What are the hidden meanings behind each of the 15 sections of Pablo Neruda's Canto General?
Pablo Neruda's Canto General reflects the history of South America and its people. Each section of the Canto corresponds to a difference facet of this history:
1. A Lamp on Earth: The natural beauty of America prior to the arrival of the conquistadors. Neruda describes the creation of various aspects of the natural world.
2. The Heights of Macchu Picchu: This section conveys Neruda's political engagement following his visit to Macchu Picchu. He opposes the fascist Spanish government and incites his reader to speak out against it.
3. The Conquistadors: Neruda describes the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and their destruction of traditional ways of life for the American natives.
4. The Liberators: Neruda pays tribute to the resistance fighters and rebels of the past.
5. The Sand Betrayed: Neruda denounces the opponents to freedom.
6. America, I Do Not Invoke Your Name in Vain: Description of the natural resources of Latin America.
7. Canto General of Chile: a lyrical description of the natural world in Latin America as well as the traditional way of life of the natives.
8. The Earth’s Name is Juan: an anonymous voice describing the popular resistance to the invaders as well as the suffering and abuse they had caused.
9. Let the Woodcutter Awaken: a call to action for the United States, addressed to Walt Whitman.
10. The Fugitive: a biographical recounting of Neruda's persecution as well as an exaltation to the solidarity of the Chilean people.
11. The Flower of Punitaqui: A recounting of his personal experiences in Northern Chile and his involvement with the labor groups.
12. The Rivers of Song: An homage to the resistance fighters.
13. New Year’s Chorale for the Country in Darkness: a recognition of the resistance to the government of Gonzales Videla.
14. The Great Ocean: a description of the American coasts.
15. I Am: Neruda's affirmation as a heroic symbol of political resistance.