in bottles (41 of them) and figureheads add to the theme.
We loved touring each of Neruda's homes and found them to be creative and vibrant with color!
Pablo Neruda was entranced by the sea, yet intimidated by it. His homes reflect his interest in all things nautical. Figureheads were in many rooms of the house. A favorite figurehead called Marie Celeste was said to weep, but actually tears building up around her eyes was caused by a reaction to moisture. Pablo amazed his friends when he showed them this weeping beauty.
Another figurehead was of American songbird, Jenny Lind. One particular figurehead was a buxom half-clad lady with exposed breasts known was Guillemina, if I've got the name correct. Pablo is said to have commented that he loved looking at her...eyes.
If you enjoyed his poetry, you will need to know this place that served to him as inspiration many times...
Now houses a museum containing his works, his collections and a vivid look at the lifestyle of Pablo.