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.