has written how these poems, though composed in the city, reflect his childhood
He writes in his memoirs:
Veinte poemas de amor y una canción
desesperada make a painful book of pastoral poems
filled with my most tormented adolescent passions, mingled with the devastating
nature of the southern part of my country. It is a book I love because, in
spite of its acute melancholy, the joyfulness of being alive is present in it.
A river and its mouth helped me to write it: the
The docks in the "Cancion desesperada" ("Song of Despair") are the old docks of Carahue and Bajo Imperial: the broken planks and the beams like stumps battered by the wide river: the wingbeat of the gulls was heard and can still be heard at that river's mouth.
In the long, slender-bodied, abandoned lifeboat left over from some shipwreck, I read the whole of Jean Christophe, and I wrote the "Cancion desesperada." The sky overhead was the most violent blue I have ever seen. I used to write inside the boat, hidden in the earth. I don't think I have ever again been so exalted or so profound as during those days. Overhead, the impenetrable blue sky. In my hands, Jean Christophe or the nascent lines of my poem. Beside me, everything that existed and continued always to exist in m y poetry: the distant sound of the sea, the cries of the wild birds, and love burning, without consuming itself, like an immortal bush.
am always being asked who the woman in Veinte poemas is; it is a difficult question to answer. The two
women who weave in and out of these melancholy and passionate poems correspond,
let’s say, to Marisol and Marisombra: Sea and Sun
[mar y sol], Sea and Shadow [mar y sombra]. Marisol
is love in the enchanted countryside, with stars in bold relief at night, and
dark eyes like the wet sky of
is thought to be Terusa, a lover from