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A Song of Despair

A Song of Despair


by Pablo Neruda

A Song of Despair Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. What is the effect of so much repetition in this poem, especially the last line? 
  2. How does the comparison of the woman and the sea affect how the reader imagines her?
  3. What if the poem had been all about the desert instead of the sea? How would the images and the overall effect change?
  4. Why do you think the poem is called "A Song of Despair"? What kind of music would you set it to if you were the composer?
  5. All of the lines are in couplets (sets of two) except the last two, which are offset into single lines. Why do you think the poet made this choice, and how does it affect your reading of the poem?
  6. What kind of image of love does this poem conjure up, and how does it do so?
  7. If the woman in this poem were to write a response to the speaker, how do you think it would go?

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