Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Love by Pablo Neruda

What's wrong with you, with us,
what's happening to us?
Ah our love is a harsh cord
that binds us wounding us
and if we want
to leave our wound,
to separate,
it makes a new knot for us and condemns us
to drain our blood and burn together.

What's wrong with you? I look at you
and I find nothing in you but two eyes
like al eyes, a mouth
lost among a thousand mouths that I have kissed, more beautiful,
a body just like those that have slipped
beneath my body without leaving any memory.

And how empty you went through the world
like a wheat-colored jar
without air, without sound, without substance!
I vainly sought in you
depth for my arms
that dig. without cease, beneath the earth:
beneath your skin, beneath your eyes,
nothing,
beneath yout double breast scarcely raised
a current of crystalline order
that does not know why it flows singing.
Why, why, why,
my love, why?


I think that the reson that I really liked this poem is that it was not what you would ave expected out of a poem titled love. Before I read the poem I was expecting something very cliche, but it was very different the images are not the flowery happy images that one expects. The poem starts out by questioning the relationship and asking what is wrong. It does not seem like the love that is often written about in poems. Also I thought that it was strange that he described their love as a harsh cord and as something that causes hurt. To me it seems like this is either a very passionate or a very destructive relationship. Despite what they try to do they are drawn back in and bonded together. The bond that he describes has darker imagry because he uses blood as bondage. The way that he describes it pretty dark. Later though when he is talking about the way that this woman looks he does not seem interested or find her beautiful at all. He even states openly that he finds her to be empty. This was something that he sought out to satisfy his vanity, and his desires without any real intentions for her. But then at the end the questioning sounds despret. I think that all of this uncertanty and push and pull is what really makes this poem. The fact that he seems so uncertain about his love, and that this love is so confusing. There were so many contrasting images that he used to describe the love.

2 Comments:

Blogger brianne fong said...

I, too, didn't expect a poem titled "Love" to have the kind of emotion this poem had - I was pretty surprised. I agree with the interpretation made of this poem, but the more and more I delve into the real meaning behind the poem, the sadder reality seems to get. On the flip side, however, I really liked how the poet chose to show the other side of love. Afterall - love can't be "lovey-dovey" all the time.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Joker said...

I agree that Pablo Neruda deeply feels that something is wrong with the two of them in this relationship that they seem to be trying to make work, for Neruda says in the poem basically that if one of them wants to leave that a new bond just replaces the old. Pablo Neruda expresses a lot of painful intolerance and a sort of not being able to handle the reoccurring failure of their love, especially when he says that their love "condemns us to drain our blood and burn together." If he ever did before, he doesn't seem to see anything in her anymore relationship-wise. However, I will argue that it isn't that Pablo Neruda doesn't find the woman attractive, or beautiful, for he states "a mouth lost among a thousand mouths that I have kissed, more beautiful". Maybe he's just suggesting that her mouth is beautiful or that her whole being is physically more appealing than all the other people he's attempted to love. Nevertheless, Pablo Neruda does make the point that anything between them doesn't leave any lasting memory, if any memory at all, that affects his feelings or their relationship in any way. The following stanza to this line practically begins by saying she's nothing, ha! Not that it is humorous that he would say such a thing about a woman that he is trying to love but that it is a very bold comment to say to or about someone he is trying to love. The line that supports this statement describes her as "without air, without sound, without substance!", practically without anything. Pablo Neruda "digs" and searches within her for something, anything, that will help make their love more tolerable. However, he doesn't do it for the benefit of her, but "vainly" for himself. Neruda seems to only be able to see her as an ordinary person now, as she follows the "crystalline order" of her everyday life, not seeming to have or know the reason for doing so. To conclude this comment, Pablo Neruda asks "why", seemingly asking why this has happened between them, that it shouldn't have happened this way, without cause, as some form of mysterious natural order, or, since he speaks of past lovers, to ask why this always seems to be the outcome of his relationships.

3:24 PM  

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