María Antonieta Flores: “La poesía es un testimonio de la vida del que escribe” / Michelle Roche Rodríguez

María Antonieta Flores: “Poetry is a testimony of the life of whoever writes”

Photo: Manuel Sardá
In her most recent book, violence, politics and justice pass through the sieve of intimacy.

It seems hard to believe that the point of departure for this book is a love story, but María Antonieta Flores’s entire oeuvre is sustained by the amorous and the erotic. And her most recent poetry collection is not the exception, although the reader might have trouble believing it because it leaves the sensation of something ominous. In the final poem of Madera de orilla (Caracas: Editorial Eclepsidra, 2013), “Trazo tembloroso,” the author born in Caracas in 1960 writes: “my feet know of tortures / they hear the moans rising from the earth / the mold of pain is a gallery of fire / black sand...” The elaboration of the romantic, she explains, is signed by the political situation of the country, through which she also attempts to elaborate a dialogue between Venezuela’s political crisis and that of the rest of Latin America.

“The book includes the sensation that our circumstances place the romantic on a secondary plane, but despite this situation love is there,” Flores indicates. “I begin from the notion that poetry is a testimony of the life of whoever writes, that it can be transformed by metaphors or images; but poetry is essentially testimonial and part of our intimate realm. Without that intimate violence it’s not worth talking about other topics.”

Even though Flores declares herself and admirer of poets from other eras —such as José Antonio Ramos Sucre and Jorge Luis Borges—, her work is attuned with that of her own generation because it’s marked by the subjective and individual discourse. This is why the poetry collection published by Eclepsidra is built on a triangle whose vertices are violence, politics and justice, all seen from the most intimate of glances and begins with the sensation that love is an experience that has to be “placed on the shores.” This idea is identified by the critic Miguel Gomes as “the ironic maturity of disenchantment.” And it is precisely because of her disenchanted vision of human relations that the author of El señor de la muralla (1991) and Los trabajos interminables (1998) prefers the genre of poetry to any other flower in literature’s orchard because it allows her to refer to inner suffering, “seen in a free manner because one can resort to images which are what make an impact.”

Thus, for Flores, the simple description of any situation one might live through on a daily basis, in our country or in any other in Latin America, is not the key to poetic language, but rather that it prefers what is intimate, since “when violence dominates, relationships and ties are affected by the force with which politics bursts into the sphere of the domestic and intimate. Without realizing it, one can adopt those means in an unconscious manner, as a defense mechanism.”

{ Michelle Roche Rodríguez, El Nacional, 8 October 2013 }


Víctor Manuel said...

All literary writing is testimonial to some degree.

Guillermo Parra said...

Indeed, my friend. Thanks for reading.