LAS CRUCES, Chile – The funeral of Chilean poet Nicanor Parra, who died this week at the age of 103, got under way on Thursday with a private Mass limited to family and a select group of invitees including President Michelle Bachelet.
Before 7 am, the coffin containing the remains of the self-proclaimed “anti-poet” was taken from the Santiago cathedral where thousands came to pay their respects over the last few days and loaded onto the cortege for the 120-kilometer (75-mile) journey to Las Cruces, the coastal town he called home for more than 20 years.
Parra’s coffin was covered with a quilt woven by his mother.
Many area residents lined the route of the procession to Our Lady of the Assumption church.
After the Mass, the poet’s body was to be interred at his former home on the “Poets’ coast,” where from his backyard, Parra could gaze on the graves of Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda and Vicente Huidobro.
Nicanor Parra is considered one of the most important Latin American poets of the 20th century.