PART A: MELANCHOLY INSIDE FAMILIES
PART B: PABLO NERUDA-BIOGRAPHY
PART C: POETRY (poem)
PART D: IL POSTINO (film)
A tribute to Don Pablo….
By Jishnu Menon
1. Write a poetic response to the poem.
“Melancholy inside families” by Pablo Neruda is poem that is strong in visual appetite and conveys emotions such as gloominess and fear through those visuals. I believe the images that have been brought to the reader’s mind are not imaginary but tales of real life experiences such as natural disaster, poverty, death and misery. The poem seems it’s about a town sunken in floods, when it says “deserted room through which a river passes/dragging along the stones”. It also says “I arrive full of mud and death” and “corpses are sleeping” which shows significant amount of deaths that would occur during a natural disaster. Also, emotions such as fear and sadness have been conveyed through lines such as “menacing gestures”, “a terrifying deserted dining room” and “I am sad”. “Melancholy inside families” is a visual experience in the form of words, depicting a disaster struck environment. Furthermore, it can be imagined that the 1st person narration is coming from some form of matter other than humans.
2. Record two examples of juxtaposition in the poem.
“A dining room where roses arrive/a dining room deserted” and “a grocery store surrounded by the sea”
3. Other striking language and device used.
“a dining room deserted as a fish bone”- simile.
“a ray of moonlight tied down”-metaphor.
4. It only takes a moment for everything to fall apart, tomorrow is not going to be what it is today.
5. Describe Neruda’s inspirations.
During his beginning years, Neruda’s inspiration was his mentor Gabriela Mistral, who gave him encouragement; this is clearly visible in his first poem titled “enthusiasm and perseverance”. Once he had established himself in the publishing industry, his inspirations were drawn from social and political beliefs, especially communism and Marxism. A great example for this is his work during the Spanish civil war and revolution which resulted in the loss of his friend Garcia Lorca. This difficult time inspired his work “Spain in our hearts”. As pragmatic his political views were, his romantic side was equally notable. Neruda went through many failed relationships before he met his wife, these heart-breaking experiences inspired many of his romantic works, and the top of the list would be his work “20 poems of love and 1 song of desperation”. Needless to say, almost every experience in his life has inspired him. For example, when he was forced into exile by his own countrymen, he came up with his work “The Grapes and the wind”. In his final years, his inspiration was his wife; his love for her inspired him to write “100 Sonnets of Love”.
6. Other than poetry, in what activities was Neruda involved?
Other than poetry, Neruda had an eye for political reforms such as promoting communism and Marxism In both Chile and Spain. He was also responsible for keeping up diplomatic relations for the countries he represented (Chile and Spain).
7. In your own words, describe Neruda’s poetic philosophy.
Neruda’s poetry is not imaginary or larger than life, it is based on real life experiences of the past, present and coming future. Neruda’s idea was not satisfy his thirst for writing poems but to entertain people by constantly experimenting with his poetry, similar to how Picasso experimented with his paintings. Just like Picasso, Neruda’s works were also drawn from war, misery, pain sufferings and love. It is understood Neruda was a one who believed pen is mightier than sword, because no matter how difficult his situations were, he responded through his poetry about his life also managing to woo women with his romantic works. In my opinion, Neruda’s philosophy was to help people understand what was happening around them. Neruda possibly felt that people were living in an environment where their vision was being clouded and he felt it was important to make them understand that what was happening around them is not good and that they have a beautiful and prosperous country to live but they are not getting full advantage of it, this is of course with reference to his work inspired from politics. However, in terms of his love poems, he wanted to help readers relate the poem to their lives, since he has had experiences which his readers also might have had, such as failed marriage, relationships and falling in love.
By Jishnu Menon
So often I drown…to this thick white puddle.
I do not recall its foundations.
It never found me in sleep, for my eyes were never shuttered when it struck.
It struck in silence so it never occurred, until the teacher’s apple struck with vengeance. reel of images stop abrupt, eyes crowding on me from every needle.
My soul lost, hardly found way back inside.
I did not stop it, now way
But face it.
Wrapped around me like load not, like a girl who held my face and let stare.
I was living double lives and climbing cliffs.
Often climbing halfway, breaking into portals,
Nearly reaching summits that let fly buttoned, yet unbuttoned shirts.
And often I see Rumi’s field, beyond right and wrong.
Should I jump, should I survive?
I jump, for I was immortal to the subconscious.
So I, the attention deficit, flinching at my immortality, divinity, hunger to imagine, comparing myself to the creator, for I nurtured a world where I was, just me.
9. Write a love poem to Mario to Beatrice. Be sure to include metaphore.
perché by Jishnu Menon
perché? I the brave onlooker, loud but shy, fisherman yet weak, my boat will sink at when your waves of gaze taunt me.
Perché ? I the Play full lime,
Riding along the eclipse of
Sun, sea and cliff.
Absent and careless, present
I will pedal for you till the
End of top, through hairpins
To heaven and fall to the end of bottom.
Perché? I the speechless owl,
Drifting raft with a leaking drum,
Blood and sweat, rush and drain,
Drenching me when you near,
This isn’t fear, its hard labour,
Trying to handle your ignorance
As you gush past.
Don’t look away, I’m
No prince, I’m no jester,
I’m no gold. I’m me,
I’m strong, I’ll play with you,
Laugh with you, I’ll cry
With you, I swear on thee
I’ll flee before sun rise,
In search of metaphors and
Suppers to fill you,
Come suffer with me, I’ll return
For you when sun shay away, with bread, butter and love.
Perché? I the awful poet,
Looking for words to claim
Your heart, I may fail now, but this birth I shall spend gathering courage to say
I love you.
10. Identify three aspects of Neruda’s real life used in the film. What facts have been changed?
a) Neruda fled his country into exile due to political pressure.
b) Neruda was admired by females.
c) Neruda very much loved his wife.
However, Neruda’s wife is said to have been a singer, but the movie does not put any kind of spotlight on her. Also, Neruda’s exile was not spent in Italy.
11. How are words shown to have power? State what the film has to say about the power of words and poetry.
Words are the main reason the character Beatrice fall for Mario, it Mario’s research on metaphors and poetry that led to him reciting poems that flattered Beatrice. In the movie, Neruda tells Mario that he needs an inspiration for his poetry and not just words, and Mario figures out that Beatrice has to be the centre of his inspiration if he has to write her a poem and not just metaphors. The movie also emphasises that setting plays a strong role in writing a poem, as the movie shows Neruda asking Mario about the most beautiful things about the town and in the end of the movie Mario recording what are actually the most beautiful things about the town.
12. Beatrice’s poem to Mario.
By Jishnu Menon
Walk down the aisle,
For I have fallen for thy
Words or purity.
Find your best man,
For I’m ready to march
With him towards god.
Say yes, for I say the
Same when two circles
Of gold enter this life
For the bond that may
See no end.
Carry me to the shay,
For I shall ride with
You to the end of the world.