Twenty Love Poems And a Song of Despair Poem Collection Summary Notes and Line by Line Explanation in English


“Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” is a collection of poems by Pablo Neruda. This collection is considered one of Neruda’s most famous works and is recognized as one of the most important collections of love poetry of the 20th century.

About the Author:

Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto a.k.a Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) was an eminent Chilean poet. He is famed for being the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. Famous works of his include Residence on Earth’, ‘Book of Twilight’, and ‘Keeping Quiet’. 


The theme of these poems is love. Between the first and second parts, the poems manage to capture love’s duality– happiness and sorrow. 


The book is divided into two parts: the first part consists of twenty love poems that explore the different stages of a romantic relationship, from infatuation to heartbreak. The second part is a longer poem titled “A Song of Despair,” which expresses the poet’s feelings of grief and loss.

In the first part, Neruda uses rich, sensual imagery to describe the intense passion and physicality of love. The poems cover a variety of styles and tones, from tender and romantic to raw and passionate. With the use of highly evocative language, Neruda paints vivid images of love and desire.

In the second part, “A Song of Despair,” Neruda expresses the pain of a grief-stricken broken heart. The poem is a lament for lost love, filled with vivid imagery of death and destruction. The tone of the poem is dark and melancholic, as Neruda struggles to come to terms with the end of his relationship.


“Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” is a deeply emotional and highly personal work of Pablo Neruda. It explores the highs and lows of romantic love and remains one of the most celebrated collections of love poetry even today.