Sobre la poesía elocuente / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

Regarding Eloquent Poetry

Eloquence is the natural gift of persuading and moving people. Rhetoric, the art of good speech, is a loyal or disloyal servant of eloquence, and when it uses high-sounding or superfluous words it deserves the name of declamation. So there is no excuse for maliciously confusing eloquence, the advantage of content, emanating from vehement affect or from sincere conviction, with the declamation that is the vice of expression, defective rhetoric.
     Some poets sustain that we must twist the neck of eloquence, and it suits us to object that such severity should only be used with declamation, because that fortunate gift serves enthusiastic and lyric poetry quite well. Besides, we must distinguish between old-fashioned, egotistical poets and communicative poets, apostolate and ready for combat, bards with prophetic breath and impassioned sympathy who exercise a national or humanitarian function. The latter can never dispense with eloquence and will inevitably express themselves in images, a medium that can enunciate the most arduous philosophy and communicate emotion electrically. The image is the concrete and graphic manner of expressing oneself, and it declares a fine emotiveness and emanates from the sharp organization of the corporeal senses. A few dialecticians, enamored of the universal and featureless idea, reprove this manner of expression, considering it to be of humble sensory origin, and advocating for the supremacy of intelligence, by which they insist on the different faculties of the human mind, most likely a totality without parts.
     The image is always close to the symbol or it gets confused with it, and, beyond being graphic, it leaves a trail of a certain vagueness and sanctity that is typical of the best poetry, closer to music than to sculpture.
     The image, an expression of the particular, is suitable especially with poetry, because art is individualizing.
     The image is a concrete and sympathetic medium of expression, apt for emphasizing the sublime and independent ideas of metaphysics and the contingent notions of experience, and it simultaneously communicates the affections. But it never stops being a medium of expression, and whoever uses it as an end becomes a vicious rhetorician, a declaimer.

La torre de Timón (1925)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

1 comment:

Irina said...

Loved the post...very nice!