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With reference to the poem by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, Furrer remarks that it is an expression of despair over past tragedy, misery, and the Mapocho River as its witness, born of snow, sprung from the beak of an eagle, winding through the "valley of ashes". … The increasingly intense cries of the poet, the fearful questions … are answered with silence. Neruda's text was not used here as a programmatic model for the composition of the music. Since only fragments of his text were used, it was possible to subjugate the language to the musical composition.