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Author
Title
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
PublisherWesleyan
File size7.1 Mb
GanrePoetry
Release date 01.01.1996
ISBN9780819522313
Pages count214
Book rating4.11 (9 votes)
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I think that there can't be any Latin American surrealists, per se.Because surrealists lie so heavily on the idea of symbols to describe the real, the dream state imbibing Reality.But Latin Americans live amongst symbols, dwell within them.It is a dependency on symbols, that is never quenched.A sea populated with searches for new meanings.Surrealists are fishermen over this sea, but Latin American writers are so much a part of it; they are anenomes.

With that, I give you Joao Cabral de Melo Neto, whose symbols are immense, but not caught in the dream.they are the working image of the day, easily characterized by the abstract in that that is all.Its morph is the understanding of its capacity—the life it leads is not described by its action, but by its relation to the action.For instance:

The sea blew bells
the bells dried the flowers
the flowers were heads of saints


This is not a simple tautology.It is an instantiation.And not of any of these specific terms; i.e. sea, bells, flowers, saints.Rather it is a morphology of the mind which can only be represented by the metaphors which characterize the actions of the mind.The mind is like the sea like the bells like the flowers like the saints.it is a reckoning based on their actions, not the mind's.the poem goes on:

My memory full of words
my thoughts seeking phantoms
my nightmares many nights overdue.

At dawn, my thoughts set free
flew like telegrams
and in windows lit through the night
the portrait of the dead woman
struggled desperately to flee.


A poem of mind needs these metaphors, because otherwise it would have to be a treatise on the philosophical conondrum of expectation and wait.Here it is concisely, the sensation, as simple as pie: the mind is a fluttering sound of nightmaresand change, at the end of its tale comes the horror of knowledge, that being, we all die, everything dies.Yes, yes. Same old story; but here, wicked imagery!

Within the loss of memory
a blue woman reclined
hiding in her arms one
of those cold birds
that the moon floats late at night
on the naked shoulders of the portrait.

And from the portrait two flowers grew
(two eyes two breasts two clarinets)
that at certain hours of the day
grew prodigiously
so that the bicycles of my desperation
might run over her hair.

And on the bicycles that were poems
my hallucinated friends arrived.
Seated in apparent disorder
swallowing their watches with regularity
while the hierophant armed as horesman
uselessly moved his lone arm.


My friend once told me that all songs are love songs.Can this be adapted to poems as well?If so, then we have these brilliant concentrations, studies if you will, on the obsession and persistance of discovery.This is not mere curiosity, but a passion for the essence of life and mind.It is a search for whole foods while time only burns with empty calories.It is digestion.Here it is, "The End of the World":

At the end of a melancholy world
men read the newspapers.
Indifferent men eating oranges
that flame like the sun.

They gave me an apple to remind me
of death.I know that cities telegraph
asking for kerosene.The veil i saw flying
fell in the desert.

No one will write the final poem
about this private twelve o'clock world.
Instead of the last judgment, what worries me
is the final dream.


As i said before, he is not a surrealist.His poetry is very real, very real thoughts.He dips into the surreal as a passionate hero would dip into romance while trying to reason: already so smothered in its infinity it can't be avoided.So he attempts to explain these designs, and he does it, uniquely.Through an introspective play.The poems are almost all in the same structure, small stanzas that form a long line of interfering ideas.They bridge together to form a point, but, like one of his strongest metahpors: the river, they really just float together, an amorphous collection, to embody the soul of this design.Not definable, so much as approachable.And reaching it, with poetic strains, comes not from body or definition, but from theme and image.He is mopping the image, collecting it through his anenome-like gums:

Whenever the wind blows over
the canefield stretched out under
the sun, its inanimate fabric
becomes a sensitive bedsheet:

it changes into a living
flag of green on green,
with green stars born
and lost in the greenness.

the canefield then no longer
resembles empty plazas:
it does not have, like the stones,
the discipline of armies.

Its symmetry is jagged,
like that of waves on sand
or of the waves of people
vying in the crowded plaza.


He is a poet trying to montage all existence.A connect-the-dots, he is trying to form some contigency, relationship between these images to make them consistent in the focus of, well, urr, a lost sensation that is felt by all:

undercurrents which, surging,
make whirlpools like the ones
crowds form, stars like those
the people in the plaza compose.

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