Neruda’s poems can be described
as being subtle and elegant, as well as being vigorous and original. Hi first book of poems, “Crepusculario”,
was clearly in tradition of Modernism. Neruda’s style varied depending on his source of inspiration. In his second book,
“Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair”, for example, an unhappy love relationship inspired him to write poems filled with imagery and
metaphors. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, one of Neruda’s most famous books, talks about young, passionate,
and unhappy relationships.
When Neruda published his book “Residencia en la tierra” he moved form his traditional, conventional poetry of “Twenty Love Poems
and a Song of Despair” and left behind his normal syntax, rhyme, and stanzaic
organization to create a highly personalized poetic technique. In this particular book of poems, Neruda talks about his visions
of disintegration, chaos, and decay of the human race. He portrays these visions in a very ambiguous, difficult style inspired
When a second
edition of “Residencia en la tierra” was published, the change was
clear. Neruda began to move away from the highly personal, complex poetry of the first “Residencia en la tierra” and adopted a more extroverted outlook and a clearer, more accessible style in
order to better communicate his new social concerns to the reader.