Today I visited Pablo Neruda’s house. To give this comment some context I should probably mention that I am currently in South America, more specifically in Valparaiso in Chile. It’s a crazy town. The base of it is called ‘el plan’ a name which make sense when you see that all the streets near the port are in more or less a grid. Down there you could be in a city in any number of places. But Valparaiso then climbs up the hills behind it and this area has become, so it seems to me, the real heart of the town. The houses sit higgeldy piggedly upon the cerros (hills), each painted a different colour, most covered with graffiti, as roads spiral up and down, crossing one another as though plaiting the buildings into place.
Neruda’s is one such house and from the outside much less of an event than many of the others. However on the inside not only are there amazing views out over the city and the sea, but also an abundance of insights into the character of the Nobel prize winning poet. My favorite details were, in no particular order; the windows, like port holes; the carousel horse at one side of a circular room to make him feel like he was always at the fair; a picture of the queen with a ruff around her neck and opposite her another picture, this time of a man with a ruff around his neck, so that the queen would have someone to keep her company.