Analysis Of The Poem Heights Of Machu Picchu By Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda’s poem “Heights of Macchu Picchu represents in many ways. Macchu Picchu was built in the 15th century Inca style, with dry stone walls. Macchu Picchu is a nice place for people who love nature and like to climb. Fun fact, the classic Inca Trail takes roughly 4 days to climb, though the last of those four days will be only a short hike to be in Machu Picchu in time to see the sunrise. The poem is written in free verse, also Neruda connects the past with the present. Heights of Macchu Picchu is symbolized in multiple ways. Neruda explores Macchu Picchu to convey the meaning of life as he learns about the city he connects with the past and reflects on his thoughts of life, especially through the use of imagery and personification.
Neruda’s imagery conveys an appreciation of humanity and the human experience. For example, Neruda explains that in lines (33-38) “And the air came in with orange-blossom fingers over all those asleep: a thousand years of air, months, weeks of air, of blue wind, of the iron cordillera, that were like soft hurricanes of footsteps polishing the lonely boundary of the stone”. So these are the last lines of the poem and which is part of the theme. The theme of the poem is about life, it explains some of the things us humans go through. Neruda adds, “ here the wide kernels of maize rose up and fell again like red hail” line (15). This is basically talking about how life puts us in tough situations. Everything in this life comes to an end, nothing stays forever. I actually agree with the statements Neruda has made about life in some of those lines.
Neruda portrays his imagery to convey his thoughts of Macchu Picchu, that nothing stays forever and everything always comes to an end. Neruda uses many oceans imagery to convey the human experience. He states “ Mother of stone, spume of the condor. High reef of the human dawn. Shovel lost in the first sand” line (10-13). Which really shows appreciation and has that deep meaning in it. He also kinda points out that you can not live your life to please others. The choice must be yours. These are some of the traditional practices in poetry. It basically talks about the leader and a sacred place which really shows the value and power of the people. As he states “the mother of stones” alongside the “Spume of condors”. That really shows the condition of humans and what they are going through. The other line does much the same, “High reef of the human dawn” a natural metaphor. Machu Picchu appears emergents and yet buried. Also kinda connected with happiness. Then he talks about how the people are not happy because they are being separated. . It had a big effect on the humans even cause some of the humans to die. The speaker compares the city itself with nature, by saying it’s the ‘high reef of the human dawn’ and the ‘mother of stone.’ There’s a very deep meaning of life in these lines. He compared nature with life and how nature relieves stress.
Neruda’s imagery illustrates Macchu Picchu as a way to tell a story about the past. Neruda concludes that “Here in the high carnivorous lairs the feet or man rested at night next to the feet of an eagle” line (20-23). He’s focused on the past and finds the modern world to be wanting because of the people in it. The speaker is trying to find an aspect of himself in his travels but isn’t able to. The poem really connects with the past. While Neruda was going through his journey of Macchu Picchu, the Spanish civil war happening. The Spanish civil war was basically a war of principles. Which was a bloody war during that time and killed many people. Neruda mentions the Spanish war in his wars but not in this one. Neruda doesn’t mention the past but he points it out in a way to tell a story about the past, which makes it kinda hard to understand but it makes it look more professional.
Finally, in this poem, Neruda describes the sacred city which deeply connected with a past life. Represents what all humans go through. Heights of Macchu Picchu is symbolized in multiple ways. Neruda explores Macchu Picchu to convey the meaning of life, as he learns about the city he connects with the past and reflects on his thoughts of life especially through the use of Imagery and personification. So this was what’s it all about which is humanity, life, or the human experience and condition. His main focus was on the past through this whole poem.