Drunk as Drunk by Pablo Neruda

By Izzy Perling

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Birthday of Pablo Neruda

Tuesday, July 12th 1904 at 12am


The Poem

Drunk as drunk on turpentine

From your open kisses,

Your wet body wedged

Between my wet body and the strake

Of our boat that is made of flowers,

Feasted, we guide is - our fingers

Like tallows adorned with yellow metal -

Over the sky's hot rim,

The day's last breath in our sails.

Pinned by the sun between solstice

And equinox, drowsy and tangled together

We drifted for months and woke

With the bitter taste of land on our lips,

Eyelids all sticky, and we longed for lime

And the sound of a rope

Lowering a bucket down its well. Then,

We came by the night to the Fortunate Isles,

And lay like fish

Under the net of our kisses.

Literal Interpretation

Lines 1 and 2 are all about how the speaker is drunk because of his love for his/her lover. Lines 3 to 5 explain that the speaker wants to be laying in a bed of flowers with his/her lover. 6 through 10 are saying that the lovers have something on their fingers to represent their love. From lines 10 to 13 the speaker writes that the lovers lose track of time together. In the end it says that the couple is very strong and has metaphors like "laying like fish."


The poem "Drunk as Drunk" s a narrative poem. It tells the story of a couple that are very in love in the beginning, lose track of time in the middle, and stay together in the end. The mood of this poem is very romantic. The speaker is most likely a person who is just very in love with another person. This speaker is speaking directly to their lover because the speaker says "your" and "our" often. The attitude the speaker has is loving. When reading this poem out loud, it should be read in a soft tone and made to sound very passionate.


This 19 line poem does not have much structure. The poem is free verse with no rhyme at all. The poem is in very chronological order because it is like a story. The poem starts with a couple very in love and in the end they are the same way, very in love. The punctuation of the poem is very minimal. Each stanza ends in a period and in the middle of the stanzas there are occasional commas or breaks. The title fits the poem perfectly because the poem is about a couple that is so in love that they are almost drunk in it.


The language of this poem is somewhat unusual. The poet, Pablo Neruda, chooses very different words that make the poem more confusing to understand. Lots of the words make you think of love and passion like when Neruda mentions flowers. At the end of the poem Neruda says, "And lay like fish." I believe that this means that the couple was as still as they could be because they just wanted to live in the moment. All of the metaphors in the poem relate to love and passion, just like what the poem is about.

Musical Devices

This poem has no rhyme scheme. One thing that the poet mentions more than once is lips. I think this is because lips are a very normal thing to talk about in a love poem. Almost all the words in the poem are in past tense, so this means the speaker is talking about something that has happened to them.

Passing of Pablo Neruda

Friday, March 23rd 1973 at 11:45pm