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Pablo Neruda

Imagery Analysis

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Even in times of joy dark imagery can be found in Neruda’s work. During his travels to Europe and Asia Neruda slipped into times of depression, this depression was caused by his appointed political power in Europe. Because of the importance and secrecy of his new life as a politician he was often forced to desert his friends, his home and even his wives. His constant travel and time alone created an untimely loneliness in Neruda, visible in some poetry such as “Recidencia en la Tierre,” in which Neruda describes the malevolent energy from everyday objects.
The imagery we read throughout Neruda’s works reflects his innermost feelings such as from “Residencia en la Tierra,” one of Neruda’s surrealist poems that represent the rejection of rationality and society. Neruda achieves these representations by saying things like “They can cut all the flowers, but they’ll never stop the spring,” this small rebellion against the government instigated an abundance of uprising. Neruda also uses plenty of visual imagery throughout the most part of his works. Visual imagery is evident in passages like this one:

“the silence of the world is in its long coast
the foam of the world rises from its seaboard
the coal of the world fills it with mysterious kisses.
God burns in its finger like a live coal
and silver lights up like a green moon
its petrifies shadow that’s like a gloomy planet.”
                                   - Discoverers of Chile

These lines are from Pablo Neruda’s poem “Discoverers of Chile.” In this excerpt he never directly states his love for Chile, but his love is implied in the imagery. The imagery within this passage is used to describe the ambiguity of Chile, and the beauty hovering over the whole country. Imagery is widely used in all of Neruda’s poetry.
Neruda’s poetry is easily said by many to be some of the greatest Spanish poetry of the twentieth century. The literary devices used throughout his poetry are revered in many texts, and classrooms. Neruda utilizes his gift to create vivid images in his writing; he achieves this by using different literary devices such as metaphors, similes, personification, irony and many other devices and techniques.



Pablo Neruda by Richard Montero CGHS