Pablo Neruda: Poems

Nature's Heartache and Despair in Neruda's "Girl Lithe and Tawny" 11th Grade

Pablo Neruda’s “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” use nature as a common motif to express his feelings of love towards a woman and the loneliness he feels being with her. An example of such work is found in his poem, “Girl Lithe and Tawny”. In each stanza, Neruda uses stylistic imagery of nature and its powerful beauty to help express his love and appreciation for an absent woman that he loves.

Beauty in the world can often be seen in nature, which is both powerfully dark and frightening, yet at the same time also pleasant and lovely. The natural world is beautiful simply because it is natural; it has existed before the beginnings of human kind and does not follow the ways of humanity, but instead influences and affects man. It has the ability to captivate humanity by its stunning beauty, but at the same time it is also able to destroy. It is an all-powerful force that can occasionally, by its own will, take the lives of human beings, destroy surroundings, and evoke feelings of pain and despair. In his poetry, Neruda combines these seemingly opposite perspectives of nature to symbolically express the feelings he has towards his lover, who brings him joy and adoration, yet at the same time causes him pain and sadness.


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