Tonight I Can Write - Pablo Neruda - Summary

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TONIGHT I CAN WRITE Lines 1–4 The theme of distance is introduced in the opening line. When the speaker informs the reader,"Tonight I can write the saddest lines," he suggests that he could not previously. We later learnthat his overwhelming sorrow over a lost lover has prevented him from writing about their relationship and its demise. The speaker's constant juxtaposition of past and present illustrate hisinability to come to terms with his present isolated state. Neruda's language here, as in the rest of the poem, is simple and to the point, suggesting the sincerity of the speaker's emotions. Thesense of distance is again addressed in the second and third lines as he notes the stars shivering"in the distance." These lines also contain images of nature, which will become a central link tohis memories and to his present state. The speaker contemplates the natural world, focusing onthose aspects of it that remind him of his lost love and the cosmic nature of their relationship. He begins writing at night, a time when darkness will match his mood. The night sky filled withstars offers him no comfort since they "are blue and shiver." Their distance from him reinforcesthe fact that he is alone. However, he can appreciate the night wind that "sings" as his verseswill, describing the woman he loved. Lines 5–10 Neruda repeats the first line in the fifth and follows it with a declaration of the speaker’s love for an unnamed woman. The staggered repetitions Neruda employs throughout the poem provide thematic unity. The speaker introduces the first detail of their relationship and points to a possible reason for its demise when he admits “sometimes she loved me too.” He then reminisces about being with her in “nights like this one.” The juxtaposition of nights from the past with this night reveals the change that has taken place, reinforcing his sense of aloneness. In this

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