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In the entire Latin America consisting of 18 Spanish speaking countries, Chile is the only country which has two Noble Laureates. By Sujit Mukherjee*

INDIA: I was invited as a Poet Ambassador from India to represent India at the International Poetry Festival held at Santiago, Chile from 26th October, 2016 to 6th November, 2016.  This poetry festival was organized by the Poets of the World, known as 'Poetasdelmundo' (PPDM) which has 9000 poets from 132 countries as their members, the world’s most reputed and well represented organization for poets.  PPDM was founded by one of the most well known poet from Chile Mr Luis Arias Manzo.  In this festival poets from Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Equador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile and India participated.  This festival is organized by the “Poets of the World” organization, at different parts of the world namely Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and America.  These International Poetry Festivals  are the forum for get together of poets, listen to the poetry recitals from the world’s renowned poets, release of new poetry books, encourage poetry in the school, college and the university of the country where festival is held.  During the Santiago International Poetry Festival, participating poets visited different towns through out Chile and recited their poems in public gatherings, cultural centres, schools, colleges and universities.  Each of the town, school, college, university, were we visited, a public function was organized in honour of visiting poets, during such event National anthem of Chile as well as well as the National Folk dance of Chile were performed.  Local poets were encouraged to recite their poems.  15-20 such events were organized during duration of this poetry festival.  The events were covered by local newspapers and television channels.

Participation of Indian poets in this poetry festival were highly appreciated by the local people particularly in view of the fact that I could speak their language (Spanish) and recite my poems in Spanish.  Chileans as well as people from Latin America has very high regard for India and the Indians.  Most of the Chilean poets knows about Indian Noble Laureate Shri Rabindra Nath Tagore.  One of the poets from Costa Rica recited a poem of Rabindra Nath Tagore in Spanish.

Chile is a small country in South America bordering Argentina in the East and facing the pacific ocean (West).  Southern most tip of Chile is nearer to  Antarctica (Southern most tip of the world).  The Andes mountain range runs through the entire eastern border of Chile with Argentina.  A road project to connect these two countries through tunnel in Andes mountain is underway.   21000 miles long Latin America all weather highway starting from Maxico, connecting 18 Latin American countries passes through Chile.   Chile today is Latin America’s richest country with per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $ 23,000 similar to that of Central European Countries.  Chile is one of the leading producer of Copper and Wine in the world.  It has different climatic zones, for example, Southern part of Chile which is nearer to Antarctica is very cold and windy whereas Northern part has desert and rocky mountains.  Chilean people live in the central part of Chile.  Chile has mineral wealth as well as it is considered one of the foremost place in the world where wine is made.   

In the entire Latin America consisting of 18 Spanish speaking countries, Chile is the only country which has two Noble Laureates namely Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral.  It is a small country which is rich in art, culture, literature and poetry.  The graves of the well known Chilean poets are considered as shrine, local poets visit these graves to read their poems to the great masters.  Any visit to Chile is incomplete without getting to know more about the Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral.  Pablo Neruda was a diplomat by profession.  He composed poem on nature, human relationship, love from his very early age.  He is considered the most celebrated  romantic poet of 21st century.  He was awarded Noble Prize for Literature in the year 1971.  He was an avid art collector.  He had three houses in Chile.  Each house in Chile where he lived is currently is a museum of his art collection.   A sample of Pablo Neruda poem is given below

“Take the bread away from me, if you wish

Take air away, but

Do not take from me your laughter ….”

Ms. Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American author to win Noble prize in literature in the year 1945.  She was born in Vicuna in Chile.  A museum is created in her birth place by the Gabriela Mistral Foundation.  Theme of most of her poems were nature, love, sorrow etc.  Lyrics of her poems inspired by powerful emotions, as given below

“I feel my heart melting

In the mildness like candles

My views are slow oil

And not wine

And I feel my life fleeing

Hushed & gentle like the gazelle”

The Santiago, a place where poetry festival was held, is the Capital of Chile.  It is a beautiful city with the mountain in the East and Ocean in the West.  This place has beautiful parks, museum, cultural centres, underground railways etc.  Santiago city looks like any other city in Spain.  A small river runs through the city, from the Andes mountain (east) and drains into the ocean (west).   About 40% of the population of Chile lives in and around Santiago.  Valparaiso and Los Vilos are the two other main cities in Chile.   Coquito is the wine growing region in Chile.   Other tourist attractions in Chile are 1. Valle de la luna (moon like landscape in Atacama Desert, 2. Villarica and San Jose Volcans, 3.  San Rafael Glacier (in the southern chile), 4. Rapel lake (central Chile), 5. Ester Island, 6.  Torres del Paina National park etc. 

International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has a temple in Santiago.  Because of ISKCON presence in Chile and other Latin American countries particularly Argentina, many people in Latin America knows about Bhagwan Krishna and Bhagawad Gita.  Spanish version of Bhagawad Gita and Bhojogovinda etc are freely available in Chile.   ISKCON operates a vegetarian restaurant (Govinda) in the cities wherever they have a Krishna temple, this restaurant is gaining popularity in Chile.

Chile has Arid mountain in the Northern Region which are covered with different varieties of cactus.  Some of these cactus trees are as tall as 12 feet.  There are some places in Chile namely Elqui Valley, near town of Sorena in the Coquito region.  There is no better place in the world than Elqui Valley for star gazing in the world.  At one such place in Chile, at midnight I had the most mesmerizing experience of watching the galaxy of stars which appeared so near, so bright, so illuminating, as if I was sitting below the dome of the sky, an experience which can not be expressed in words.

Following are the poems I composed in Chile and recited in Spanish at various poetry reading sessions :




What a pretty name

What  a pretty place

You gifted your people

Friendship , love and music

You are vibrant

You are ageless

You are timeless

You are eternal

You endear one and all

Los Vilos I love you

Los Vilos I will keep returning to you …




I   looked for glittering stars  everywhere

You  remained hidden in the cloud  

Or  intense  smog  of a polluted sky

In search of you I  reached Vicuna

A  star gazing town

 In the mystical  Elqui  valley in  northern Chile


I  looked up  at the midnight dome of the sky

I  was awestruck  to watch the spectacular  galaxy

And  the constellations  of stars

Illuminating the dome of the  sky


I  was mesmerized

I  was  humbled

I  experienced  bliss


Stars winked at me and whispered

‘How  can I  expose my beauty  to all in all places ‘

Come and  Date with me at Vicuna 


May you too glitter like me

To special persons on special occasions  …


*ESTRELLA S in Spanish means star s




Waves and waves of your poems

Spread all over the world

I came from thousands of miles

To share my poems  with you

You are resting with your companion Matilda

In the isle Negra facing the pacific ocean

Smiling at us

Listening to our poems


Waves of the  ocean keep reciting your poems

Keeping them alive ….




From a tiny village

In the northern wilderness of Chile

A   simple  women  Gabriella

Enthralled  the world with her wisdom

Almighty revealed  herself in her  timeless  verses

Your aura  still pervades world

You now rest in a  mystical mountain

Near your home town …..

You listened to the  poems   that I read to you

Your blessing touched my heart

Tears rolled from eyes  in gratitude …


*Sujit Kumar Mukherjee


Sujit Mukherjee,  IWA,

Member International Writers Association (IWA) USA

Ambassador of the Poets of the World in India

Author, Poet, Photographer, Culinary Expert


All poems copy righted © by Poet Sujit Mukherjee



The videos of the meeting in Chile:






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