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Chile Honors Poet Pablo Neruda - 2003-09-24

Chilean President Ricardo Lagos and hundreds of other citizens have honored poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda on the 30th anniversary of his death.

President Lagos said Tuesday that Chileans were paying homage to Neruda, whom he described as the poet, the politician and orator who reinvented the history of the Americas. Mr. Lagos made his remarks at Mr. Neruda's home in the seaside village of Isla Negra.

Neruda was born Neftali Reyes in 1904 and later coined his pseudonym by borrowing the surname of 19th century Czech poet Jan Neruda.

In 1971, the Chilean poet won the Nobel prize for literature for his body of work. He died September 23, 1973, nearly two weeks after the military coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet to power.