The poem is analysed in terms of structure, sound and lineation. La Maestra Rural is a poem by Gabriela Mistral in which she describes a teacher, in this case a rural teacher by saying that she is pure, poor and happy but also describes some of her life events.
Gabriela Mistral’s Background
This poem somehow is seen as a resemblance to Gabriela’s life when she was a teacher, she started young as a member of a poor family and was not accepted by the town because of her early age to teach and somehow she says that is the reason of why nature has always been her company. Later on she was harassed because of her lack of a teaching diploma.
The title of the poem serves to indicate the character that is being described, in this case “Maestra Rural” is a teacher in a ranch or a orchard/estate “/huerta/finca”, so that is the subject.
At first, the poem’s tone doesn’t really address someone in particular, it is just expressing something without needing an exact answer, but, later on the poem starts to describe a character which is pure, sweet and somehow innocent or new and how the character (a woman) should remember the things that she did and happen to her, awful and unpleasant things. That is when the poem’s tone starts to change, in “Pobre mujer herida”, and some how the message is addressed in agony and nostalgia to the character which in this case is the maestra or the peasant woman.
The poet develops a structure in order to present an innocent woman that later on suffered but after that, she did terrible things and the poet questions the terrible things she did by saying “¿Recuerdas que alguna vez prendiste su nombre a un comentario brutal o baladí?; “campesina, ¿no le pides perdón?
When talking about the lineation, the poem itself is developed in 4 long verses stanzas that are very consistent and there are some caesuras which can be identified in the first 4 lines (medial caesuras): “… de este predio, que es predio de jesus”; “guardar claros sus óleos, para dar clara luz” but also there is a rhyme with the words “luz” and “Jesus” and an assonance to get the attention of the reader that can be identified with the vocal “o” in the words “ojos” and “manos”.
The sound and rhythm can be perceived in a way “breathy” with a musicality and like previously said, with words that rhyme but that also try to give some cultural background, referring to christianity and events in the life of peasants.
As a synthesis, it can be said that Gabriela is trying to explain the difficulty of starting as a teacher in a place where there is no education, as a young teacher that is not accepted by her early age and how the credulity and innocence of a young girl that starts working affects her work and her life.
Is a very hard poem to explain and to try and attach to the author is near impossible when there is little to no background of the last mentioned. Even so, the poem persists in some issues that are, now, in modern age, being considered when decades ago, where intact.
Obrigado pela leitura!