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.