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If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda

            Pablo Neruda's deep, passionate love for a woman is expressed in his poem, "If You Forget Me." Using beautiful imagery and metaphors throughout the poem, Neruda immediately catches the reader's attention in the first stanza by stating, "I want you to know one thing"." There is one condition to his all-encompassing love; it must be equally reciprocated. He uses a dualistic approach to explain both possible outcomes of his love. Neruda artfully addresses the emotional conflict of having to let someone go if the love has gone, but also the importance of seizing and cherishing the love if it is there. .
             Pablo Neruda begins to create a calm, serene image in the second stanza. The crystal moon symbolizes how clearly he's able to see the relationship between the woman he loves and himself. "The red branch of the slow autumn at my window" (5-6), shows that his love prevails through change. Autumn is known to symbolize not only change, but harvest as well. He sees the possibility of the bountiful harvest of love the relationship can potentially have. The speaker easily flows through many forms of imagery. He begins with creating a visual image of the silver moon and the red branch. He creates a tactile image of him "touching near the fire" and the "impalpable ash""(7-9).
             The "wrinkled body of the log, everything carries me to you"" (10-11). In the following lines, Neruda makes his all-encompassing love quite clear by not only using gustatory and kinetic images, but metaphorically speaking that all elements "everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me "(12-16). .
             In the third and fourth stanzas, the tone of the poem changes; from a beautiful love confessional to a somewhat tart explanation of what would happen if his lover stopped loving him. The speaker declares that, "Well, now, if little by little you stop loving me- I shall stop loving you little by little "(16-19).

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