Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair is one of the most famous works of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904-1973). Published in 1924 , the poetry collection launched its author to fame with just 19 years old, and is one of the most renowned literary works of the twentieth century in the Spanish language.
The book belongs to the time of the poet’s youth as it was written and published when he still had twenty years. Its origin is explained as a conscious evolution of his poetry that tries to get out of the mold of postmodernism that dominated his early compositions and his first book, Crepusculario.
The work consists of twenty poems of love themes, plus a final poem entitled The Song of Despair. Except for the latter, the poems are not titled.
Although the poems it is based on real experiences of young love Neruda, is a book of love to one lover is not directed. The poet has mixed in his verses the physical characteristics of several real women of his youth to create a surreal image of the beloved does not correspond to any of them in particular, but represents a purely poetic idea of their love.
Themes and motifs
The love. Love is the only issue addressed in the book of Neruda, but it is a feeling that is not presented with a single face. We show the love of two forms: physical and sexual way, which appears directly in a past time; and a vague feeling tinged with melancholy.
The lover. Lover Figure appears as first-person narrator. It is often represented as being driven by a desire and disturbing, impossible to satisfy desire.
The beloved.’s Beloved usually distant receiver of the poems, and throughout the book takes shape in different ways.
Sadness.’s Most decisive, like the love, the feeling is sadness. The sadness of the characters or environments in which lie is prominent throughout the book, and becomes pure melancholy when it comes to recalling lost love.
The Neruda nature. Evokes feelings as symbols using the sea and coast, wind, forest, trees and leaves, and the twilight sky or night on the landscape.
The voice, song and poetry. Shaped sound vocal is evident to characterize loved by their absence or the presence of a voice subtly adjective.
The human body. Poet emphasizes the emotions aroused by the eyes and lips, especially when talking about the beloved. Also praises the intimate body of the beloved and sexual intercourse with her, which caused much controversy when published work.
The poet himself said Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair is the result of replacing conscious ambition and poetic eloquence trying to cover the mysteries of man and the universe in a new way.
Vocabulary is generally straightforward, although it belongs to the domain of conventional literary language from the romanticism and modernism.
This work brings together two different metric concepts. For one, there is an important nucleus of poems that match a regular metric in which emphasizes the use of Alexandrine . In other poems we find this tendency to regularly breaks the poet with great freedom.
Neruda won the book a perfect communication with the reader, without giving a complex and demanding development keeping in mind both the traditional values and new aspects of contemporary poetry that were emerging at the time of writing .
1. The Body of woman, white hills, white thighs
Two. At its mortal flame light envelops
Three. Ah vastness of pines, murmur of waves breaking
4. The morning is full of storm
May. For you to hear me
6. Remember you as you were last fall
7. Tilt in afternoon shooting my sad nets
. 8 you buzz White Bee – Honey drunk – in my soul
9. Turpentine Drunk and long kisses
10. We have lost even this twilight
11. Almost out of the sky anchor between two mountains
12. Enough For my heart your chest
13. I’ve been marking with crossfire
14. Every day you play with the light of the universe
15. I like you calm because you are absent
16. In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud
17. Thinking, tangling shadows in the deep solitude
18. Here I love you
19. Brunette and agile girl, the sun makes fruit
20. I can write the saddest lines tonight
A desperate song.
The Spanish group La Oreja de Van Gogh in his desperate theme song alludes to the book of Pablo Neruda.