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What metaphors are there in "Ode to a beautiful nude"?

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fushi

Posted October 14, 2012 at 8:18 PM via web

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What metaphors are there in "Ode to a beautiful nude"?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 14, 2012 at 10:13 PM (Answer #1)

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"Ode to a Beautiful Nude" is rife with literary elements that include, among many others, metaphors and similes. Similes are direct comparisons between two unrelated things that do share at least one similar trait. The words "like",and "as" join the direct comparison together such as in the words "cold as ice".

Metaphors assume that one thing IS another. The words "like" and "as" are not included. The comparison is implied and made literally such as in "your eyes are blue diamonds".

In "Ode to a Beautiful Nude" Neruda continuously remarks on the beauty of the woman in the portrait; a beauty almost made to seem supernatural, or unnatural for the common world.

The poet, acting as if he were the painter, dubs his paintbrush "the leash of blood".  The woman's ears are described as "small shells of the splendid American sea", and the rest of her depiction combines a myriad of other metaphors

Your flying eyelids of wheat
Revealing or enclosing
The two deep countries of your eyes

The poem greatly emphasizes each of the woman's beautiful features by continuously adjudicating imagery to it. Her shoulders are "two pale regions" of "fine alabaster". Her figure and presence are a

Flowering fire
Open chandelier
A swelling fruit

Moreover the poet asks what elements created the body of the woman, whether it was quartz, wheat, or agate. This is indicative of the unique nature of this particular model.

Conclusively, the nude body of a beautiful woman is admired ardently and put on the ultimate pedestal of literary praise by using metaphors that convey the uniqueness of the woman as seen through the eyes of the artist.

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