Words of Wisdom:

"Gravitation cannot explain why people fall in love." - Delmar

Of Poets and Love

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 02:07 AM
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Poetry Analysis: Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

“You… you complete me. ” – Jerry Maguire

Love forms an essential part of all relationships. However, what exactly is love? This bizarre emotion has long been regarded as a mystery. Although love creates many trials and tribulations, it has done wondrous things as well. It has the potential to unite enemies, and bring about peace. In reverse, it also has the potential to turn best friends into enemies, and the capability to create wars. In Romeo and Juliet, it united two star-crossed lovers and defeated the raging feud between two families. In the Iliad, Helen of Troy started the Trojan War, because her lover had spirited her away from her husband. Love has the ability to bring out the best and the worst characteristics of a person. While some believe that love is only an illusion created by social expectations, true love does, in fact, exist. The pure love between a mother and her child will never be destroyed by human imperfection. The magical bonds between humans and animals traverse across many barriers. A survey of love will reveal one major thing: it is eternal and cannot be fully described using mortal words. Through both imagistic (personification, Volta, simile) and auditory (alliteration, enjambement, free verse) devices, Pablo Neruda’s idea of love is contemplated through this analysis of his 17th sonnet.  

Although countless poets have written about love, no one has really captured the true essence of this secretive emotion. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties. ” On this note, does what we define as “true love” even exist? To a poet like Pablo Neruda, love can mean many things. In this sonnet, he explores the theme of love in a very intimate way. The affection that a pair of lovers holds for each other is intense and profound: they seem like one entire identity, seamlessly merged together by the bond...


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