Neruda suffered from cancer, and he looked unwell, with a sickly yellow glow.
Medical experts caution that it may be difficult to prove, 40 years later, whether or not Neruda died of natural causes.
One of his best English translators, Alastair Reid, was a good friend of Neruda, and he died only a month ago in New York.
The Neruda family subscribes to this version of his death to this day.
Neruda shook his head sadly, saying that he fear for the worst.
Two writers who died recently, and whose influence on the Bohemian literature of the present day is great, are Neruda and Zeyer.
He seemed to delight in Neruda and Piatti, and followed the music with a score of his own.