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Pablo Neruda
Theme Analysis
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Theme Analysis

Theme for “Clenched Soul” by Pablo Neruda


The theme of the poem “Clenched Soul” is the love expressed by a person who is missing the loved one, and he feels alone in where he stands. Neruda, the protagonist of the poem, is hallucinating, he says “No one saw us this evening hand in hand” when he was really alone, he was walking by himself, thinking that he was with her holding hands.


  In the poem Neruda applies symbolism to express his inner emotions, he describes the sky and his sweater as “blue” to indicate that he was sad, “while the blue night dropped on the world,” “and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.” He also applies simile to compare certain items that he sees with his feelings, “sometimes a piece of sun / burned like a coin in my hand,” indicating that even when he might feel a little happy, it still hurt that she was not there completely with him, it hurts like a hot coin in a hand. “And my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet,” emphasizing again on his feelings, with the blue color as sadness and the “dog hurt” at his feet, Neruda feels so sad that he feels like he is a dog who has been hurt in any way, and rolls at his owner’s feet to be healed.


 Neruda asks rhetorical questions, trying to seek in his emotions some answers, because he has never felt before so lonely and loveless; he loves her, but he is starting to feel that since she is so far away she does not love him anymore, “Where were you then?/ Who else was there?/ Saying what?/ Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly when I am sad and feel you are far away?” he is starting to think that she might have someone else in her life.

Website Courtesy Of: Ariat Cruz, Cristina Loreto, and Iyari Tolmos; Coral Gables Senior High , 12th AP/IB World Author Web Site Project. 2007.