Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry: Explained, TRILCE: 77, by CESAR VALLEJO



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

TRILCE: 77, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography


"Trilce: 77" by CÚsar Vallejo dives into the depths of existentialism through the seemingly simple subject of rain. The poem commences with the speaker acknowledging the hail as if to jog his memory of trials he has faced, represented by the "pearls" gathered from "the very snout / of every storm." The pearls symbolize the wisdom or insights gained through hardship; the storms are not just weather phenomena but existential crises.

"May this rain not dry up," prays the speaker, suggesting an almost paradoxical hope that the struggle continues. Vallejo introduces the idea of rain surging from fires, presenting a dichotomy between elements usually considered opposites. Here, rain becomes the product of fiery trials, as if each difficulty faced morphs into a moment of cleansing or perhaps clarity. The speaker appears to find solace in enduring trials, for they contribute to his existential and perhaps even spiritual wholeness.

The speaker then questions how far this rain will reach him, fearing one "flank" might remain dry. The apprehension lies in incomplete transformation or testing, in walking away from life's difficulties not wholly touched or changed. This speaks to a broader human anxiety about partial living, about going through life without experiencing it fully, or without meeting the tests that might make us whole.

The notion of "droughts of incredible vocal cords" adds a layer of complexity. These droughts could represent the silence or absence of challenges. Vallejo's speaker fears a lack of trials, knowing that they bring about a kind of "harmony" that can only be created if "one must always rise-never descend!" This line, paradoxical in itself, questions the very nature of ascent and descent. Vallejo seems to ask: do we grow by moving upwards toward comfort and ease, or by descending into the chaos of life's many difficulties?

The poem concludes with a call for the rain to sing "on the coast still without sea," an image imbued with potential but not yet fulfilled. Like the speaker's life, this coast awaits the crashing waves of experience to make it whole.

Vallejo's "Trilce: 77" is a rich tapestry of existential musings, weaving the elemental forces of nature into metaphors for life's trials and tribulations. By juxtaposing rain, hail, fire, and drought, Vallejo crafts a poetic landscape where elements don't just battle each other; they define, challenge, and complete one another, much like the many experiences that shape a life. Thus, the poem itself becomes a storm from which readers might collect their own pearls of wisdom.


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