Saturday, February 6, 2016

Love Poetry, Poetry for Love

My Most Recent Poem for Valentine's Day

Meditation of Love

I am awaken quite late at night
head and heart bruised for a hard day
in which I just wrote a word of praise
as the storm has rocked the sea high tie.

A special woman, my girlfriend, calls me
for it’s almost our Valentine’s day feast
she wishes from me flowers, a love bear
she wishes something silky new to wear.

The West has met the East with no regrets
the South harvests farewells the North way
a first winner will make a second time loss
sensuality blooms peace flowers to our souls.

The day shines steady with no fuzzy clouds
the sun turns the blue sky into red horizon
light transforms beauty into clear honey bows
joy of love make candle lights lit the built mansion.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cosmopolitanism in García Marquez’s Works (II)

The Paired Paradoxes of GGM’s Magic Realism

Space and Time

If I had to select my favorite writer based on space management and description, I would probably think of Honoré de Balzac, or would have nearly no preference for any writer in Latin American literature. Again, if I had to raise the same concern for a selection based on time management, I then would choose García Márquez, whom I consider the Master of Masters in literary time management. Although Cortázar had written Rayuela to create a novelistic gender that could be read in any order with consistency, García Márquez manages time in such a fashion that present and past and past and future are linked through many years of solitude, of resemblance in the making of history. On the other hand, for literary space management, García Márquez conveys a flat description as what the recent world in One Hundred Years of Solitude looks like; thus, that envisioning such a recent world with large stones resembling prehistoric eggs is left to the reader’s imagination, at least, partly. In the narration of dynamic action, García Márquez embeds description with a nuanced perception on action, as in Chronicle of a Death Foretold and No One Writes to the Colonel, in particular, and clearly in each one of his writings. However, the best combination of description embedded in the dynamic action of magic realism is in the Autumn of the Patriarch and his many shorter novels, such as Leaf Storm, and in his short stories. Because of dynamic action implies, both movement and living time, it implicitly represents a nuance of space and time.

Love and Passion

Lovers in the Love in Time of Cholera care more about true love than they do about passion, and dream of reviving old times, as they realize their love. However, love and passion are more physical in One Hundred Years of Solitude… True love is normally physical, and just Jorge Isaacs has made a masterpiece of Maria’s platonic love, which results in her death, as a dreamt love, never realized, which turns into a hysteric compulsive disease… But love is so physical in García Márquez’s masterpiece, that the reader can sense the smell of the lovers and the heat of their bodies through his narration. Even incest scatology provides a mix of passion and luster.  Furthermore, in One Hundred Years, love is no so tide to social concerns, because it is tenderly mixed with passion, even denying class or tradition, although it does in Chronicle, where the loss of virginity represents one of the novel’s leit motif, as a cultural issue in a Northern Colombian town. But in contrast, the gay sex between two army men presented in The Autumn probably points out some of the dictators [from the real world] targeted in the book, which is presented with a sordid language and shocking morbidity, and not as Christian love or physical love between a man and a woman. There is, however, no reference to Sodom and Gomorrah or anyone frozen into a salt statue.

Race and Ethnicity

Gypsies, black slaves, purely white Spaniards, European explorers, Creoles, mulattoes, baboons, and other examples of ethnic diversity occur in the writings of García Marquez.  Ethnicity is shown more culturally than as the physical characterization of an actor in his writings, but there are some clear ethnic descriptions, easily representing the relaxed perception and tolerance of race and cultural ethnic diversity in a Latin American country.  

Tragedy and Death

While many scenes in GGM’s writings can have a humorous approach, most writings, novels, short stories, and movie scripting mixed traditional comedy with tragedy. Struggle for territory control and power in One Hundred Years of Solitude, results in rivalry for the control of the land, and main characters in the novel play a key role there.

Power and Pleasure

Consistent with Western philosophies and life styles, power and pleasure are widely evidenced in each one of GGM’s novels. But the extreme version of power is only perceived in the leading character in the Autumn, which represents a dictatorship, where rotten greatness is the fragrance described upon the fall of the dictator, a fragrance that sparse all over the city with a tender, warm breeze.

Freedom and Slavery

Culturally, slavery is mentioned in some historic citations within GGM’s writings. Besides, the master moral and the slave moral ever preached by Nietzsche are presented in the novel of power The Autumn, but there are many other scenarios in many of his other writings where the excess of power overcomes freedom, such as in scenarios, where either male or female dominance is present in the control of a family. But freedom and liberty are primarily linked to the environment and nature (this is also Rousseau paradigm, and it is also emphasize in Bolívar’s poem My Delirium atop Chimborazo, as he follows the footprints of La Condamine and Humboldt, a true praise to nature). Thus, enjoying nature is the greatest gift of [divine] freedom, where the divinity implicit in nature meets with human nature allowing for men and women to attain both liberty and happiness. But slavery is represented in the course of the generations attached to the Buendía family, and it is also a paradox as the outcome of oppressive power in The Autumn. And it is indeed death that results in total freedom with the end of the genealogy and the end of the novel, with a second chance for happiness for them on the face of the earth. And it is indeed death that brings total freedom to them, with the end of their genealogy and the end of the novel, with no further chances for for them to be happy on the face of the earth.

Reality and Fiction
Although most of dramas presented in GGM’s works tend to be real, based on reality or consistently presented as real, it contains a variety of fiction or magic, mystically attached to the story: there are many instances of this approach to his works. For instance, insomnia and forgetfulness; the gallery of the mirrors; the last of the Buendías born with a pig tale. Besides, some stories are nuanced by some existentialist anxiety, such as, the exasperating wait of the Colonel for his pension; Santiago Nassar’s anguish when everyone knows they are going to kill him for taking Angela Vicario’s virginity. And Even Ursula says to live “with a constant shock". While each one of these events is real, they are mixed with a poetic narrative, which expands into fiction.

Concluding Remark
Indeed, from every set of pair categories, I have encountered a relationship between GGM’s writing and a sacred book, like the Bible.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cosmopolitanism in Gabriel García Marquez's Works (I)

The Uncountable Time of Eternity

In the first quarter of 2014, I attended a conference at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in Spanish presented by encyclopedist Prof. César Domínguez (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela). During the conference, I discussed with the speaker, my concern that cosmopolitanism is driven in great part by the scatology of the topics and scenarios, in the relation of that word to biblical themes. The speaker bluntly disagreed with that opinion, and emphasized his point of view that cosmopolitanism was against anything that could be considered Irishism or alike, and he had to use the word in English, as there is no formal equivalent in Spanish. He also lamented that Spain had not been able to produce other great universal masterpieces since Cervantes's Don Quixote.
Then it came to my mind that characters and scenarios depicted in García Márquez's works have a strong regional context and idiosyncrasy. Then I wonder how is it possible that Colonel Aureliano Buendía and José Arcadio Buendía could have attained a cosmopolitan dimension and universal acceptance through One Hundred Years of Solitude. Then I clearly encountered my scatological matches: incest actors, genealogy confusion, insomnia, forgetfulness and confusion, strange diseases, the crossing of the sierra as a travel comparable to the biblical journeys. Then I visited the amoral abuse of power presented in The Autumn of the Patriarch and likewise encountered how many historic characters biblical kings, and not just King Herodes. I went further in examining Chronicle of a Death Fortold, and similarly I encountered violence as described through various generations in biblical topics. However, in Cervantes's Quixote the universality of the novel can be observed in the purity of its characters and the language; this is equivalent to the universality of the regional characters of García Marquez's works. But unlike the contents of the Quixote, the regional characters of Macondo are indeed both micro-cosmopolitan in the psychological perspective of her actors' (regional) personalities and macro-cosmopolitan in the occurrence of events demonstrated by the creativity of his magic realism.
But Prof. Domínguez, boldly disagreed with my opinion that any sense of universality or cosmopolitanism has necessarily anything to do with the Bible. My unusual question came over a presentation that was based on a Eurocentric perspective of the world (from the political point of view), which has little to do with Macondo's recent world, or their gypsies and regional characters raised to a universal greatness. But for those who have read most of his works, García Márquez had no intention to present Macondo's world in any fashion other than subject to the aggressive trends and will to power of regional characters, the main source of political domain.
Likewise, the description of landscape, places, and space is general highlights an important feature in García Marquez's work. In that dimension, he was many times criticized and compared, for better or worst, to Balzac's works. Besides, events like the famine of certain characters and the anorexia or others are not like the Ireland potato famine caused by the British in the middle of the 19th Century. Nor are these events historically comparable to lack in the Bible or the miraculous event as the fall of manna from the sky But with Love in Time of Cholera, García Marquez attains a new dimension beyond the beauty of his poetic narrative and creativity: Love becomes the leit motif of his novel; love over disease and death; love over fate; in essence, eternal love. In this sense, his philosophic view -implicitly displayed in this novel- is in great contrast with that of the human fatal destiny presented by French poet Charles Baudelaire works, which often made him collide with his social entourage; the same contrast is also visible in Tolstoi's Ana Karenina, between characters who suffer to enjoy passion, and characters who wait for and enjoy true love, eternal love; which is also somewhat depicted in Flaubert's Madame Bovary.
In this first part of my article, I want to emphasize and conclude that it is indeed the strength and power of the magic realism narrative, which drives a sense of universality, and a cosmopolitan place at the eyes of the reader anywhere in the world when reading García Marquez's masterpieces, in form and content structure, in morphology and syntax, in semantics and rhetoric, in time and space.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Most Recent Poem

After a few months without writing poetry, I wrote this poem while proofreading other writings and writing some other essays, to be published later in this blog...

Love for the Diva

And if you gave your love to me
I would adore you a whole eternity
I would thee wed in bare silence
so no one knows at first my deed.

Later, everyone will then discern
the day when our love blossoms
that there is nothing, no event,
which could take you away from me.

There are only love flowers
for you, so we can then say
love is present, love does exist,
you cherish it, more  you persist.

Then you would have given
the best from you, and I would
have also made flowers bloom
love petals just for you alone.

As obstacles vanish, love is,
unique love is there to care
for you, sweet dreams of peace,

dreams of two angels born again.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year 2014 with Love Poetry in Three Languages

Love Poetry, Poetry for Love

To criticize poetry and understand it, one does not need to know a master in literature, yet one must know the different categories of poetry, be able to differentiate them, and have read enough of it to learn to naturally understand it. Although Kant, Aristotle and others can tell a lot about it, one does not need to understand them so well to attain transcendental‎ knowledge through poetry. A critic may be right or wrong about a poem or poetry in general, but it is indeed his or her opinion.

A poem of love for you

New York has sparks heat that radiates from your essence
When I hug you and feel true love in nearly all dimensions
Perhaps is just a matter of dreams not perhaps imagination
as nothing hinders more love that being close to your presence.

There is a vague fragrance that entices being firmly together
And the scent enhances the dawn breath that we embrace
as I feel the steam overflown with the beauty on your face
And the images of love revolves, revolves, revolves forever.

It is the moon without the earth, and the earth without the moon
It is the motion of waves dancing that go fearlessly forward
And feel the beating of hearts surrouing the romance at guard
The beauty of telling the true that loves resounds like a boom.

Un poème d’amour pour toi

Un poème d’amour qui raconte notre histoire
Un réveil symbolique, une solitude nomade, une promenade au solitaire
Tout ça me fait rappeler que tu m’aimes
C’est vrai: je m’en souviens et tout marche bien…

Mais c’est l’amour qui me possède
C’est à toi que je rencontre
au milieu d’un paysage fleuri
et c’est toi l’amour que Dieu me concède…

L’amour se promène aussi dans un endroit imaginaire
comme la seule rose dans le seule oasis d’un desert tout vert

Le satisfait un soif jamais si fort
Un soif dont l’eau que je bois provient de tes lèvres…

Et je vois par de-la les frontières
Où nous retrouvons à nouveau un endroit fleuri
pour y rester toutes les fatigues de nos angoisses

Nous y restons pour retrouver l’amour…

Mais enfin, tu t’en vas, tu t’en vas, tu t’en vas comme moi
C’est trop tard… c’est la fin, c’est la fin, c’est la fin…
On ne se revoit plus… On ne se revoit point…

Un poema de amor para tí
Insomnio en el alba

No puedo conciliar mi sueño, como tú el tuyo
me abruman los recuerdos y las voces de tu yo
me adormece la memoria dulce de tu anhelo
guardado para siempre en el aura de tu pelo.

La imperfección de mis versos nunca rima
mide una distancia en que viajamos en el tiempo
como en vagón inerme, llevado por tu aliento
el respirar de tus besos, tu boca que se arrima.

Te beso entre el tono de tu piel, silueta tendida
me gustas que me beses en el silencio de la bruma
es ir al mar de los olvidos que se hace espuma
es la vida que se va y se viene como en despedida.

Es el mar que me llama como si vinieras tu de adentro
es un gémido en una noche negra, vacía y ausente
es un hálito perdido que se aleja de lo presente
de un ser que nunca olvida tu recóndito epicentro.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Favorite Poets (IV): The Spaniards (la Madre Patria y la hispanidad)

In a farmhouse in Cordoba between brambles and oleanders lived a saddler-man with a saddler-woman ...

Federico García Lorca in New York and the Other Spaniards

On García Lorca's Poet in New York

García Lorca in New York

Garcia Lorca's passport.

A picture relevant to García Lorca's works

The cancelled presentation

A Portrait of young Federico García Lorca

An acquaintance visits the García Lorca's exhibit at the NYPL on 42nd St at Fifth Avenue.

The recounting of the Missing Poet.

García Lorca at Columbia University.

A display of documents at the New York Public Library

La guitarra de la que el poeta habla en sus poemas

La Argentina

García Lorca's business correspondence.

Other Documents Originales y Correspondencia.

The Poet who would not return.

A Poet in New York

During my junior year in high-school, I got the chance to interpret the character of shoemaker in the La Zapatera Prodigiosa (The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife) play by Federico García Lorca.  It was a fun experience which I shared with beautiful red-headed Rosalía Donofrio, who played the female saddler   After the high-school experience at Humboldt in the Normal School Theater, I eventually saw her as a psychology student at Universidad del Norte for a few years, and it is possible that we might have graduated on the same ceremony a few years later. However, this was my only major dramatic experience, as an actor with deep penetration in the psychological understanding of the character, and the social and personal content of the drama.

Just a few weeks ago, I walked into the lower level room at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue with an acquaintance to see the exhibit on Back Tomorrow, displaying a few important documents and late writings by Garcia Lorca, who happen to become my favorite Spaniard poet after my unique dramatic experience. The New York exhibit presented the scenario and documents prior to his death, and a collection of his literary works. García Lorca never return after his famous “back tomorrow”, as he was killed in Spain during the civil war. And his  book Poet in New York was published posthumously in 1940.

During my school and college years, there were several attempts for an insight in the Spanish literature and my only major interaction came along when I got a copy of La Vida es Sueño by [Don] Pedro Calderón de la Barca, which came to me accidentally, as it had been given as a reading assignment to my brother César at Colegio de San Francisco de Asís, and I stumbled onto the book and carefully read it.  As if dreams freed the soul, the topic of dreaming to live, or living the dream or trying to dream to attain what we might have physically or materially in the immediate future, became an important leit motif in some of my short stories, and has significantly influence the creative nature of my poetry from the hispanic perspective, beyond the most significant admiration and drills on Musset, Victor Hugo, Baudelaire, and some other of my favorite French poets.

However, the greatest and best known Spanish poet is probably Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer. He was indeed the most studied and analyzed through my formal school coursework. In particular, Rimas y Leyendas (Rhymes and Legends), represented the most significant work by a Spanish poet of his time.

Bécquer’s rhyme LIII (Rima LIII)
Volverán las oscuras golondrinas
En tu balcón sus nidos a colgar
Y otra vez con el ala a sus cristales,
Jugando llamarán.
Pero aquellas que el vuelo refrenaban
Tu hermosura y mi dicha a contemplar,
Aquellas que aprendieron nuestros nombres,
¡Esas... no volverán!
In English:
The dark swallows will return
their nests upon your balcony, to hang.
And again with their wings upon its windows,
Playing, they will call.
But those who used to slow their flight
your beauty and my happiness to watch,
Those, that learned our names,
Those... will not come back!

Rhyme XXI (Rima XXI)
¿Qué es poesía?, dices mientras clavas
en mi pupila tu pupila azul.
¡Qué es poesía! ¿Y tú me lo preguntas?
Poesía... eres tú.
A harsh translation into English reads:
What is poetry? you ask, while fixing
your blue pupil onto mine.
What is poetry! And you are asking me?
Poetry... is yourself.

And through my life, I have indeed read many antologies on the Spanish literature.  Beyond my admiration of Don Quijote and my studies both in Spanish Literature and through French Literature studies on Le Quixote in comparison to La Chanson de Rolland and other Gallic and French Troubadour writings, and further beyond my literary analysis of the Spanish historic and Spanish historic-religious genres in the novel category, there have been many poets that have certainly impressed me. The list is simply too long, but I could highlight some such as:
Rafael Alberti (1902–1999), Vicente Aleixandre (1898–1984) - Nobel Laureate 1977, Dámaso Alonso (1898–1990),  Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (1836–1870), Baltasar del Alcázar (1530–1606), Jorge Guillén (1893–1984), Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881–1958) - Nobel Laureate 1956, Antonio Machado (1875–1936), Pedro Salinas (1892–1951),Garcilaso de la Vega (1503–1536),José de Espronceda (1808–1842). They have mostly influenced South American poets, such as Jorge Luis Borges, César Vallejo, and Guillermo Valencia, among others.

But finally retaking García Lorca, it was an exciting experience to visit his exhibit an enjoy with friends and acquaintances of various nationalities a celebration of our Hispanic culture.

Poems by García Lorca


A tree of blood soaks the morning
where the newborn woman groans.
Her voice leaves glass in the wound
and on the panes, a diagram of bone.

The coming light establishes and wins
white limits of a fable that forgets
the tumult of veins in flight
toward the dim cool of the apple.

Adam dreams in the fever of the clay
of a child who comes galloping
through the double pulse of his cheek.

But a dark other Adam is dreaming
a neuter moon of seedless stone
where the child of light will burn.

Adivinanza De La Guitarra

En la redonda
seis doncellas
Tres de carne
y tres de plata.
Los sueños de ayer las buscan
pero las tiene abrazadas
un Polifemo de oro.
¡La guitarra!

Cantos Nuevos

Dice la tarde: '¡Tengo sed de sombra!'
Dice la luna: '¡Yo, sed de luceros!'
La fuente cristalina pide labios
y suspira el viento.

Yo tengo sed de aromas y de risas,
sed de cantares nuevos
sin lunas y sin lirios,
y sin amores muertos.

Un cantar de mañana que estremezca
a los remansos quietos
del porvenir. Y llene de esperanza
sus ondas y sus cienos.

Un cantar luminoso y reposado
pleno de pensamiento,
virginal de tristeza y de angustias
y virginal de ensueños.

Cantar sin carne lírica que llene
de risas el silencio
(una bandada de palomas ciegas
lanzadas al misterio).

Cantar que vaya al alma de las cosas
y al alma de los vientos
y que descanse al fin en la alegría
del corazón eterno.

Garcia Lorca’s Main Works

Poetry collections
•   Impresiones y paisajes (Impressions and Landscapes 1918)
•   Libro de poemas (Book of Poems 1921)
•   Poema del cante jondo (Poem of Deep Song; written in 1921 but not published until 1931)
•   Suites (written between 1920 and 1923, published posthumously in 1983)
•   Canciones (Songs written between 1921 and 1924, published in 1927)
•   Romancero gitano (Gypsy Ballads 1928)
•   Odes (written 1928)
•   Poeta en Nueva York (written 1930 – published posthumously in 1940, first translation into English as The Poet in New York 1940)[57]
•   Seis poemas gallegos (Six Galician poems 1935)
•   Sonetos del amor oscuro (Sonnets of Dark Love 1936, not published until 1983)
•   Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter and Other Poems (1937)
•   Primeras canciones (First Songs 1936)


•   Christ: A Religious Tragedy (unfinished 1917)
•   El maleficio de la mariposa (The Butterfly's Evil Spell: written 1919–20, first production 1920)
•   Los títeres de Cachiporra (The Billy-Club Puppets: written 1922-5, first production 1937)
•   Mariana Pineda (written 1923–25, first production 1927)
•   La zapatera prodigiosa (The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife: written 1926–30, first production 1930, revised 1933)
•   El público (The Public: written 1929–30, first production 1972)
•   Así que pasen cinco años (When Five Years Pass: written 1931, first production 1945)
•   Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding: written 1932, first production 1933)
•   Comedia sin título (Play Without a Title: written 1936, first production 1986)
•   La casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba: written 1936, first production 1945)
Los sueños de mi prima Aurelia (Dreams of my Cousin Aurelia: unfinished 1938)