This is the third article of the Uruguayan writer published by the EFE agency, by assignment of the Benedetti Foundation, and which will be followed by others, on the second Saturday of each month, until September 2020, when the centenary of his birth will be fulfilled and that He intends to honor his journalistic side, one of the least known of his creative career.
Marco Antonio de la Parra recently published an article in a Madrid newspaper that, with good arguments, encouraged the reader to read poetry: “Dare. Break your routine, let it enter into your life trained by habits and the existence of the poem’s burning breath programmed.
Do it now, before changing your mind, as an impulse, before the wind changes, following the always uncertain path of the stars, alone, in company, in silence, out loud. ” And later he concluded: “Read. Poetry. That does not bite.”
I found the whole article excellent, except the end. Because the problem is that: that poetry bites. For being free, asking, transgressive, questioning, subjective, fanciful, sometimes airtight and communicative in others.
That’s why he bites and that’s why a good part of the public I mean the one who reads, of course he prefers prose, which often contains answers, obeys plans and structures is usually objective, knows how to organize his ghosts and generally does not bite, especially when they put (or put on) a muzzle. Even in times of censorship, and given that the censors are not usually specialists in metaphors, poetry usually goes through customs with much more donaire than prose.
It is known that poets, at least when they write, are not shy. As Aleixandre pointed out: “There is not a single poet who does not modify the world.” And that is not easily forgiven, since the plausible extension is: “There is not a single poet who is satisfied with the world.” And of course, that usually causes well understood and misunderstood.
Because although it seems a lie, there are many people who are satisfied with the world. And I do not mean the very well-off or the very powerful (usually neither are satisfied, because their cravings for money and power are inexhaustible), but rather a certain type of average citizen, owner of a medium comfort and a sober meanness that does not even aspire to read, lest someone convince him of his right to daring, or the loophole of solidarity that is within his reach.
It is true that each poet modifies the world, or at least tries to modify it, although rarely successful, as is often the case with snipers. However, these rarely hit the mark, and hit with a word, with an image, which can be more revealing than a speech.
“The poem,” Brazilian Fernando Ferreira de Loanda wrote, “made of swims, is intrinsic, / does not depend on honey or rain.” Poetry, precisely because it is intrinsic, that is intimate, essential, unconventional, unlimited, can become revealing.
That is why it is a pity that the current reader is left out of that revelation. Poetry enriches life, even if you doubt it, even if you question it, even if you bite it. “I know that I am writing / to exorcise myself” says Nicaraguan Gioconda Belli, but poetry can also serve as an exorcism to those who read it. In the life of each reader there is usually a poem that meant for him a revelation or perhaps a diagnosis of his inner life.
About fifteen years ago, on the walls of the Neuropsychiatric Hospital of Buenos Aires, this inscription appeared: “In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is imprisoned.” Only the lucidity of dementia could take away the ancient one-eyed crown from the one-eyed man.
That absurd irony was interpreted then (there was a magazine that risked spreading it) as a hard whip to the repressive mood of the government, but repressions pass and teasing remains.
Perhaps poetry is the one-eyed literature. A one-eyed man who is never king, not even in the country of the burriciegos. Sometimes you may see only with the left eye and sometimes only with the right eye.
But go He is a one-eyed man who is imprisoned and has been held incommunicado for snubbing, cornering or disdain. Although occasionally chance gives him a Nobel Prize. One-eyed but go. And if historians become anachronistic, poets often serve to convey the essence of an era, of a cycle, of a civilization.