Anotaciones (selección) / Rafael Cadenas

Annotations (selection)

The modern poet speaks from insecurity.
He has no other foundation but life. A still voice probably speaks to him from inside: The era of causes is over. You can’t cling to religions, ideologies, movements, not even literary ones. Flags are finished. But this disillusion frees him to struggle in another key for what religions, ideologies, movements claim to defend: the religious, the human, what is valid.
That voice, so much like nihilism, could actually be the voice of life trying to bring us back.

What else do we expect from poetry but for it to make our living more alive?

Maybe the fragmentation of the world leads to the fragment, or on the contrary, to the ordering work. Right now I’m inclined toward this form of expression, what emerges unpretentiously alongside our days.

A man in an apartment in this city or in any other, struggles with words. He is one of thousands; I don’t know the proportion. Maybe there are others in other apartments, but there’s no clearer evidence: modern society long ago condemned the man of letters, the man with a passion for words, to a growing exile, but at the same time he has lost his voice. He can’t express himself. He lacks a language. He depends on clichés, stereotypes, noise.

A people without an awareness of language end up repeating the slogans of swindlers; in other words, they die as a people.

Readers of poetry seek, in the end, revelations.

Poetry can accompany man, who is now more alone than ever, not to console him but to make him truer. That’s why it tends to be dry, hard, sober. Besides, what consolation could there be?

A man who says or speaks himself with words full of angles, in a language close to the everyday (in the past it had to be “sublime”), this is the poet.

Poets don’t convince.
They don’t conquer.
Their role is another, far from power: to be contrast.

The poet lives far from the world where ideocracy rules.

I don’t distinguish between life, reality, mystery, religion, being, soul, poetry. These are words to designate the unnameable. The poetic is the life of all that, feeling what those words try to say.

I am prose, I live in prose, I speak prose. Poetry is there, not somewhere else. What I call prose is the speech of living, which is always cut through by mystery.

Why do we have to write poems?
We’re always expressing ourselves.
There are so many forms.
Living, while dreaming, laughing, being silent, in a conversation, a class, a gesture, a phrase.

He who speaks in a written text is absent; you can’t interrupt him, ask questions, make observations, comments. It’s a very peculiar dialogue of two solitary people, but so much more alive sometimes than many of our own conversations.

Modern poetry finds itself to a certain degree drowning in style, because of its precepts, though unformulated, more rigorous than traditional ones, for wanting to say without saying, which shouldn’t be confused with “parlar coperto,” because it frequently situates itself in an intransitiveness beyond the hermetic.


{ Rafael Cadenas, Obra entera, México DF, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2000 }

No comments: