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David Hernandez and Pablo Neruda

” The extra break enjambs the phrase and forces the reader to come to a pause, slow, and consider the totality of the poem. Poignant diction in “Armitage Street” includes the neologism “Englishless,” to refer to the immigrant parents. The poet also incorporates multi-sensory imagery as in the ” rice and bean smells” that “roamed the hallways.”

Pablo Neruda relies heavily on imagery in both “I Remember You as You Were” and “Poetry.” Just as Hernandez makes use of graphic format to convey central themes, Neruda utilizes the end stop in “I Remember You as You Were.” The poem is about death, and the poet suitably ends nearly each line with the finality of punctuation. Many of the lines end with a period, paralleling the end of life. Moreover, the extended metaphor of autumn corresponds with the end of life as does the imagery of twilight. The color gray and the image of the “still heart” are also death-related and correspond with the falling leaves that signal the passing away of the subject.

In “Poetry,” the speaker reflects on his birth as a poet. He begins in media res, in the middle of a story and uses an ellipses also to impart a personal tone as if he is rambling while talking to a friend. The speaker personifies poetry, claiming “Poetry arrived / in search of me.” Unlike in “I Remember You as You Were,” in “Poetry,” Neruda uses enjambment more frequently than the end-stop to allow the poem to ramble and flow with the speakers voice. The overall effect is like a stream of consciousness. Neruda peppers “Poetry” with poetic devices including alliteration and repetition. For example, “I wrote the first faint line, / faint, without substance, pure.” The poet repeats the word pure, albeit with different connotation later in the poem when he remarks that his first lines were “pure wisdom” as well as “pure nonsense.” Later, the poet states describes himself as “a pure part of the abyss.”

References

Unsettling America. Ed. Gillan. New York: Penguin,.

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