Poesía Fuera de tiesto / Madelen Simó Sulbarán

Poetry Beyond the Flowerpot

Over thirty years are reflected in the new book by Armando Rojas Guardia, which constitutes a revision of several stages of his poetry.

[Photo: Ilich Otero for Tal Cual]

A “poetic meditation” on the country’s social and political situation is revealed in Armando Rojas Guardia’s poem “Patria,” which forms part of this author’s latest book, titled Fuera de tiesto [Beyond the Flowerpot], an anthology prepared for the publishing house Bid & Co. Editor by Harry Almela.

Since the first days of January, the new publication can be found on the bookshelves of the country’s main bookstores. Fuera de tiesto includes poems extracted from seven of the poet’s books, ranging from the 1970s until 2008: Del mismo amor ardiendo, Yo que supe de la vieja herida, El Dios de la intemperie, Poemas de Quebrada de la Virgen, Hacia la noche viva, El esplendor y la espera, Patria y otros poemas.

According to Armando Rojas Guardia’s explanation, the selection emerged from an idea by the publisher to promote Venezuelan literature, which included funding from Ediciones de la Biblioteca de la Universidad Central de Venezuela (EBUC-UCV) and which contains poems from his latest collection published in 2008 Patria y otros poemas, including the extensive verses of “La desnudez del loco.” Regarding the latter, the poet himself has said the text is dedicated to Jean Marc Tauszik, his therapist, who in 2004 told him that just as Rafael Cadenas dedicated a poem to the idea of defeat and another one to failure, he should dedicate one to madness, since it has “not only been source of inner conflict and suffering” for the author, “but also a psychic and spiritual impulse toward consciousness and freedom.”

The anthology takes its name from one of its poems, which reflects, according to its editor Harry Almela, the “self-marginalized” vision that Armando Rojas Guardia declares in his writing. “He considers himself a marginalized poet, with love and faith in man.”

Regarding the book’s title, the critic and poet Patricia Guzmán comented that “we attend the renovation of the poet’s vows of fervent love for the naked God that shelters him, as well as the impassioned dialogue with the tacit and explicit “you” (…) that has distinguished his poetics.”

The criteria for selection was in a manner “more or less aligned with time,” points out Almela.

The man responsible for the anthology adds that within the themes there prevails a proposal for reading that reveals the Christian vision of the world and the manner of assuming Rojas Guardia’s sexuality. “With a very musical poetry, the most difficult aspect was distinguishing the sense of rhythm of his poetics, but it was definitely a challenge and a pleasure to embark on this study.”

{ Madelen Simó Sulbarán, Tal Cual, 20 January 2009 }

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