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A Song of Despair

A Song of Despair

by Pablo Neruda

Memory and the Past Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

The memory of you emerges from the night around me. (1)

The whole poem begins with the figure of the memory rising up out of the darkness. Opening this way lets us know that memory will be an important theme throughout the poem.

Quote #2

You swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank! (9-10)

Time is compared to the sea in these lines, because it can swallow up every single thing, like love affairs or happy times.

Quote #3

It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse. (11-12)

These lines give us the exact coordinates of the memory that the speaker mentions in the first line: it was a time when he was wildly happy with his lover. Sadly, that didn't last.

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