Analyze history as a theme in Neruda’s “The Way Spain Was” and Walcott’s “A Far Cry from Africa.”

Pablo Neruda’s “The Way Spain Was” comments on the divided nature of Spain during, and after, the Spanish Civil War. Derek Walcott’s “A Far Cry from Africa” depicts an uprising in Kenya and the violence that European colonizers have inflicted on African natives.

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In order to understand the theme of history in Pablo Neruda’s “The Way Spain Was” and Derek Walcott’s “A Far Cry from Africa”, we must learn a bit about both poets’ historical backgrounds.

Pablo Neruda was born in southern Chile and served “as consul in Spain” beginning in 1935. In 1936, when the Spanish Civil War broke out, Neruda used his poetry to express his “outspoken sympathy for the loyalist cause during the Spanish Civil War,” which supported the recently elected republic and fought against the far-right Nationalists ( He believed that when poetry is written responsibly, it is “inseparable from historical and political context” (Poetry Foundation).

“The Way Spain Was” depicts the opposing forces that existed in Spain during the time of the Spanish Civil War. In the first stanza, Neruda notes that both the “flatlands” and “eagle’s nest” have been disrupted and “lashed by the storm” of the Spanish Civil War. Neruda calls...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on June 15, 2020