Sonnets of Death

by Lucila Godoy Alcayaga

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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 318

"Sonnets of Death" is a very stark sonnet about the suicide of Alcayaga's lover, in which she expresses her anguish and deep pain at his passing, as well as her frustration that he took his own life and separated himself from her.

This sonnet can be divided into three different sections: a lament, a cry of frustration, and a plea. The poem displays a breadth of feeling, and it is truly an eloquent representation of the whirlwind of emotions that might be felt in a situation like this—while grief dominates everything, there is a broiling sea of anger and injustice lying beneath the surface, as well as denial that the lover's suicide could possibly be true.

While she is lamenting, Alcayaga speaks with a broken-hearted sincerity as she mourns her lover's absence in her life. She deeply wishes to be reunited with him and is distraught that she will not see him again until her life is over. In this moment, she vows that she will reunite with her lover again, and she will help lead him into a beautiful heaven in which the two of them will be together forever.

At other points in the poem, Alcayaga expresses sheer frustration, calling out the "evil hands" that did this deed to her lover. This is ironic, because she knows that it was he who took his own life. Her anguish gives way to anger, as she is frustrated that he would choose to separate his life from hers.

Finally, she pleas with God to help her lover. Since he received no divine help for his depressive state on this earth, she begs God to guide his path in the afterlife and to preserve him so that they can be together at last. She is heartbroken, and her spirit is distraught; all she wishes for is a promise that she and her lover will be reunited once again.

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