Let’s talk about ‘Love’… by Pablo Neruda ;)

So irrelevant but I was bored so I did a little poetry response :)

Read the poem here if you havent before > http://www.boppin.com/neruda.html

‘Love’ by Pablo Neruda is a poem more about loss than love, a broken heart. It describes the bitter pain of lost love, the aching and stinging feeling that you cannot shake when your heart has been broken by someone yet you can’t stop loving them. This poem is full of natural imagery, flowers and parks and gardens, the most beautiful and alive of things remind the writer of his love. Pain is described with such vibrancy in this poem as it is juxtaposed with passionate descriptions of caresses and kisses.

The poem begins by immediately addressing the person who has broken the writers heart- ‘because of you’, laying the blame on her for destroying his ability to enjoy simple beautiful things. When Neruda describes how ‘in gardens of blossoming flowers [he] aches from the perfumes of Spring’ this could be referencing the time in which he fell in love, that Spring merely reminds him of times spent with his lover, or it could also be a metaphor for his search for a new woman, a blossoming flower could be a young woman and the perfumes of Spring, her hormones. If the latter is the case, then Neruda could be describing the guilt he feels for trying to move on when he is still in love with someone else, and the pain that this search is causing him. There is such a melancholy and despairing atmosphere in the first stanza when the poet admits that he cannot even remember his loves face, hands or the feeling of her kiss, as it is one of the most painful of experiences to realise that you have lost even the memory of a lovers affection.

Repetition is used throughout the poem to emphasis the pain the writer is feeling- ‘I have forgotten your voice, your happy voice, I have forgotten your eyes’, the word ‘forgotten’ is repeated to make us realise how painful it is to forget these small things. Neruda mentions flowers and perfume repeatedly in the poem, perhaps these flowers simply refer to his love in some cases, or maybe the flower is the woman he loves herself and he is the perfume bound to her and to his ‘vague memory’ of her. The poet is very blunt about his feelings in some lines of the poem- ‘I live with pain that is like a wound’, this honesty is refreshing and straightforward, Neruda is expressing his pain in every way in this poem, being very artistic and metaphorical in some lines and very blunt in others. This poem is incredibly personable and immediate for these reasons and also because of the simple syntax in which Neruda writes, his poetry for the most part is very accessible.

When the poet describes how he has been forced to ‘again seek out the signs that precipitate desires’, it relates again to his search for a new love and someone to be passionate about, but he feels weary of that search and wishes that he didn’t have to go through it all again. The ‘shooting stars’ mentioned in the final line of the poem are symbolic of how difficult it is to find a soul mate in this world, they are as rare as shooting stars, but could also be satirising the nature of love poems in general and their penchant for mentioning the very clichéd ‘shooting star’ in reference to love. The ‘shooting stars’ are juxtaposed against ‘falling objects’ in the final line, as shooting stars are so rare and falling objects are so commonplace. Perhaps the falling objects refer to people not falling physically, but falling in love. The final line of this poem could be an observation of the different ways in which people find love, in an astronomical and destined way, or by merely meeting each other over some simple every day occurrence.




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