Una tarde con Huidobro y Parra / Roberto Bolaño

An Afternoon with Huidobro and Parra

It will soon be two years since my friend Marcial Cortés-Monroy took me to Las Cruces, where we ate and spent the afternoon in the company of Nicanor Parra. The author of Poemas y antipoemas, first published in 1954, has a house there that hangs on a hill from where you can contemplate the vast ocean, as well as the tomb of Vicente Huidobro on the other side of the bay. Actually, in order to see Huidobro’s tomb from Parra’s terrace, it’s best to have a pair of binoculars, but even without these the tomb of the author of Altazor is clearly visible, or at least as visible as Huidobro would have wanted it to be.

“Do you see that forest?”, Parra says. “Yeah, I see it.” “Which forest do you see?”, says Parra who wasn’t a professor in vain. “The one on the right or the one on the left?” “I see all of them,” I say, while I contemplate a landscape that seems almost lunar. “Well, look at the forest on the left,” Parra says. “Below it there’s a type of road. Like a stripe, though it’s not a stripe but a road. Do you see it? Now lift your gaze and you’ll see the forest.” And sure enough: I see a scratch that must be the road or the neighborhood trail, and I also see the forest. “On the upper part of the forest there’s a white patch,” says Parra. It’s true: the forest, seen from his terrace, has a dark green color, almost black, whose uniformity is broken by a white patch on its upper edge. “I see the white patch,” I say. “That’s Huidobro’s tomb,” says Parra, and he turns around and goes back into the living room. Marcial accompanies him and for a moment I remain alone while a gust of wind rises from the beach to the hill, contemplating that diminutive white patch under which Vicente Huidobro’s bones are rotting.

Afterwards I feel something tugging at my pants. Huidobro’s ghost? No, it’s Parra’s cats, six or seven stray cats who every afternoon come to the garden of the greatest living poet of the Spanish language to eat his food. Just like me, to say no more.

{ Roberto Bolaño, Entre paréntesis, Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama, 2004 }


ALT said...

Amarte sin invadirte,
multiplicarte sin perderte,
decirte sin traicionarme,
guardarte sin poseerte,
y, así, ser yo mismo
en lo más secreto de ti.

Vicente Huidobro

¿Hay algo más perfecto que estas lineas?

ALT said...


No sé de donde salieron esas letras ALT, pero fui yo quien te dejó ese comentario.
Esas seis líneas de Huidobro las conocí hace más o menos un año, me parecieron perfectas, reveladoras, sabias.

Un abrazo,

Maruja Muci

Guillermo Parra said...

Hola Maruja,

Sí, son bellísimos esos versos de Huidobro que dejaste. Gracias!