The repeated phrase "Tonight I can write the saddest lines" throughout this sorrowful love poetry draws the reader's attention to that topic. Throughout this poem, Pablo Neruda employed alliteration, with several words beginning with "s." (saddest, shattered, stars, sky, soul, etc.). Alliteration creates a rhythm and pattern in language that appeals to the ear as well as the eye. It is a popular device in poetry because of its effect on understanding speech when reading at a slow pace or even silently. Alliterative verse is also called "heroic" because of the strong emphasis on sound structure.
Neruda was a Chilean poet who gained recognition during the modernist period. He spent most of his life in Europe, primarily in Italy. His work can be difficult to classify into only few categories, but he is usually labeled a member of the Spanish/Latin American poetic tradition because of his interest in social issues and his use of realistic imagery. Although he never married or had children, he is still considered one of the most important poets in the history of Latin America.
In addition to writing poems, Pablo Neruda also published prose works, including memoirs, novels, and essays. His famous poem "Canto General" is an example of metaphysical poetry that uses metaphor and other figures of speech to discuss the relationship between humanity and nature.
"Tonight I can write the saddest lines," says the speaker. The poem's speaker, according to the poet, is Neruda himself.
Neruda was a famous Chilean poet and politician. He gained international recognition during his lifetime and is now considered one of the major poets of the 20th century.
In order to understand how someone could be both a poet and a politician, it helps to know something about Neruda's life. He was born on January 28, 1904 in Santiago de Chile into a wealthy family with liberal ideas. His parents were politically active and encouraged him to follow his heart's desire and do what he wanted with his life. At an early age, he showed an interest in literature and poetry and started writing poems when he was only nine years old. By the time he reached university, he had published several books of his own poetry which attracted many readers.
After graduating from university, Neruda worked as a school teacher but soon after began working at a newspaper as a journalist. He eventually became one of the leaders of the communist movement in Chile and was even elected president of the Chilean Senate. However, his career as a politician ended when he was imprisoned by the government of President Carlos Ibáñez del Campo for his involvement in political protests.
"Tonight I Can Write" first appeared in a collection of Pablo Neruda's poetry, Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada, in 1924, and was translated into English by Merwin in 1969 as Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. It is number seven of these love poems.
Neruda wrote the poem after losing a loved one, but it is generally believed that he also meant it to be read by someone else. He published the poem with some changes in an attempt to see what kind of response it would get from readers. The original Spanish reads as follows:
Antes que anochezca veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada
Para no volver nunca más te quiero mucho tiempo / para no llorar siempre jamás me acostumbré a tu falta de ausencia / para no morir nunca más te quiero vivir para no hartarme de ti porque ya no puedo enamorarme / para no olvidarte nunca más te quiero con locura.
Translation: Before night falls, twenty love poems and a song of despair.