More than 20 unpublished poems by the late Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, most of them taking up romantic themes, have been discovered in boxes of his papers in Chile and will be published in Latin America and Spain in 2014 and 2015, according to reports from Spain.
Officials at the Pablo Neruda Foundation in Chile made the initial find, which was announced Wednesday by the Barcelona-based publisher Seix Barral. The poems are said to date from the 1950s and '60s, when Neruda wrote many of his most beloved works, including "The Captain's Verses," and "100 Love Sonnets."
The Spanish wire service EFE called the find [links in Spanish] the most significant unpublished material written by the poet, who died in 1973. The poems are said to be of "extraordinary quality." Seix Barral called them "the most important discovery in Spanish letters in recent years."
The new poems display "the imaginative power, the full expressive power and the same gift, the erotic and romantic passion" of Neruda's greatest works, the poet and academic Pere Gimferrer told EFE.
The Madrid daily El Pais published an extract of one of the poems. It begins: "Reposa tu pura cadera y el arco de flechas mojadas / extiende en la noche los pétalos que forman tu forma." (Your pure hip rests and the bow of wet arrows / stretches in the night the petals that form your shape.)
The only other unpublished works of Neruda to appear after his death were a 1980 collection of poems written during his youth and a 1996 collection of adolescent poems titled "Cuadernos de Temuco" (Temuco Notebooks).
Seix Barral will publish the new poems in Latin America later this year and in Spain in 2015, El Pais reported. No English translation was announced.