Analysis of the Poem “The Sea” by Pablo Neruda

The Sea” by Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda speaks of live and death. He portrays the seas in a dichotomy as it dread by it waves and have a caressing moment at other time. In addition, the poem shows the synonymous of our life. We experience break ups, but at other time, we sing. Therefore, as the seas does thing during the day and night, so does human and other creatures. The poem is a metaphor. Neruda uses a variety of literary devices like consonance, metaphor, tone, mood to demonstrate and explain his existence. Neruda jots down his thoughts and tells the reader how the sea is compared to human lives. He described how the sea is joined, how the sea moves with mighty waves in the first and last stanza, “the university of waves” (Neruda 8). The poem moves from one topic to another. The author first introduces the sea, and all that happen in its vast existence. Further, the author then talk of the importance of the seas, he says that he thought of the sea as “the shells crunched…/… shivering planet” (Neruda 9-10). Moreover, Pablo talks about the challenges of going to the sea. He says though it seems easy there is a lot that one has to endure. One has to withstand the waves, the cold, and the extravagant snow. (Neruda). Transition draws attention to the readers. The poet shows how his life took a different turn from what life taught him before as “Its air / ceaseless wind, water and sand” (Neruda 15-16)  to a sudden change of forgetfulness and bringing “stubborn sorrows,”(Neruda 28) as stated in the third last line of the fourth stanza.


Neruda “The Sea” is divided into four stanzas. The four stanzas contain a dissimilar number of lines. The first verse contains eight lines, while the second contain six lines; the third verse has two lines compared to the last, which has fourteen lines. The sentence structure of the poem is not too lengthy. Moreover, the lines vary in length; they have between eight and fifteen syllables in a sentence. Neruda uses literary devices such as alliteration for instance in the first stanza line six, the “f” sound establishes in the words fact, and fall. There is also the use of consonance in stanza three line two; the “w” sound establishes itself in the words wind and water. Alliteration tends to structure the flow and beauty of the poem.

The tone of the poem is fanciful. Therefore the general mood of the poem is rather imaginative comparing the human lives to a sea, imagining how a sea can join and break up the lives of the humans. The imaginative mood of the poem is seen in the last stanza, “and my life changed suddenly / as I became part of its pure movement” (Neruda 23-24).

The repetition of the word “wave’ in the first and last stanza shows movement. There is also an element of soliloquy in the poem since Neruda is speaking his thoughts to himself.

The poet’s intention is to appeal to the readers and convey a sense of beauty, the beauty of human lives. The style of the poem is simple since the contents perfectly fit the way the poem is formed. In his writing, Neruda uses imagery. The word sea on its own is an image used to place human nature into perspective. He uses the word waves to describe its movement. The imagery in a poem brings the elements of intelligence, emotions and concreteness (Neruda) It also enables to accomplish as many possible words in an as few lines as possible.

The subject of the poem “The Sea” treats the theme of how human lives, in the fourth verse,

“it seems a small thing for a young man,

to have come here to live with his own fire;

nevertheless, the pulse that rose

and fell in its abyss’” (Neruda 17-20).

The person speaking is the writer of the poem, Pablo Neruda, who seems to be describing his origin.


In my opinion, the poem “The Sea” has a deep meaning. The word ‘fishes’ in the first stanza implies that some things in life are difficult to find. The poet tries to make his life out a broken experience as stated in the fourth line of the second stanza, “no, I reconstruct the day out of a fragment” (Neruda 12). Metaphors are used to give effect to statements in a poem.



Works Cited

Neruda, Pablo. The Sea: On the Blue Shore of Silence. University of Washington, 2005. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.

find the cost of your paper