Happy anniversary of Latin American political revolutionary/poet d’amor Pablo Neruda’s arrest! It’s been 57 years since the award-winning cultural icon was imprisoned in Chile for his association to the leftist opposition part, and we’re going to celebrate by reading some of his finest/sappiest/most emotionally charged work. Listos?
Neruda is the stereotypically tortured, emotive and semi-erotic poet of the 20th century. His top five fav things to discuss are, in no particular order:
- Pale thighs
- “Pubic roses”
He’s slow and intentional and metaphorical in ways that sometimes read trite and try-hard, but you have to admire the meticulous execution-and thematic consistency-of his efforts:
“You gather thing to you like an old road/ You are peopled with echoes and nostalgic voices/ I awoke and at times birds fled and migrated/ That had been sleeping in your soul.”
The imagery is blunt and simple and, at times, elementary (equating boobs with hills? he couldn’t have gotten more creative?), but there’s also a kind of refreshing whimsicality in its straightforwarness. Neruda is pure, unadulterated yearning, and he makes mo effort to hide it.
“You emerge from the things, full of my soul/ Dream butterfly, you look like my soul/ And you look like a melancholy word.”
His more popular collection of poems, “Twenty Love Poems and A Cry From Hell,” is not innovative. But it’s chock-full of longing desire, which makes it your third new favorite post-breakup companion (after 1) Ben and 2) Jerry, of course).