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Help! Meaning of this poem? I have tried my hardest to analyze it. Pablo Neruda poem?

O girl among the roses, pressure of doves,
O fortress of fishes and rosebushes,
your soul is a flask of dried salts
and your skin is a bell full of grapes.

I come with no presents, unluckily—only
fingernails, eyelashes, melted pianos,
with dreams bubbling out of my breast,
powdery dreams like a flight of black horsemen,
dreams full of haste and calamity.

Only with kisses and poppies can I love you,
with rain-sodden wreaths,
as I brood on the ash of the horse and the yellow of dogs.

Only with waves at my back can I love you:
in the dubious clashing of sulphur and preoccupied water
I swim up in the current, past the graveyards afloat on those rivers,
watery pastures that feed on the lachrymose chalk of the tombs;
I countercross hearts under water,
wan birth dates of children bereft of their burials.
So much dying, such an endless necrology
in my destitute passions, my desolate kisses!
The waters are loosed on my head
while my forelock grows longer—
water like time breaking free of itself, black water
like a voice in the night, like the screaming
of birds in the rain, an intermidable
darkness of wings wetted down, keeping watch on my bones
while I dress, while
I endlessly study my image in mirror and window glass
and hear the pursuers still sobbing and calling my name
in a woebegone voice fouled with time.

You stand tall on your feet above ground, full
of teeth and lightning.
You propagate kisses and deal death to the ant.
You moan with well-being, with bee and the onion,
you catch fire from your primer.
You are all green and blue, like a sword blade,
and you weave to my touch, like a river.

Come into my soul, dressed in white, like a branch
of blood-roses, like a chalice of ashes.
Come close with a horse and an apple:
there the sitting room waits in the dark, with a smashed
candelabrum,
till it be winter; a few twisted chairs
and a dead dove with a band and a number.


I'm assuming this is for a school assignment. This poem could have a million interpretations without doing more research on the history of the poem (what the poet was going through when he wrote it, the time period it was written in, the historical events going on when it was written, etc.), so I'll go with my initial, no background interpretation.

Short answer: He's in love with a girl, but there's something that seems to be between them. Despite this, he still loves her, and he wants their love to last until "death do they part" or their love grows cold.

Explanation of short answer: There are a million reasons for stuff to be between them (him being nervous-the references to his nightmares/insecurities haunting him, scrutinizing himself in the mirror while he seems to idolize/compliment her, different social statuses-Again the scrutiny vs idolization of calling her a "fortress", "You stand tall on your feet above the ground", etc.), so you'll probably need to choose your own reason for them being apart. Then, you can find lines within the poem that support your choice, and you should be good in any English class.

My own note: The beauty of poetry is that it's open to interpretation. Everybody reads something different from the same set of lines, and each person is correct for their own reasons. If you're really struggling, find an interpretation of the poem where you can kind of see where the person's point of view is coming from. From there, you pick lines/parts of lines from the poem that support that view.


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