Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), pseudonym of Neftali Ricardo Reyes y Basoalto chilean poet, is considered one of the major poets of the 20th century. Neruda was born in Parral,Chile. He began to write poetry in his teens and studied to be a teacher. In 1924 his Viente poemas de amor y una canción desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, 1969), became a best-seller, making him one of Latin America's most famous young poets. A highly imaginative poet, Neruda began as a symbolist then became a surrealist and finally a realist, forsaking the traditional formal framework of poetry for a simpler, more down-to-earth form of expression. His influence on the poetry of the Spanish-speaking peoples has been great; however, his international reputation goes far beyond the boundaries of language. Neruda died of leukemia in Santiago on 23 September in 1973. His death was probably accelerated by the Pinochet coup earlier that month. During his long literary career, Neruda produced more than forty volumes of poetry, translations, and verse drama. A political radical, he became prominent in the Chilean Communist party, serving in the Senate from 1945 to 1948. In 1970 he was named the party's candidate for the presidency, and from 1970 to 1972 he was the Chilean ambassador to France. In 1971 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Lenin Peace Prize.