When one would finish reading Las Ruinas Del Corazon by Eric Gamalinda, the first reaction, amongst many others, would be disgusted. The most evident and common reaction from the readers would most likely be abhorrence and revulsion, or any response related to those. But why? What is it in this poem that causes these reactions? How do we get and understand what Eric Gamalinda is trying to say, and at the same time, get the same negative reaction from all the readers?
Eric Gamalinda should be applauded because of his use of imagery in Las Ruinas Del Corazon is very striking. With his use of imagery, every reader is able to picture the same kind of scenario he intended to project to his readers, plus heighten the dramatic situation of the poem. In line with this, the dramatic situation can be effectively portrayed through the use of imagery.
Imagery is an important element to focus on in poetry. Imagery is what irks and stirs our imagination to create a scenario in our head. The scenario that we imagine, that’s the dramatic situation. One can easily identify the dramatic situation once he or she fully understands and finishes a certain selection. Imagery can be augmented with the use of figurative language. At the same time, dramatic situation can be deepened with the proper usage of imagery. This paper strives to explain how imagery can heighten a selection’s dramatic situation, particularly in Eric Gamalinda’s Las Ruinas Del Corazon.
The imagery is very apparent in this selection because the poem is a narrative, and narratives give you the whole story. The choice and use of words by the author makes the dramatic situation more intense. It is easier for the readers to feel and be set in the mood of the selection with the use of our senses, which are composed of olfactory, gustatory, visual, auditory, and tactile that the imagery of a selection presents. The imagery in this poem is straightforward and has blunt images, so it is easy to picture the scenarios in our minds. It also contributes to the mood of the selection.
An image is a representation of any form such as art. The use of imagery in poems is to give a vivid description to help the readers grasp the idea and picture in their minds a mental image of a given selection. The use of imagery is for writers to be able to enhance the beauty of such poems. The use of figurative language is used also to help make the imagery of a poem more effective in helping the readers get a picture of what the author is trying to promote through poetic language. With imagery, it makes the poem easier to understand and less complicated and mysterious as it already is. It creates a clearer vision and image in the reader’s mind.
Certain images in the poem Las Ruinas Del Corazon like “as pungent potions filled the rooms she peeked into his coffin like a chef peek into his pot” (16-17). The word “pungent” (16) explains that the potion has a penetrating, and a sharp smell that fills the room, so an image of a smelly, fetid, and malodorous room enters our mind. Also, the use of figurative language makes the poem more intense and rich. The use of the simile to compare Juana the Mad peeking into her husband’s coffin and a chef peeking into his cooking pot, just goes to show the relation Juana the Mad has with her dead husband. She still watches over him, as if he would go anywhere, even though the readers know that he is going nowhere since he is dead.
The narrative of this poem focuses on the concept of love by Juana the Mad. Her kind of love is the different kind of love from the norms. Juana the Mad’s love is more on possessive love, selfish love, and necrophilia love with a touch of cannibalism as “She wanted to possess him entirely/ and since not even death/ may oppose the queen,/ she found a way to merge death and life” (19-20). This quote explains that she was so obsessed with her man that she wanted to be one with him, and for that to actually happen, she consumed him.
The choice of words that Gamalinda has used in the poem, such as “adamant” (18), “fragrant” (22), and “ruddy” (23), are examples of words that many people aren’t familiar with. Some would consider these words to be deep, and Gamalinda probably wants to portray that Juana the Mad’s love, the love that she thinks she has, is as deep as the words that he used to portray the dramatic situation.
In Gamalinda’s case, his writing technique strongly uses imagery in this selection because this is a way for him to be able to convey his message in a stronger and deeper manner. Also, this is for him to be able to evoke certain emotions from his readers by the use of his choice of words.
It is very visible in the poem that Juana the Mad wants her love with Philip the Handsome to prevail. She wants their love to last forever, which explains the carving of the song unto the marble, as the lines go “but before she did, she asked the poets to record these moments in song, and the architects carve the song in marble,” (29-30). The poem also shows that she is still possessive of him by the lines of “and the marble to be selected from the most secret veins/ of the earth and placed where no man could see it” (31-32). She wants it to be hidden and tucked away, for the marble to be seen in her eyes only. This shows signs of the possessive kind of love.
Juana the Mad’s love in the initial part of the poem is undeniably acceptable, especially with the fact that her husband is out “annexing more kingdoms” (5) and she, acts like a helpless housewife. She is portrayed as a wife who is deeply concerned about her husband, and even asked “the twin guardians of the Alhambra… to send him home” (7-8), but what she did not know is that their interpretation of ‘home’ would be far off different from hers. Saint Ursula and Saint Susana, killed her husband at age twenty-eight. With Gamalinda giving the husband an age of his death, makes the readers picture a young, handsome man in his late twenties. The author makes Philip the Handsome seem like an affable man, a presentable and honorable man, too. This helps build up the dramatic situation in terms of what Juana the Mad has lost. This helps the dramatic situation by showing the readers what and who caused this twisted kind of love by Juana the Mad.
The way Gamalinda used the word “lunged” in “then lunged for an eye, a kidney, part of the large intestine” (25), he wants to portray that Juana the Mad was really getting into what she was doing, eating him, and like a man deprived of food, lunging for his body parts as if afraid that someone might steal him away or that if she didn’t finish him fast enough, he will disappear.
Through the use of excellent word choice, Gamalinda is able to vividly enhance the dramatic situation in each line. Each word he uses to describe Juana the Mad’s actions and thoughts, he describes them thoroughly, thus making a strong and rich image in the readers’ minds. Through every line, the reader can picture what goes on as if they were actually there, witnessing Juana the Mad’s deliberate actions. His outstanding use of imagery in his work makes it definitely easier for the readers to understand and picture the dramatic situation of Las Ruinas Del Corazon.
This poem is about the consumption of beauty. First, the author depicts it quite literally. People are so enamored by beauty that they long to be with it, not knowing the consequences of what it brings. It could also mean that man is foolish and never knows what they want for if man gets what he thinks he wants, to put it light, it’s not very appealing. As merely human beings, people have an urge to fix what they have broken in their lives and as seen in the woman in the poem, she literally lives in her past instead of learning from it.
She becomes so consumed by her obsession of beauty and her claim to it that she devours it, therefore losing her dignity and her love. The concluding parts of the poem basically capture her vanity, which is her obsession with beauty and having it. Since she is not a beauty herself, she has taken someone who is beautiful for herself. And now that she’s lost her ‘beauty’, she asks to be remembered forever, forgetting what beauty truly is and how something is truly ‘beautiful’.
The imagery is an effective tool utilized for metaphors just like this. It’s well done and did, in fact, create a dramatic scene in it. Readers are given a visual, a picture, a movie in their heads about what it’s about and then give the abstraction through the conclusion, leaving it open to interpretation.
The speaker of the poem, a third person omniscient, helped in giving the readers understand and visualize the story line. It definitely showed the readers what was happening and at the same time, let the readers in on the character’s feelings. Gamalinda used words such as “kingdoms” (5), and “monarch” (13) to describe the setting and time of the poem. The readers will have an image and know the feel of the Shakespearean era. The mood undoubtedly is formed with the use of imagery, which also builds the dramatic situation.
Love is a beautiful thing. Love is something people would like to be found by, and not have to obtain on their own. However, our elders might have said that love, even in its beauty, can make people do crazy things. To have someone you’ve never had, you have to do something you have never done before. And in relation to that line, Juana the Mad has done something no one has ever done. She was so in love, or so she thought, with Philip the Handsome, to the point that she devoured every piece of him. With the help of imagery by Gamalinda, this was made more visual and the readers are able to feel certain emotions and feelings in relation to Gamalinda’s way of presenting how Juana the Mad consumed her dead husband.
Love, so much beauty in a word, yet so much dark and clandestine motives and meanings behind it. It is such a shame that Juana the Mad’s love for her husband has overcome her, thus making her an insecure mess. Her actions has caused her a lifetime of loneliness, making her go crazy and ballistic, reaching through ends of the earth, in her case, to the point of wolfing down on her husband’s body parts, to be with him forever. Love is beautiful, but turned into a disaster by her own means, by Juana the Mad’s selfish wants. She was blind sided by love, something that is supposed to be beautiful.