Pablo Neruda's Poetic Devices

Categories: LiteraturePoetry

Poetry is a unique literary work that is used as a way to express feelings and emotions. Poetry can come in many forms but is usually written with distinctive characteristics to enhance the poems intended message and emotional meaning. Through the decades, this genre has had many famous artists and important pieces. Most memorable pieces incorporate poetic devices. These devices include enjambment, caesura, and endstop. Devices are purposely chosen by the author. One particular author whose many writings include these devices is Pablo Neruda.

Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet born in the 1900s. He is well known and remembered as one of the most important Latina American poets. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971. By intentionally utilizing enjambment, caesura, and endstop, Neruda creates his intended effects or feelings experienced by the reader.

To start, poetic devices can be structural, grammatical, rhythmic, visual and much more. One particular poetic device is Enjambment. Enjambment is the continuation of a sentence without a pause.

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These types of lines in poetry have no terminal punctuation. Enjambment is an important feature in many of Neruda’s poems. One specific piece where this poetic device can be seen is in his poem titled “Curse”. This piece was written in 1938, Just two years after the spanish civil war. It’s told from the viewpoint of someone who is passionate about their motherland spain. In this poem, the activist swears to bring justice to their country. Throughout the poem, Nerdua chooses to incorporate enjambment. By doing this.

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Neruda accomplishes two things. One of those is creating a flow that sounds like a real speech. Instead of making the lines sound choppy or robotic, he chooses to include free flowing sentences to help illustrate a speech. The second thing Neruda accomplishes by using enjambment is placing the reader in the space where this is taken place. By incorporating these sentences it helps the reader feel the emotion in full effect as opposed to shorter lines that don’t really allow any lingering effect. As a consequence of this is it helps the reader feel as if they are experiencing the speech themselves while reading it.

Furthermore, Caesura is another poetic device that can be found in his poetic works. Caesura is typically a pause in the middle of a poetic line or sentence. This can include, but not limited to, commas, ticks, slashed lines or upright lines. An author may use caesura for many reasons. In Neruda’s poem “Your Laughter” caesura can be found in many places. In the poem, a man talks about his lovers laughter and how it helps him get through his hard times. Caesura is integrated into the poem and helps produce importance to words or phrases. For example, in the poem it states “My struggle is harsh and I come back with eyes tired at times from having seen the unchanging earth, but when your laughter enters it rises to the sky seeking me and it opens for me all the doors of life. (Lines 11-17)” The breaks in between these two sentences result In emphasis. To start, the two sentences already are not alike. They both have two different undertones. The first sentence is very depressing and the second one is happy. By placing a comma between the two it helps the reader process both sentences for what they are and the meaning behind each. The outcome of this is the reader will pick out key symbols and meanings in both. In the first sentence what the reader will pull out is that the man in the poem is clearly struggling. In the following sentence the reader will be able to take away the fact that man is admiring his lovers laugh and also realize the power this person has in this man’s life. The result of this is Neruda helps the reader experience the same passionate feelings as the man in the poem.

One last poetic device that Neruda implements is Endstop. Endstop is a poetic device in which a pause or stop comes at the end of a sentence, phrase, or clause. The pause can be expressed as any punctuation, including but not limited to, colon, semicolon, a period or a complete stop. This device can be seen multiple times in one of Neruda’s famous works. A poem titled “Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines” published in 1924. The structure of the poem is very choppy and includes many breaks and stops. The poem is mostly made up of one lined sentences. The poem’s overall theme is to show the reader the speaker’s feelings after losing the woman he loved. The overall tone of the poem is very bitter, regretful, and desolate. To create this tone, Neruda purposely decided to use Endstop. There are two reasons for doing this. One reason is that he didn’t want the flow of the poem to be song-like. Normally, poems have a certain flow but this one was more like a diary entry or letter. Choosing to make it seem more like the speaker was just freely talking helps show the emotions of misery. If Neruda made the poem flow a song, the tone of the poem would have been more upbeat. One last reason for Neruda choosing to use Endstop to make his poem choppy Is to have each individual line hold its own importance. Doing this allows the reader to not only appreciate the good things he took away from the relationship, but also allow them to pass through the speaker into the sadness he feels.

Overall, poetry is a type of literary song- like writing that can help authors expose and express human emotions. It allows readers to experience many different emotions through all types of writing. Pablo Neruda created many works and helped create many experiences for different readers. Neruda used poetic devices to help create these adventures. Three types of poetic devices Neruda use are enjambment, Endstop, and caesura. These poetic devices can be found in three different types of poems; “curse”, “your laughter”, and “Tonight I Write the Saddest Lines”. All these devices were chosen by Neruda to help increase the effects of these poems and make an experience for the readers.

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Pablo Neruda's Poetic Devices. (2021, Sep 09). Retrieved from

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