Study Guide

Love Sonnet 17 Tough-o-Meter

By Pablo Neruda


(2) Sea Level

Love poetry is nothing new, sure, but Neruda does love poetry in his own, unique way that can make him seem more difficult than he really is. The poem’s language itself is pretty straightforward, with the exception of a few odd words like "quickening." The trickiest parts of Neruda’s poem are the metaphors, which sometimes leave you scratching your head. In this poem, for example, Neruda compares the feelings he has to an "aroma that rose from the soil." Huh? Usually, though, Neruda is on to something; just think of the way a smell can be so infectious, and you’ll start to see why "aroma" makes sense. So, in short, give Neruda a chance and we guarantee you'll figure him out (with a little help from Shmoop).