13 October 2012
Analysis of some Poems of “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” Neftali Ricardo Reyes Eliecer Basoalto, better known as Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet, considered one of the best and most influential artists of the century, "the greatest poet of the twentieth century in any language" (García Márquez). He was also a prominent political activist; member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, candidate for the presidency of his country and ambassador in France. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair are based on real experiences of the young Neruda. The poet had mixed in his verses the physical characteristics of several real women of his youth to create an image of an unreal lover the collection is not directed to a single woman, which represents an idea of the object of his beloved purely poetic. Neruda uses several poetic resources to transmit his feelings to the reader, some of these resources are comparisons metaphors and ironies which are highly used on his work, the language used is simple and very descriptive, his poems are very romantic, the principle topics are the melancholy and love and his style is surrealistic and very descriptive. The poem 15 is "I like You When you are Quiet", of the book twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair talks about Neruda's feelings toward his beloved. This poem consists of 20 verses which can be divided in two parts: The first part would be from verse 1 to verse 19. The rhyme in this poem is pretty regular in almost all the poem. Poem 15 is a description of his beloved sleeping. Neruda uses comparisons and metaphors to create detailed descriptions about his emotions, people, things, nature, situations and feelings. The influence of surrealism in his comparisons are very clear, poet always chooses strange or unexpected things to describe simple things. An example of his comparisons can be found in verse 15: "You are like the night, quiet and constellated." Here Pablo compares his beloved with the vastness silence and beauty of the night. In verse 7 we find an example of a metaphor: "Dream butterfly, you look like my soul ". Where he compares his beloved with a butterfly, and when he says “dream butterfly” he is giving us a clue of the situation that he is describing. In conclusion, poem 15, shows the poet's fear of losing his beloved, but ultimately clarifies that actually he is happy, happy because the situation that he is describing is not happening she is just sleeping and he is just watching contemplating her beauty. Poem 16 shows the feelings of a man to his beloved. The poem has a total of 16 verses, and these are divided into four strophes. The rhyme throughout the poem is irregular. In this poem, we find several comparisons; for instance in the first verse: "In my sky at dusk you are like a cloud ", which gives us to understand that his beloved is unreachable as a cloud in the sky, another example is verse 16 " like water, stems the flow of your nighttime gaze. "Where Pablo compares her gaze with the dark of the night, Neruda in all his poems gives a detailed description which allows us to feel that where are inside the poem. In poem 16 metaphors are also found, like the one in verse 5 which says: "The lamp of my soul dyes rose your feet." In which the lamp represents the feelings in his soul, and he is trying to say that his at her mercy. A remarkable feature in this poem is the reduplication of a line in the third and ninth verse, which says "You are mine, you are mine." Here the poet expresses his desire to have her, and also shows his obsession with this woman. Poem 16 talks about the poet’s platonic love, where many comparisons and metaphors are found, and a feeling of obsession and craziness are perceived. Poem 20 “I can write the saddest lines tonight” of “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” is perhaps one of the saddest poems of Pablo Neruda. The author talks about a past relationship, where a lot of sadness, resignation and unconformity are present, but he is not very sure of his feelings, Is difficult for him to realize if he still loves her, “Though this is the last pain she will make me suffer, and these are the last lines I will write for her.” in the two final verses he decide to take her out of his life forever with the help of this poem. The poem consists of 32 verses, in 15 stanzas of two lines each, and two separate lines. In this poem the rhyme is regular and irregular. Neruda uses metaphors to express his sadness, for example in verse 13 “Hear the vast night, vaster without her." Neruda talks about the immense night, he is expressing his feeling of loneliness without her. Neruda sometimes likes to deceive the reader using ironies as in verse 27 " I don’t love her, that’s certain, but perhaps I love her. " The poet is expressing his confusion and indecision about his feelings. One of the saddest lines in the whole poem is verse number 28 " Love is brief: forgetting lasts so long." In this verse Neruda makes a comparison between love and forgetfulness expressing sadness, despair and resignation because of the loss of his beloved, and the time that he has spent trying to forget. The general themes in these poems are a celebration of women, anxiety, sadness, desperation, and melancholy, Neruda’s style is very romantic, descriptive and surrealistic, taking the lectors into his poems with his high writing skills. His principal poetical resources are metaphors, comparisons, ironies and symbolisms. He actually wrote his heart and soul in his poems, all his work is the proof that he is one of the best poets of the century.
Espada, Martin. "The Greatest Poet of the 20th Century In Any Language." Democracy Now. N.p., 16 July 2004. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. <http://www.democracynow.org/2004/7/16/the_greatest_poet_of_the_20th>. Chouinard, Daniel. "Poetry Like Picasso." January Magazine . N.p., Oct. 2003. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. <http://januarymagazine.com/artcult/neruda.html>. Eierman, Katharena. "Pablo Neruda Cryptic Style Inspired by Surrealism." Aspirennies. N.p., 2010. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. http://www.aspirennies.com/private/SiteBody/Romance/Poetry/Neruda/Pablo_Neruda_Cryptic_Style_Inspired_by_Surrealism.shtml Montero, Richard. "Figurative Language Analysis of Pablo Neruda." Tripod. N.p., 2005. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. http://richrad3.tripod.com/id Butler, Jane. "Poetry analysis: A Song of Despair, by Pablo Neruda." Helium. N.p., 24 Oct. 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. <http://www.helium.com/items/2245225-pablo-neruda-a-song-of-despair-poetry-analysis>.14.html> Poem 16
http://redroom.com/member/terence-clarke/blog/pablo-nerudas-twenty-poems-of-love-and-one-desperate-song-poem-16-a-trans Poem 15