La quietud presurosa / Silvio Orta Cabrera

The Quick Stillness

Eleazar León foreshadowed his death many times. In 1977, in his book Cruce de caminos, he does it in a certain, shall we say, indirect manner, imagining in the poem “Orfeo ve al amor en una última mirada” that the son of Apollo and Calliope, when he reads the palm of Eurydice’s hand, glimpses the death of the beloved and the immortality that awaits her, since he says to her: “... you shimmer somehow in each woman.” And, towards the end, “I see you / for the last time and I find no other prayer. // You have / that taste of oblivion that belongs to hope, / Eurydice my fog, my greenness.”

In the same book we find “Sin comienzo ni término,” a poem where the key points of the relationship between creator and the life-death pair flower. One shouldn’t think, after the previous phrase, that finding it will be difficult. We should recall, as Rafael Arráiz Lucca points out in El coro de las voces solitarias, that Eleazar León is one of the poets from the Universidad Central de Venezuela who in the 70s made “of literature his academic object” and, therefore, in his poems we find evidence, alongside his experiences, of “organized knowledge” (p. 313).

It’s worth noting that this UCV poet arrives at the Escuela de Letras already a poet, as the rennovation movement is well underway (1969). The Rennovation in Letras had its very own features, among which stood out the quotidian creativity in how to think about the phenomenon and how to face its dynamism, while maintaining convergence among divergence, in other words, the natural experience and coexistence of the singular amidst the plural. If a revolution calls itself life, in order to give itself and keep growing it should promote such a consciousness, not subjugate it.

How does Eleazar proceed in “Sin comienzo ni término”? As a poet and teacher. As if he were doing nothing special, so as to unveil the conclusion, he asks: “Did something ever have a beginning at one point?” He doesn’t strain in search of an answer. On the contrary, in an Asian manner, he thinks “of the slow water of certain springs / down the mountain, flowing / until dying of cold in the muddy river-bed / of a well in the sun.”

What then does poetic knowledge discover, the one Saint-John Perse, when receiving the Nobel (1960), points to as an open road when those of philosophy and science seem obstructed? He discovers “that a spring doesn’t cease when a spring ends,” that “The water is lost perhaps, but not the current, / but not the quickness seeking stillness / that departs again once it finds it.”

Such a discovery that makes us understand that Eleazar having died this August 7th, his spring will not cease, it is a rain of stars on the poems of Descampado (1999), the highest and most beautiful prefiguration the poet had of his urgent stillness. We will encamp in his pages, as soon as the pain passes.

{ Silvio Orta Cabrera, Tal Cual, 17 August 2009 }

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