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Poems of Miguel de Unamuno and Miguel Hernandez - Essay Example

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In "Cancin del esposo soldado" (song of the soldier husband), the poet Miguel Hernandez describes the feelings of a soon-to-be father who is away as a soldier. We find a first person narrator, a soldier who is addressing his pregnant wife while he is at war…
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Poems of Miguel de Unamuno and Miguel Hernandez
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Poems of Miguel de Unamuno and Miguel Hernandez

Download file to see previous pages... This poem was published in Viento del Pueblo in 1937, in the context of the Spanish civil war that started in 1936.
The language used alludes to the themes of love, war, victory, life and death, and fatherhood. The title of the poem "Cancin del esposo soldado" (song of the soldier husband), tells us about the main character of the poem and the lyrical form. It is a poem versed in eleven four-versed stanzas. In each stanza, the first three verses are 14 syllabic and the last verse is 7 syllabic. In Spanish metric, this combination is called a "Serventesio". The metric changes in the last two stanzas though, where all four verses complete the 14 syllabus. It has consonant rhyme (e.g. sementera/espera, respondo/fondo), and its metric scheme is: ABAB.
The first stanza refers to the conception of the son, but the poet describes the sexual union not as the culmination of pleasure, but as an inevitable and natural act of reproduction. "I have prolonged the echo of blood which I stand for" (he prolongado el eco de sangre a que respondo), then he goes on to describe his wife who has conceived in the next stanza, he alludes to her as a tall dark-skinned woman; giving the image of her as a "pregnant deer". The presence of nature is again used by the poet.
In the third stanza, he compares her to a crystal that could break any minute "you seem a delicate crystal to me already", to refer to her fragility and the need to protect her. His love for her is expressed with metaphors used to refer to her such as: "greatest gulp of my life" (gran trago de mi vida), "mirror of my flesh" (espejo de mi carne), "sustenance of my wings" (sustento de mis alas).

In these first three stanzas, we have seen that the main theme is his wife and the conception of his son. And now, from the fourth to the seventh stanzas he refers to his situation as a soldier, and the battles he has to endure, while the thought of his wife and son accompany him all along.

There are brutal images contrasted with his declaration of love such as: "over the fearful coffins that threaten/ over the same dead men without remedy or pit". But the love he has for her is stronger than any battle, any bullets that threaten his life, and he will love her beyond death, as he claims: "even in the dust, my wife" (hasta en el polvo, esposa).

In the sixth stanza he also refers to their economic situation, when he says: " you are drawn to me like a huge mouth full of a hungry set of teeth", and also in the following stanza: "and I defend your poor woman's womb who awaits me" ("y defiendo tu vientre de pobre que me espera").

There is a sense of pride in being a soldier who stands up for his people. He adopts a challenging attitude when he says: "enroll me in the fight, feel me in the trench", because he is confident that their child will be born into a victorious, joyful world, and he will leave behind his soldier's life, with no weapons (fangs or claws).

In the ninth stanza, he talks about the difficulty of being a soldier, and about his longing of coming home. "We have to kill in order to keep living". This is very interesting in the poetry of Hernndez, and it characterizes much of his style. The antithesis is an effective literary resource to provoke a strong reaction in the readers.

At the tenth, he refers to his wife ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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