3 jun. 2009

"Su muerte me ha entristecido. Era un hombre necesario que destacó por su honradez intelectual y capacidad de crítica. Lo que intentó hacer lo hizo bien. Cumplió su propósito ampliamente. Respeto su manera de entender la poesía pero no la comparto. Para mí, la palabra meramente informativa y la crítica moral tiene su lugar en los periódicos, en la televisión, en los púlpitos si se quiere, pero la modalidad esencial del pensamiento poético no es ni reflexiva ni crítica sino un tipo de otra naturaleza, y determina un lenguaje que también es de otra naturaleza..."

[His death made me sad... stood out for his intellectual honesty and capacity for critique... did well what he proposed to do... I respect is way of understanding poetry but I can't share it. For me, the merely informative word and moralistic criticism has its place in the newpaper, on televsion, even from the pulpits, but the essential modality of poetic thought is not reflexive or critical but something of another nature, which determines a language also of another nature...]

When they asked Gamoneda about Mario Benedetti, who had just died, that was what Gamoneda said, more or less. Very respectful, but basically saying that Benedetti wrote entirely outside of "the essential modality of poetic thought." Of course Gamoneda thinks that. So do I.

Of course, the poets who don't like Gamoneda had a field that with that, attacking him in the press, as they did after Ángel González died and Gamoneda also said the truth about him, getting attacked by that same group--Benítez Reyes, Luis García Montero, Sabina... Of course Benedetti lived in Spain for years, and had more of a base of support there than anywhere else, with the possible exception of his native Uruguay.

The problem is that, since he is a huge leftist icon, nobody can come right out and say that Benedetti is (was) a crappy poet. (There, I've said it.) Everyone knows this, of course, probably even the people defending Benedetti, who represents the absolute worst dimension of Latin American crappy political poetry. I'm sure if I read more of Benedetti's poetry, I would hate it even more.