Poets depict people who had ardently tragic inner emotional responses and feelings that awoke memories of their past. There were indications that their anguish was profound. Poems explored their characters' ephemeral lives and emotional trauma. Both poems in Nan Pix Pix and Melancholy contained hidden meanings that this paper analyzed as they interpreted traumatic experiences and life's difficulties. In Nan Pix, Pix portrayed Guatemala as lively, bringing joy and vitality to its residents; however, Guatemalans were killed by soldiers. Survivors of the Guatemalan war continued to suffer, thereby their ordeal. Melancholy depicted Ruben Dario's struggle to cope with his life and adversity. His life was plunged into darkness because his dream was a curse that left him miserable and hopeless. These poems reflected the pain and suffering that characters endured throughout their journey.
Poets often depict people whose tragic inner emotions awaken memories of their past, and in turn, this provides insight into their lives. Cassandra Euphrat Weston is an intern who works on the Cultural Survival’s Guatemala Radio Project, which is inspired by Guatemalans who describe grieving the loss of their homeland. In the poem “Nan Pix Pix,” she focuses on indigenous Guatemalan writers telling horrific stories of war events in Guatemala. The poem uses hidden messages and imagery to present painful feelings that occur in human relationships. In “Melancholy,” Stuart Cooke describes Ruben Dario’s nightmare about being trapped in a storm, recounting his blindness and the bitter world that surrounded him. Cooke discusses aspects of Dario’s life, such as his mental health, emotional sadness, and personal fears. By presenting Dario’s poems, Cooke combines the impacting messages of darker moods and emotional depths, and he explores the meaninglessness of life. Both Weston and Cooke share themes like suffering, pain, and nihilism by describing experiences of suffering and feelings of terror in their poems. “Nan Pix Pix” and “Melancholy” both depict the metaphorical meanings, allegories illustrating life experiences, and rhetorical questions that allow readers to understand these individuals’ thoughts.
In “Nan Pix Pix” and “Melancholy”, both writers use metaphors to present their deeper meanings. In “Nan Pix Pix,” Weston presents the aspects of nature that are significant in the natural world. Guatemala has a beautiful natural environment, and “Nan Pix Pix” describes Guatemala’s nature as the most beautiful place in the world. To them, this beautiful place represents the spirited and lively energy that exists in Guatemala. Through this poem, Weston demonstrates the virtues of nature that give people a sense of joy, happiness, and spirit. She states to readers that the most important places exist in nature, and this is where they find the essence of life. Additionally, her poem describes children and old people reminiscing about their lives while watching the sun. “Nan Pix Pix” portrays “the sun [hidden] with tears in its eyes” (Weston 16). Children and elders want to see the sun before they are killed by soldiers because the sun represents joy, life, and rebirth that is impactful to both the young and old people.
Throughout his poem, Weston emphasizes the importance of understanding that the sun conveys a sense of vitality and joy to readers. In turn, when children and old people look at the sun with tears in their eyes, they express sadness. In contrast, in “Melancholy,” Cooke examines the connotation of the light. He says that Dario has struggled with coping with it throughout his life, and that he feels that light is unbearable to him. Cooke’s emphasis is on understanding Dario’s purpose for bringing his significance to light. Dario contemplates someone who has light internally, someone who gives him his own (Cooke 1). The light makes Dario feel alive, as if he is living a good life. Cooke explains that light gives Dario a sense of hope, but Dario’s mind is unstable and disconnected from hope. Therefore, “Nan Pix Pix” and “Melancholy” illustrate their metaphorical meanings, which is a compilation of their perspectives.
"“Nan Pix Pix” and “Melancholy” both depict the metaphorical meanings, allegories illustrating life experiences, and rhetorical questions that allow readers to understand these individuals’ thoughts."
Furthermore, Weston and Cooke both show the allegories hidden in their experiences through their poems. In “Nan Pix Pix,” Weston reveals the hidden meaning that Guatemalans’ traumatic experiences are conveyed visually. In Guatemala, people are experiencing a terrible civil war that is causing people to be terribly frightened. The poem “Nan Pix Pix” describes the emotions of a pig named Pix, who “screamed, wept, and cried for help before the bullets that killed its people one by one” (Weston 10-13). These events actually did take place in Guatemala, where soldiers shot civilians. Pigs do not wish to die in vain, but they do want to die before suffering. They do not want to witness people dying in the civil war that surrounds them. On the other hand, in “Melancholy,” Cooke evinces the hidden meaning behind Dario’s life’s purpose. The purpose of Dario’s life falls into darkness after he becomes stuck in a dreamy storm. Dario articulates his feelings by stating, “I’m stuck beneath tempests and storms, blinded by dreams” (Cooke 3-4).
Cooke believes Dario’s dream is a curse that made him miserable and hopeless. He argues that Dario’s life is worthless since he has lost all his hopes. Moreover, the poem “Melancholy” reflects the hidden meaning behind Dario’s distress. Cooke portrays Dario’s distress, as he feels vulnerable and has a sense of lifelessness and helplessness: “Poetry is an iron straitjacket with thousands of spikes that [he] wrap around [his] soul” (Cooke 5-7). Dario attempts to break free from the straitjacket, and he becomes more vulnerable to injury. Although he can no longer harm himself continuously, his life continues to perish in the dark.
In addition, Weston and Cooke both incorporate rhetorical questions in their writing. In “Nan Pix Pix,” Weston explains that the incomprehensible Guatemalans’ have posed a rhetorical question, which are steps in their journey through life. Weston suggests that people in Guatemala are contemplating their future and pondering: “Thinking of where to go, of taking refuge out of fear” (Weston 17-18). Guatemalans face a variety of hardships that require them to put their lives in order and to move forward into new lives in new homelands. There are a variety of hardships that make Guatemalans experience loss, death of loved ones, and emotional agony. Additionally, in the poem “Nan Pix Pix,” Weston describes the rhetorical question connecting Guatemalans’ tragic emotions. In Guatemala, the people have no idea what their future holds, and they fear for their lives. Weston says, “Brothers with a rifle in hand without knowing, what will happen tomorrow” (Weston 18-21). The Guatemalans attempt to protect themselves because they do not know what will happen and they are consistently prepared to escape danger.
The men are like brothers who protect one another from enemies. Similarly, in the poem “Melancholy,” Cooke addresses readers with a rhetorical question to describe the thoughts of Dario. Dario is hesitant to connect his depression with his pent-up feelings. He ponders the rhetorical question, “don’t you hear the drops of my melancholy falling” (Cooke 14). In Dario’s reflections, he wonders if the readers are able to hear his drops of melancholy falling like raindrops, tears, and blood droplets. However, the readers may not hear the silent drops of melancholy falling. The poems “Nan Pix Pix” and “Melancholy” both use rhetorical questions to make readers understand how they can connect the significance of their own thoughts to those poems.
"In Dario’s reflections, he wonders if the readers are able to hear his drops of melancholy falling like raindrops, tears, and blood droplets."
“Nan Pix Pix” and “Melancholy” both demonstrate the metaphors, life experience allegories, and they draw the reader into comprehending rhetorical questions. “Nan Pix Pix” presents the connotations of nature in Guatemala as it is a beautiful environment; in turn, “Melancholy” interprets the connotations of light, as Dario is expecting to find life’s way by someone giving him light to guide him. Moreover, the poem “Nan Pix Pix” elaborates on the allegories of hidden meaning in Guatemalan life that can be seen as pigs crying and screaming. This represents the events that took place in Guatemala, where soldiers shot Guatemalans. “Melancholy,” however, reveals the hidden meaning behind Dario's life’s purpose -- that his life has fallen into darkness after he is hit by a dreamy storm. Another underlying meaning of Dario's distress is his sense of helplessness.
Furthermore, “Nan Pix Pix” and “Melancholy” both incorporate the rhetorical questions into their pieces. In “Nan Pix Pix,” Weston considers that people in Guatemala think about where to go to take refuge as a result of their fear. In “Melancholy,” Cooke indicates Dario pondering the rhetorical question, asking the readers if they hear the drops of his melancholy falling. Both poems emphasize the importance of critical thinking and of rhetorical questions, which are needed to understand their content. In both poems, traumatic experiences and the meaning are affecting the lives of the characters, and there are signs that their sufferings are deep. These poems explore their characters’ ephemeral lives through their lens, but they also have hidden messages that reveal their hardships.
Cooke, Stuart. “4 Melancholic Songs by Rubén Darío.” Cordite Poetry Review, 1 Dec. 2013, http://cordite.org.au/translations/cooke-dario/2/.
Weston, Cassandra Eurphrat. “Writing Remembrance in Guatemala: The Process of Poetry.” Cultural Survival, Dec. 2012, https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/writing-remembrance-guatemala-process-poetry.
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