Contemplating atop the “Great Wall,” was Neruda comparing similarities of this and “Machu
Picchu?” Was there more commonality beyond stonemasons craft? High stone walls ancient
cities, “great walls,” lesser ones (Berlin) are designated barriers between peoples/ideologies
for protection. Long standing cultural isolation results.
Constructing a fence of wood at Isla Negra afforded symbolic protection. Wooden slats
allowed words over and through pickets to the world beyond. If “Machu Picchu” was “a trip to
the serenity of the soul,” fences and “great walls” lie on opposite sides of that.
Neruda’s prolific poetry rose above politics unencumbered by walls, fences or dogma.
for contest on Pablo Neruda