Al Claro De Luna (In the Light of the Moon)
by Delmira Agustini
The moon is pallid and sad, the moon is bloodless and cold.
I imagine the half-moon as a profile of the dead …
And beyond the rekilled and praised pallor
Of Arab pearls, I prefer the rose in recent bud.
In a corner of this land with the colors of earth,
I adore this pale moon, I adore this death mask!
And at the altar of the night, like a flower inflamed,
Inebriated by strange perfumes, my soul resigns.
I know of lips withered with blasphemy and wine;
After an orgy they kiss her trace in the lane.
Insane ones who die kissing her image in lakes…
Because she is light of innocence, because white things
Illuminate her mysterious light, things taking on white,
And even the blackest souls become uncertainly bright.
Summary of Al Claro De Luna (In The Light Of the Moon)
- Popularity of “Al Claro De Luna (In the Light of the Moon)”: Written by Delmira Agustini, a famous Latin American poet and writer, “Al Claro De Luna (In the Light Of The Moon)” is a symbolic poetic piece. The poem presents the female qualities of the moon, like beauty and sexuality. It also shows how the lifeless and motionless moon enchants the speaker and gives her reasons to adore its beauty. The poem, however, has won popularity because of its presentation of the moon as a woman.
- “Al Claro De Luna (In the Light of the Moon)” As a Representative of Love: This is a love poem. It begins when the speaker talks about the moon’s paleness, sadness, and darkness. The dark appearance makes the moon a profile of death. Although it’s lifeless and unattractive, the speaker prefers to adore it. In the second stanza, she alludes to the natural beauty that spreads colors on the earth. It is somewhat ironic that she sings praise for the unattractive moon while surrounded by mesmerizing natural beauty. As the poem continues, she explains how the same dull moon suddenly becomes important at night. It looks like the only central object that catches the attention of those who ignore her during the day. They not only adore it but also rush to kiss its image on the clear lake. In the final lines, she compares the moon to the light of Innocence saying it possesses a mysterious light that illuminates even the dark souls at night.
- Major Themes in “Al Claro De Luna (In the Light of the Moon)”: Beauty, praise, and man’s nature are the poem’s central themes. This poem accounts for the speaker’s sentiments about the moon. She thinks of it as a woman and talks about how people treat her. During the day, the moon appears dull and dead. However, when night falls, it seems to be the only attractive object in the universe. People unaware of her existence during the daytime die to kiss her image in the water. Since white symbolizes purity and innocence, the moon’s light attracts them and pulls them toward a direction where they embrace her wholeheartedly. Through this poem, the writer beautifully illustrates that people have their reasons to enjoy and praise natural beauty. Although natural objects are always here for us to praise, people still own them as per their desires. However, the speaker is not like these people. She praises the moon even when it looks like an image of the dead.
Analysis of Literary Devices Used in Al Claro De Luna (In the Light of the Moon)
- Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line such as the sound of /e/ in “I know of withered lips in blasphemy and wine” and the sound of /o/ in “The moon is pale and sad, the moon is bloodless and dead.”
- Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of /t/ in “Because she is the light of innocence, because in that mysterious light” and the sound of /r/ in “And on the altar of the nights, like a flower on fire.”
- Enjambment: It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break; rather, it rolls over to the next line. For example;
“And on the altar of the nights, like a flower on fire
And drunk with strange perfumes, my soul surrendered incense.”
- Irony: Irony is a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. This is an ironic poem as the poet praises the dull and lifeless moon, leaving behind all natural wonders.
- Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. Delmira Agustini has used imagery in this poem, such as; “They clothed me in the clothes of death”, “And because I am happy and dance and sing” and “And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King.”
- Personification: Personification is to give human qualities to inanimate objects. Delmira Agustini has personified the moon throughout the poem, such as “Because she is the light of innocence, because in that mysterious light”.
- Symbolism: Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings that are different from the literal meanings. The poem shows symbols such as praise, death, desires, and love.
Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in Al Claro De Luna (In The Light Of the Moon)
Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is an analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.
- Diction: The poem shows descriptive diction having rhetorical devices, symbolism, and impressive images.
- Free Verse: Free verse is a type of poetry that does not contain patterns of rhyme or meter. This is a free verse poem with no strict rhyme or meter.
- Quatrain: A quatrain is a four-lined stanza borrowed from Persian poetry. Here first two stanzas are quatrain.
- Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are three stanzas in this poem with each comprising a different number of verses.
Quotes to be Used
The following lines are useful to quote while praising the beauty of a lady.
“Crazy people who die kissing his image in dead lakes …
Because she is the light of innocence, because in that mysterious light”