Study Guide

A Song of Despair Calling Card

By Pablo Neruda

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Calling Card

Girls Are to Be Seen, Not Heard

Neruda is famous for his love poems, and usually these are told from one perspective: the dude's. The girls are distant and cold, like statues or objects. It's the fellas that take center stage, much like in "A Song of Despair," in which the male speaker is often seen as having been harmed by the cruel, callous woman. Of course, that's nothing new for anyone familiar with Neruda's work. The way the speaker talks about his lost love, as a dangerous, fierce ocean that swallows everything up (key word: lost love) is classic Neruda.

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