Out of the many Pablo Neruda poems, I chose this one.
I particularly like this one because for me, this has a unique feel to it. It does not contain flowery words, flattery is not evident, and most importantly, a guy made this poem. It makes the poem extra-special. To think that a guy would write such beautiful lines—he, Pablo Neruda, made it seem effortless. It’s like he has a natural talent to put together words that make much sense, and at the same time these words appeal to the heart. Imagine what you would feel if you read these words, and know that they were made for you.
It’s amazing how much attention a person can give to you. That person keeps on giving you attention, noticing the tiniest of details—the freckle on your cheek, the dimple on the small of your back, the way your lips curve up to form a smile—memorizing every bit of you. Once someone gives you that level of attention, it’s almost certain that that person truly loves you.
Pablo Neruda managed to make this poem very sweet in a very unique way. He did not use flattery, in fact, he even degraded the person that he loved.
I have named you queen.
There are taller than you, taller.
There are purer than you, purer.
There are lovelier than you, lovelier.
But you are the queen.
He said there are girls taller that her.
He said there are girls purer than her.
He said there are girls lovelier than her.
Amid all of that, with her not being perfect, for him she still is the queen. In his eyes, she is the one. The one and only. In his eyes there is nothing more perfect.
When you go through the streets
No one recognizes you.
No one sees your crystal crown, no one looks
At the carpet of red gold
That you tread as you pass,
The nonexistent carpet.
In this stanza, he degraded the girl even more. He made the girl seem invisible to other people. But not him. He sees differently. For him she wears a crystal crown, for him she walks in a carpet of red and gold, for him she walks in a way that makes his head turn. This, this is the kind of attention I was talking about earlier. I play out a certain scene in my head when I read these lines. I imagine a very shy girl walking through the crowded hallways of the school. She passes by, barely smiling at her classmate every time she sees them, and the crowd barely notices her. She drifts through effortlessly, walking unnoticed amid a sea of people. And then there’s this guy. He immediately turns his head and faces her as he sees her coming. His eyes widen, his lips form a small smile, and he sees his queen. He sees not the perfect girl, but the girl he wants, the girl he loves. And then they walk off together towards the cafeteria to grab lunch.
And when you appear
All the rivers sound
In my body, bells
Shake the sky,
And a hymn fills the world.
This part shows just what effect the girl has on him. She makes his body resonate with the sweet sound of affection. When he sees her, his world lights up, immediately filling up with color, becoming a whole lot lovelier and livelier than what it was before. An orchestra of feelings play the sweet symphony of happiness upon seeing her. And in that moment, a hymn fills the world.
Only you and I,
Only you and I, my love,
Listen to it.
This is the special moment they share. Together, they listen to that symphony. Together, they enjoy the feeling of their hearts intertwining to produce even lovelier sounds. In their world, there are only two. Him, and her. And nothing can change that. In his world, there is only him, and his queen. And that’s all that matters.
Pablo Neruda’s style appeals to me. I’ve repeated this, but I really like how he degraded the girl just to show how special she is to him. He has called her his queen. And that, I think is very sweet of him. I like how different his perception of his love is. He knows that there are lovelier girls out there, but he does not care. He has found his queen.
Hooray for the last blog entry! I had a great year in English!