Ernesto Cardenal, etc.

Still reading through Armando Rojas Guardia's (Caracas, 1949) lecture notes for his workshop "Escritura y ciudad." I have only read a handful of Rojas Guardia's poems, so I'm still very unfamiliar with his work.

I first heard about him while reading the second volume of Ernesto Cardenal's autobiography, Las insulas extranas (Madrid: Editorial Trotta, 2002). Cardenal is currently working on the third volume of his memoirs, which will cover the period from 1979 (when he & his fellow Sandinistas defeated Somoza in Nicaragua) to the present. He is allegedly calling volume three La revolucion perdida. Volume 1 is called Vida perdida (Madrid: Seix Barral, 1999). Now that Nicaragua has lost its revolutionary chic aura, Cardenal is rarely mentioned here in the US. His Cosmic Canticle was recently published in paperback by Curbstone, so he hasn't completely disappeared in English.

In volume 2 of the memoir, Cardenal mentions a visit he made to Caracas in the 1960s. While in Caracas, he stayed with the poet (and founder of the newspaper El Nacional) Miguel Otero Silva. He mentions Rojas Guardia as a young poet who eventually visited Cardenal at his religious community in Nicaragua, Solentiname. Rojas Guardia's work has a religious/spiritual element to it that perhaps coincides with Cardenal's mystical tendencies.


Thinking about Jack Kimball's lament or observation on changes in poetry blogging.

I think I will always be an un-"original," imitative (invisible?) and late-arrival blogger, poet, reader, writer. I think sometimes that I am, above all, a reader. I'd much rather read than write. But I feel I have no choice, since writing imposes itself on me. In an interview, Heriberto Yepez described writing as an addiction. I agree. "Kick junk, what else can a poor worker do?" (Ginsberg/The Clash) His recent post at Real E.T. ("Quien Redacta?") is brilliant. Describing the multiplicity of voices that inhabit us: "Redactan en mi los chamanes yaqui desangrados y esta lengua que ya no me fue transmitida..."

Perhaps what will happen with these poetry blogs is that they'll end up splintering off into subsets. Clusters of like-minded poets writing to and for each other. It seems only Physics that the number of poetry blogs will increase as time goes on. I enjoy reading all sorts of these blogs, from the "mainstream" to the esoteric to the self-centered to the confrontational to the etc.

As Barbara Jane Reyes commented: "...expand your horizons a bit more." Is it a mystical tendency to want to live inside texts? To inhabit their words/worlds? "The world is kinda cold / so the rhythm is my blanket" (A Tribe Called Quest)

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