PABLO NERUDA POEMAS PDF
Pablo Neruda was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet and politician Neftalí Jan Neruda. Neruda wrote in a variety of styles such as erotically charged love poems as in XV From:' Veinte poemas de amor'. I like you. Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada ‐ by Pablo Neruda. Ben Bollig. University of Leeds. Search for more papers by this author. The figure of the “amada” in Neruda's Veinte poemas de amor y una canción la hembra objeto de goce sexual” (), which he notes are united only by “el.
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From VEINTE POEMAS DE AMOR by Pablo Neruda, Santiago de Chile, From TENTATIVA DEL HOMBRE INFINITO by Pablo Neruda, Santiago de Chile, . Survival through Indirect Translation: Pablo Neruda's Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada into Korean. Article (PDF Available) · September . Books by Pablo Neruda. Crepusculario I Crepusculario. Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada I Twenty. Love Poems and a Song of Despair.
Se trata de un libro de grandes dimensiones 36 por 24 cm , encuadernado en tela roja. Imagen 1. La guarda posterior muestra a un hombre que emerge de una tierra colorida y sobre un horizonte de luz solar, mientras extiende sus brazos hacia el espectador. Imagen 2.
Primera guarda, obra de Diego Rivera. Imagen 3. Segunda guarda, obra de David Alfaro Siqueiros. Estas circunstancias, desafortunadas en lo personal, lo llevaron a dar un giro a su escritura. George Plimpton y otros, Westminster, Random House, , p. Por su parte, el poeta llevaba consigo aquella copia especial. Para evitar problemas con las aduanas, Neruda le hizo una portada al manuscrito. A lo lejos alguien canta.
A lo lejos. Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido. This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. Como para acercarla mi mirada la busca. My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer. My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. Nosotros, los de entonces, ya no somos los mismos. The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same. I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. De otro. Rojas secas de otono giraban en tu alma.
You were the gray cap and the heart at peace. In your eyes the flames of the sunset would do battle. And the leaves would fall in the water of your soul. Clinging to my arms like a vine, the leaves would take in your voice slow and calm. Bonfire of stupor in which my being blazed. Sweet blue hyacinth twisted over my soul. Sky from a ship. Fields from the hills. Your remembrance is light, smoke, a calm weIlt Beyond your eyes the sunset would blaze. Dry leaves of Autumn would whirl in your soul.
Four quartets of polyrhythmic alexandrines with a rhyme scheme that at first glance seems scarcely worthy of a schoolboy. Rereading the third stanza, our attention is drawn to the paradoxical meaning s of the concluding simile: We have here several images in one, a poetry that is designedly polysemous.
The rhyme pattern encourages the reader to anticipate "alma" as the term to complete the stanza, an 37 Love Poetry automatic response which in turn creates another simile, a simile that, if articulated, would more properly pertain to the level of conscious discourse: The unexpected substitution immediately creates a rich range of associative possibilities both logical and analogical based on a more complex unarticulated composite image: The same transferral technique is used in the calmajcasa verses "carazan en calma Neruda thus increases the metaphoric range of his poetry with the simplest of imagery and with an extraordinary economy of means.
The entire poem is structured around the idea of loss. Central to its meaning is the familiar seasonal imagery relating to autumn leaves and the inexorable march of time. Simple and familiar terms like "otono," "crepusculo," and "hojas secas" create the atmosphere of waning.
However, they are used in a novel way.
The poem is more than just a momentary evocation of the absent lover; it has a ritual, almost liturgical quality. The lover, elliptically evoked in the first stanza the famous "boina gris" , in the second and third is litanized through formulaic invocations: Hoguera de estupor en que mi ser ardia. Dulce jacinto azul torcido sobre mi alma. The impossibility of the lovers' ever being reunited is expressed through a masterful adaptation of the basic isosyllabic characteristic of the alexandrine: Neruda uses this rhythmic division syntactically to present a pair of enigmatic concepts in poised opposition.
Again the result is that of transferred meanings: But such a direct enunciation would have marred the delicate tone of the poem.
Neruda, by concentrating his expression and by skillfully transferring meanings through an associative process manages to force such a completion of the metaphor to take place in the imagination of the reader. The same technique is employed in yet another statement of the last strophe: Finally, the poem closes with an autonomous image that draws all these diverse ideas together.
The changing of the seasons and the waning of love: The writing is ostensibly not addressed to him; reading it, he silently and imaginatively recreates its generative process of associations in his mind. In this way the speaker's sentiment is effectively transferred to the reader.
For this reason perhaps, these poems, while so disturbing at a first reading, ultimately commit themselves to memory. And it is perhaps for this very same reason that they remain so popular today: But Neruda, having discovered the suggestive power of the autonomous image, would soon put the love poems behind him and embark on a new experiment in creative writing.
In an obscure and forgotten note in Claridad June , just after the J 39 Love Poetry publication of Veinte poemas de amor y una canci6n desesperada and a few months before the publication of the first Surrealist manifesto in Paris, Neruda explains a new technique: I write and write without being enchained by my thoughts, without bothering to free myself from chance associations I let my feelings loose in whatever I write.
Disassociated, grotesque, my writing represents my diverse and discordant depth. I build in my words a construct with free matter, and while creating I eliminate what has no existence nor any palpable hold. This was to be the basis for his next major work, Tentativa del hombre infinito.
The Vanguard Experiment Tentativa del hombre infinito My intention is to get the objective elements out of poetry and to say what I have to say in the most serious way possible.
What he said and did was all at once a matter of concern. And much of what he was doing and saying tended to keep him in the public eye.
In , for example, he took over the directorship of Andamios and converted it from a staid publication of the Federation of Chilean School Teachers into a full-fledged organ of the avantgarde, Caballo de Bastos. He was taking his newfound public role as a poet quite seriously, and it is from this period that we have the first of many poses of him strutting about Santiago with a long black cape, presiding over literary banquets, and surrounded by bohemian friends.
He was also writing. In he published three new books, all, incidentally, with Nascimento: El habitante y su esperanza The Inhabitant and His Hope , a novel; Anillos Rings , a volume of experimental prose-pieces written in collaboration with Tomas Lago; and Tentativa del hombre infinito Venture of the Infinite Man , a collection of fifteen new and unusual poems. Several of the poems had been published separately during the course of Although they continued for the most part the subject matter of the love poetry, they were written in what 41 The Vanguard Experiment seemed to be a much looser and increasingly less structured way.
Neruda, like other writers of the avant-garde, had come to forego the use of rhyme, meter, capitalization, and punctuation.
Thus, when Tentativa del hombre infinito appeared in January , there was much concern over the disintegration of form in his poetry. Predictably, the supporters of Neruda's previous works were the most disillusioned with his latest effort. If this is poetry, it is naked and anatomic.
Skin and bones. The flesh and blood that in the author's other books we had admired so much, fresh and palpitating, are missing here. What we mean to say by this is that the book has no form whatsoever. I t is a simple mass of phrases that are not coordinated and among which there are not even any natural or logical separations.
There is no punctuation. There are no capitals. One migh t just as well begin to read from the back as from the front, or even the middle. One would understand the same, that is to say, very little. N"eruda did not have to fight this battle alone though, nor for very long, since the book was well-received outside of Chile.
These poets, then Spanish America's most avant-garde, were able to appreciate what the critics in Chile could not, or did not want to. Toward the end of , though, the situation in Santiago changed somewhat as Neruda went about explaining his new 42 Tentativa del hombre infinito poetic practice. So persuasive was he at the time that even Raul Silva Castro did an about-face.
After interviewing Neruda for El Mercurio in October, he enthusiastically defined the Tentativa experiment as something totally new: Is this poetry? Of course it is. But it is a new kind of poetry. Neruda's writing had undergone a transformation that, momentarily at least, had thrust him ahead of his critics and interpreters.
For this reason he had to go out and explain to them what he was doing. My intention is to get the objective elements out of poetry and to say what I have to say in the most serious way possible. Even proper nouns seem to me false, elements foreign to poetry.
In the first canto of Tentativa there is a verse that says: At first I had written: Evidently Neruda was striving for a more concentrated literary discourse, one that would convey to the reader the greatest possible degree of subjectivity.
In June , shortly after seeing his love poems into print, he first outlined the reasoning behind what he then termed "Una expresi6n dispersa" A Dispersed Expression: The vehicles are still circulating outside, a child is crying desperately. Simultaneously a thousand admirable things from all around me coincide with the act of creating. They enter by cunning ways into the expression I feel, they secretly produce confused thoughts, they condition, they act upon the end result of meditation itself.
Why reject such thoughts? Why even disfigure them? Rather, whatever expression stimulates reality should be included, or be synchonized with the poem.
Thought, at every moment, goes beyond the words summoned to express it: To tie up, to discipline into a fixed form this imponderable content, to link it all together with bridges and chains, oh, how criminal! I build in my words a construct with free matter and while creating I eliminate what has no existence nor any palpable hold.
Instead of the "automatisme psychique pur" called for by Breton, Neruda advocates a more controlled kind of literary practice. Automatic wri ting is not an end in itself, but a useful firsts tep in the elaboration of the poem.
Free expression is to be followed by a process of revision, of construction, in which certain elements are eliminated so as to make the text more closely resemble unmediated discourse.
Breton wanted to capture the voice of the subconscious; Neruda wanted only to create the style of that voice. To this end, he subjected his Tentativa poems to a lengthy process of revision and modification, removing relator words, connectives, and finally even punctuation so as to enhance the run-on associative power of his imagery. That these changes were not capricious is evident in the periodical literature of the time where early versions of several poems first appeared. In one issue of Caballo de Bastos No.
Neruda was obviously aware of the different effects to be obtained with and without punctuation. Most readers in reacted, quite naturally, to what Tentativa did not have. The book's so-called "formlessness" was then most disturbing; even the pages were unnumbered.
Today we can view the same book from a postvanguard perspective and see it for what it actually does contain: In the love poems Neruda had experimented with a new kind of lyric discourse; in Tentativa del hombre infinito he gives this discourse a new form. The result is a highly cohesive work. If we return to the original text we can see that the series of cantos was arranged according to a definite plan whose unitydissembled in subsequent printings-was rather prominently stressed in through a prefatory declaration immediately following the title page: This announced poematic unity is more than confirmed in the system of textual correlations which artfully bring the cantos together in a singularly coherent whole.
The sequential organization is particularly evident: The disciplined organization of each of the separate cantos is visually apparent from the outset. In the first, for example, the perfect symmetry of the strophic arrangement gives a sense of balance to the disquiet of the nocturnal scene: Here the suppression of punctuation has the obvious effect of making the reader more sensitive to other basic modulating devices such as strophic unity and the syntactic order of the discontinuous discourse.
Thus, the imagery may readily be seen to be organized around the single, almost elemental simile of the central strophe comparing the city lights on the horizon to those of a ship readying to sail at dawn "ciudad desde los cerros The opening and closing strophes, devoid of subjective referents, serve as a kind of objective frame to the tristesse expressed in the intermediate couplets which, in turn, envelop the lyric content at the core of the canto.
The lack of punctuation is no mere vanguardist caprice, but a 46 Tentativa del hombre infinito sophisticated literary device largely responsible for the poem's run-on quality, its curious sense of suspension amidst seemingly perpetual motion.
Some idea of the calculated effectiveness of the artifice can be gleaned from the opening couplets where the rush of the unpunctuated lines is fixed in each strophe by parallel gerundial constructions that attribute a certain atemporal quality to the verbal prbcess and give a kind of substantive permanence to the imagery of flux.
A flux, moreover, whose enduring character is controlled throughout the rest of the canto by the consistent use of the present tense in the conjugated verbs, a maneuver which tends even further to freeze the motion, to lock it into perpetuity. The net result rather resembles a movie still, or, perhaps more precisely, a series of stills. Each strophe presents an arrested image of an action.
Extending the analogy with film offers some insight into the process of the canto's movement.
At the risk of oversimplification, a "zoom" effect seems to have been achieved in the succession of images from strophe to strophe. Holding the point of view constant while the angle of vision is changed permits the first couplet's mysterious fulgor of fire to come into view sequentially as the flickering of the city lights, a moored ship, a candelabra, stars, and finally a single star, the brightest in the firmament Sirius, in an earlier version. The vision is completed through a sequence of images whose associative element-light at night-brings together the counterpoised descriptions of the earth and the sky which frame the composition.
The suppression of punctuation is an artistic aid to the extent that it permits a loosening of the discourse, thus making possible in the first canto the special kind of elliptic continuity that results in the composite, cosmic vision of the nocturnal void. In this way Neruda succeeds in presenting a new version of an old theme: Tentativa del hombre infinito was an ambitious undertaking 47 The Vanguard Experiment for Neruda at the time.
Describing an imaginary sleepwalk through space and time, he arranged the book's fifteen separate cantos in an interrelated series making up the classic pattern of a quest. If we look at the second canto we can appreciate how it was made to resonate with the first through a kind of verbal parallelism: The same syntagmas "ciudad desde los cerros," "mi corazan esta triste" around which the basic imagery of the book's opening verses had been organized are here strategically repeated for an effect which is both unifying and episodic; in resonance with the nocturnal metaphor of the first canto, they serve now to make the solitary figure of the speaker stand out as he is imag- 48 Tentativa del hombre infinito istically linked to the previous description of the night.
Syntagmatic repetition, strophic unity, even the prosaic positioning of the temporal adverb "mientras," while all combine to highlight the narrator's role as protagonist in the creative present of the poem: The strophic distribution of the second canto is a unique controlling device no less significant than that of the first: Through a succession of discrete strophic visions, verbs of aimless striving "trepar," "rodar," "tambalear" accumulate in intensity while a new syntagma of position "tendido sobre el pasto" emerges to function as an imagistic anchor for the structured view of the poet as narrator, participant, and witness of the nocturnal quest.
The second canto thus effectively builds upon the first: We may recall that in one of the letters of the period, he had written: I go out every night at around five, to wander around the deserted streets, to wander through the countryside. Cartas de amor de Pablo Neruda, p.
The poems of love were entreaties to an absent lover; the cantos purport to be the somnambulistic ramblings of a preconscious state of mind. Hence, the importance of a certain amount of reader confusion and the variety of devices employed to maintain an air of uncertainty and vagueness. The entire book is a vanguard experiment in different styles and techniques. For example, in the third canto, when the "nocturnal voyage" actually gets under way, the measured strophic divisions of the earlier compositions are abandoned in favor of a single unit of nineteen uninterrupted lines simulating the headlong rush into the vortex of the night.
In 'this manner the poetic voice in the canto of departure achieves a subtle distancing effect, building up to the ecstasy of a participant, before shifting over to the lyric "you," and finally fading out to that of an impersonal observer: Whereas the first person is used to express the physical sensation of being immersed in the night-"eso me levantaba como la ola al alga" that lifted me up like algae on the wave -the third person is relied upon to achieve a certain narrative distance, to objectify the cosmic voyage, even prosaically to explain the motivation for embarking-"es que el queria ir a la siga de la noche" it is that he wanted to go off in pursuit of the night.
Teniativa del hombre infinito belongs to the tradition of the modern voyage poem.
To this end, the first three cantos fall into an epic pattern of departure: In the next three IV-VI , after the imaginary voyage begins, another pattern emerges as the hero is subjected to a series of trials, the ri tes of passage. Certain imagistic constants drawn from the introductory cantos are used to create an effect of narrative continuity.
Not surprisingly, Sirius, the "estrella inmovil" that closed the hermetic metaphor of the first canto, reappears transmogrified at the opening of the fourth: Starry imagery remains central to the other compositions as well. In the sixth canto the vast void of night is figuratively conquered, hyperbolically envisioned as an inverted well: Accordingly, the tone of the narrative voice changes, and the somnambulic poet finally begins to speak out with a pronounced assurance.
At the outset, syntagmatic repetition was used to fix the narrative situation of the imaginary voyage "tendido sobre el pasto deletreo" [Canto II ; now ellipsis is used for an almost breathless effect, running together imagery of joy and loquacity as the speaker whirls on into the center of the night: In Canto VII physical union realized through the sexual act becomes a metaphor for ultimate oneness: And in the ninth canto the body of woman is directly metaphorized as the vehicle of ecstasy, the "navio blanco" white ship of the imaginary voyage: After the cosmic union is realized the speaker's references to himself become more explicit.
In the latter portion of the poem -less cinematically descriptive and more impressionistically memory-oriented-movement between the narrative present and the remembered past is generally compressed in the same strophe, a device that effectively serves to contemporize the flashbacks: The clipped assertive narration is characteristic of the later cantos X-XII and stands in sharp contrast with the lyricism of the central portion of the poem.
Hyperbole is now reversed and used to augment the role of the narrator rather than merely to reduce that of the universe. In Canto X's verses the unfinished house of the poet's birth, without walls or roof, is aggrandized; the scaffolding is viewed as superimposed on the sunset, while the artificial light of the house-lamp is seen to illumine the sky. This is the kind of creative liberty with language made possible by the experimental attitude of the avant-garde. But Tentativa del hombre infinito is primarily a poematic quest for the absolute and only secondarily an experiment with new writing techniques; Neruda, mindful of his narrative plan, keeps his hero moving on toward a kind of atonement with the past.
At one point though, the narrator becomes engaged, Residencialike, in a meditative search for self: In the concluding portion of the book Neruda utilizes with particular effectiveness the avant-garde technique of juxtaposition. The narrator, denied his camera-eye objectivity and stripped of his neoromantic role as anxious participant of the cosmic flux, emerges most concretely toward the end in the assigned role of "hombre infinito" infinite man.
In Canto XIII, as the nocturnal adventure draws to a close-"el alba se divisa" dawn is visible -time and space are stretched out and treated materially in a unique imagistic recital of the hero's return: The fifteenth canto functions as a kind of epilogue and, through the reuse of certain expressions drawn from the earlier cantos for example, "mi corazan esta cansado" , ties together the narrative plan of the work: Anticipating yet another nightfall, the poem's closure implies a certain cyclical continuity: At the end, as at the beginning, the gerundial run-on constructions and the accumulative repetition of temporal adverbs combine effectively to lock the poematic quest in a timeless present.
This is a major work. It brought the interior monologue into Neruda's poetry without the Surrealist dependence on automatic writing. Moreover, this book, for its innovative use of language and its highly charged lyric content, constitutes the link between two extraordinary masterpieces: Veinte poemas de amor and Residencia en la tierra.
Yet, for all its perfection, it never gained the readership Neruda wanted it to have. Accepted only by the literary avant-garde when it first appeared, it was quickly passed over and was all but forgotten until quite recently.
Over the years Neruda, continuing his campaign of , kept on insisting that critics go back and read this work to find the origins of his disciplined approach to poetry. In , for example, we find him stressing the seminal importance of the Tentativa experiment: Nevertheless, even with its smallness and its minimal expression, it assured more than any other work of mine, the path I was to follow.
I have always looked upon Tentativa del hombre infinito as one of the real nuclei of my poetry, because working on those poems, in those now distan t years, I was acquiring a consciousness that I didn't have before, and if my expressions, their clarity or mystery, are anywhere measured, it is in this little book. To be sure, the quest for ultimate oneness was one of the constants in the later Modernist literature of Spain and Spanish America, and it was essentially from this aesthetic perspective that Neruda himself had earlier dealt with the theme in the final poem "La canci6n desesperada" of his Veinte poemas de amor y una canci6n desesperada.
Hermeticism The Residencia Cycle The world has changed, and my poetry with it. Subsequent experiments with vanguard techniques in Tentativa del hombre infinito carried the young poet out of a provincial orbit and assured him of a more than local fame.
However, it was only after the publication of Residencia en la tierra in that Neruda was widely hailed internationally not simply as another good poet but as the major new poet of the Spanish language.
The life of Pablo Neruda
When he arrived in Madrid as Consul in the most prominent younger writers of Spain such as Federico Garcia Lorca, Jorge Guillen, and Rafael Alberti banded together to manifest publicly their admiration for his work, a contribution that, in their words, "constitutes without dispute one of the most authentic realities of poetry in the Spanish language today.
Parnassus is not often so quickly scaled. In Neruda's case a combination of circumstances in which strategy and chance played equal roles helped the poets of his generation to perceive what it took the critics much longer to realize: Residencia en la tierra furnished a new and modern diction to poetry in Spanish.
This system of expression, so appropriate to the existential concerns of modern Hispanic authors, was so inextricably linked to the person of Neruda, that others who wrote in the same vein in Spain and Spanish America were quickly, perhaps too quickly, dubbed "nerudianos" and the hermetic modality they practiced "Nerudism. For this reason, in a retrospective view of Neruda's work of this period fact must be separated from fancy, the purely literary from the merely legendary, in order to arrive at an accurate appreciation of what is truly unique in the literature of the so-called Residencia cycle.
The cycle has an interesting history. After the local impact of Veinte poemas de amor y una canci6n desesperada and the later international resonance of Tentativa del hombre infinito Neruda was recognized as a man of letters, both within and without Chile.
He then sought and obtained a post in his country's diplomatic corps-not an unusual occupation for a successful poet in South America. Assigned as Consul to Rangoon in , he began to send back for publication in the Chilean press travel notes, impressions, and poems recording his new experiences in the Far East.
The disciplined concentration of this patently occasional literature reveals a shift away from the exuberant lyricism of his earlier work. Neruda stressed the literary significance of this change in letters to his friends.
As early as , he wrote to the Chilean novelist Jose J 59 Hermeticism Santos Gonzalez Vera about a new book of poems to be called Residencia en la tierra: That is to say, I have passed a literary limit that I never believed myself capable of surpassing, and to tell the truth, the results surprise me and console me.
My new book shall be called Residencia en fa tierra and it will contain forty poems in verse that I want to publish in Spain.: Various complications, not the least of which was Neruda's persistent ambition to publish in Spain, stalled the appearance of this portentous work until And even then it was published not in Spain but in Chile, and in a limited edition.
Its carefully elaborated poems numbered thirty-three and comprised compositions written between and In , having finally found a suitable publisher in Spain, Neruda reedited this first volume of Residencia en la tierra and added a second, a continuation, with twenty-three more poems. The strategy was correct, for these two volumes, published in Madrid on the eve of the Spanish Civil War, would secure his fame. With the triumph of the combined edition of Residencia en la tierra Neruda's creative energies were freed to work on a third volume of poetry.
At this point, during the war years, he began to emerge as a socially committed poet. In he collected his writing for the period under the title Tercera residencia. These three volumes, containing all Neruda's poetry from a twenty-year period predate Canto general , the lengthy epic on man's struggle for justice in the New World, and thus constitute what has come to be called the Residencia cycle. The closed time interval, spanning two decades, and the sequential title combine to imply a stylistic and thematic continuity that is not always borne out by the poetry itself.
The third, Tercera residencia, is decidedly political. Only through a comparative book-by-book examination of the elements of change and continuity in each of these three works can we hope to arrive at an accurate determination of the qualities, both specific and general, of the poetry somewhat loosely considered to make up the Residencia cycle.
Residencia en la tierra I I have described how Neruda, on his return to Chile from the Far East in , arranged to publish his poetry with Nascimento in a deluxe limited edition.
This text, of a grand format 27 x 36 em. Time has confirmed the original judgment of the book's importance, although for somewhat different aesthetic reasons. What was unique then is less so today. There was much polite discussion at that time concerning certain unusual qualities of this enigmatic text, notably its prosaic rhetoric and its profound pessimism.
Postwar enchantment with existentialism has legitimated a pessimistic attitude in literature, and prosaism has come to be accepted as a norm of modern poetry. Thus, the reader of today is not likely to be stunned by the opening poem of Residencia en la tierra, somewhat puzzlingly titled "Galope muerto" Death Gallop or Gallop toward Death; not Dead Gallop as it is sometimes translated: Como cenizas, como mares poblandose, en la sumergida lentitud, en 10 informe, o como se oyen desde el alto de los caminos cruzar las campanadas en cruz, teniendo ese sonido ya aparte del metal, confuso, pesando, haciendose polvo en el mismo molino de las formas demasiado lejos, 61 Hermeticism o recordadas 0 no vistas, y el perfume de las ciruelas que rodando a tierra se pudren en el tiempo, infinitamente verdes.
Aquello todo tan rapido, tan viviente, inmovil sin embargo, como la polea loca en sf misma, esas ruedas de los motores, en fin. Existiendo como las pun tadas secas en las costuras del arbol, callado, por alrededor, de tal modo, mezclando todos los limbos sus colas. Es que de dande, en que orilla? El rodeo constante incierto, tan mudD, como las Iilas alrededor del convento, o Ia llegada de Ia muerte a la lengua del buey que cae a tumbos, guardabajo, y cuyos cuernos quieren sonar.
Por eso, en 10 inmavil, deteniendose, percibir, entonces, como ale teo inmenso, encima, como abejas muertas, 0 numeros, ay 10 que mi corazan palido no puede abarcar, en multitudes, en Iagrimas saliendo apenas, y esfuerzos humanos, tormentas, acciones negras descubiertas de repente como hielos, desorden vasto, oceanico, para mf que entro cantando, como con una espada entre indefensos. Ahora bien, de que esta hecho ese surgir de palomas que hay entre la noche y el tiempo, como una barranca humeda?
Ese sonido ya tan largo que cae listando de piedras los caminos, mas bien, cuando solo una hora crece de improviso, extendiendose sin tregua. Aden tro del anillo del verano una vez los grandes zapallos escuchan, estirando sus plantas conmovedoras, de eso, de 10 que solicitandose mucho, de 10 lleno, oscuros de pesadas gotas. Like ashes, like seas peopling themselves, in the submerged slowness, in the unformed, or as heard from the height of the 62 The Residencia C 'cle roads the crisscrossing of tolling bells, having that sound already separated from the metal, confused, weighted down, becoming dust in the same mill of forms too far away, or remembered or not seen, and the perfume of plums that rolling to the ground rot in time, infinitely green.
All that so rapid, so alive, immobile nevertheless, like a loose pulley, those wheels of motors, in short. Existing like dry stitches on the bark of trees, silent, all around, in such a way, entwining the edges of all limbos. From where is it, by what way, on what shore? The constant rotation, uncertain, so mute, like the lilacs around the convent or the arrival of death on the tongue of an ox that falls tumFor that bling, chest down, and whose horns want to bellow. Now then, of what is made this surging of doves what is between the night and time, like a wet ravine?
That sound already so long that it falls striping the roads with stones, rather, when only an hour grows unexpectedly, extending itself relentlessly. Within the ring of summer one time enormous pumpkins are listening, stretching out their emotive roots, of this, of what is being so much solicited, full, dark with heavy drops. Readers conditioned to the subtle logic of symbolist verse were once concerned with the odd way each of the poem's first four strophes begins.
Relative adverbs and demonstrative pronouns are used to give an aura of authoritative certainty to what is otherwise unclear. The obscurity is intentional, as is the rhetorical prosaism which draws attention to it.
The first strophe, for example, of some ten lines, is organized as a single phrase, an incomplete phrase. The accumulative repetition of "como," the familiar comparative term of most similes in Spanish, reminds the reader that the comparison is incomplete.
He is linguistically conditioned to expect a joining of images which in fact never takes place; he is never informed of just 63 Hermeticism what is being compared with what. This expectation, frustrated in the opening strophe, is basic to the entire poem. The second strophe begins with a demonstrative construction "Aquello todo," All that , which too implies a logical continuity that is not forthcoming; and the adverbial locutions C'Por eso," For that reason, "Ahora bien," Now then , which give false starts to the third and fourth strophes, serve a similar purpose.
T'he poem is not based on external correspondences; it relates inward, upon itself. Not a composition about something definite or even an autonomous invention as in the best tradition of the avant-garde, it is instead a poetization of undefined experience. The speaker of the poem seems to feel the world and register his impression of it without need of further explanation.
Meaning is not imposed. The result is a poetry not of immediate insight but of gradual discernment, a growing awareness that is systematically transferred to the text of the poem, even in violation of normal Spanish syntax as though to demonstrate its pre-logical quality.
This apparently is the purpose of the many verbs in the participial form, functioning as gerunds "como mares poblandose The idea conveyed is that of an eternal process of becoming, the participial expression effectively eternalizing the described action.
Action occurs without beginning or end, in a seemingly eternal process, whose meaning is rhetorically questioned by the poem's speaker in the second strophe: Es que de dande, por dan de, en que orilla?
El rodeo constante incierto, tan mudo. Similar queries, always without answers, are dispersed throughout the poem. The effect is disquieting. All this activity, this rush toward nothingness, seems so pointless, so utterly meaningless. Yet the poem concludes on this affirmative note: The plants grow; life goes on. But the poet conveys only this. Writers of a happier epoch used plants and flowers as symbols for nature's ceaseless process of renewal. Such a felicitous "discovery" would often prompt philosophic conclusions concerning the continuity of life, the generations of man, the progress of the universe.
Neruda's posture is not so feigned. He does not explain anything more, for in truth he cannot. But he too goes on, in spite of the seeming indifference of the universe and the lack of universal meaning. This is the theme of the first Residencia en La tierra: Especially when in one of this volume's prose poems, "EI deshabitado" The Uninhabited , recreating a standard situation of literary impressionism, the isolating density of a fog, the speaker adamantly refuses to philosophize, to speculate on the meaning of what is beyond the immediately discernible: De modo que el ser se sentia aislado, sometido a esa extrafia substancia, rodeado de un cielo proximo, con el mastil quebrado frente a un litoral blanquecino, abandonado de 10 solido, frente a un transcurso impenetrable y en una casa de niebla.
Condenacion y horror! De haber estado herido y abandonado, 0 haber escogido las arafias, el luto y la sotana. De haberse emboscado, fuertemente ahito de este mundo, y de haber conversado esfinges y oros y fatidicos destinos.
De haber amarrado la ceniza al traje cotidiano, y haber besado el origen terrestre con su sabor a olvido. Pero no. Condemnation and horror! To have been wounded and abandoned, or to have chosen the spiders, mourning and the cassock.
To have hidden oneself, strongly fed up with this world, and to have conversed of sphinxes, and gold and fateful destinies. To have grasped the ashes of quotidian clothes, and to have kissed the ,terrestrial origin with its taste of oblivion. But no. As the prose poem concludes, Neruda permits only a restatement of the same experience in a somewhat more objectively concentrated style.
He poetizes the materiality of solitude, and this alone: Materias frias de la lluvia que caen sombriamente, pesares sin resurreccion, olvido. En mi alcoba sin retratos, en mi traje sin luz, cuanta cabida eternamente permanece, y ellento rayo recto del dia como se condensa hasta llegar a ser una sola gota oscura. Cold materials of the rain that somberly fall, sorrows without resurrection, oblivion. In my bedroom without portraits, in my suit without lights, how much space remains eternally, and the slow straight beam of day how it is condensed until becoming one single dark drop.
There is an implied metaphysical attitude here, recognizable today as existential: But if this is so, and if the poet is sincere, why does he write? What is the function of poetry in such a bleak and barren universe? Residencia en la tierra is part of this tradition, though, in it N eruda seems less concerned with theory and more with practice.
The work is unique in that it does not attempt to justify itself internally. There is little internal reference to how or even why it was written. The poems, covering a diverse range of topics from monsoons to marriage, are arranged more or less chronologically. The first and longest section, containing twenty poems, includes the earliest and most hermetic compositions-those written in Chile during a period of intense avant-garde experimentation as well as those written in the stylized literary posture of the isolating density of the Far East experience The third and fourth sections taken together contain only seven poems, all written after , and are by far the most discursive, at times even anecdotal.
The most curious section in this book is the second, which contains only prose. In an age of free verse, what is the function of a poem in prose? Why insert prose in a collection of verse?
From the point of view of form, however, this prose poem, like the others of the second section, highlights the difference between Neruda's prose and poetry, especially his so-called prosaic verse. Contrasting the poet's use of these two literary forms, it is immediately apparent that for him the unique quality of prose was its continuity, the completeness of its expression, requiring logical closure.
Thus, the effect in "EI deshabitado" is heightened as the speaker refuses to speculate further, to continue to reason in a methodical fashion. Neruda's Residencia verse, on the other hand, in spite of its prosaic locutions, is more open, less bound in by logic, and utilizes an altogether unprosaic reasoning process based on implied and anticipated associations to complete the imagery.Given the lyric intensity of the poetry, such speculation was perhaps not unwarranted.
You were the gray cap and the heart at peace. She figures, with her happiness and her lively legend, in nearly all the pages surrounded by the 1Vaters of the port and by the half moon over the mountains. The same night that makes the same trees white. The poetry of Pablo Neruda.
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