23 ago. 2010

As a final gesture, one of his final gestures, Juan Ramón Jiménez decided to produce a final edition of his poetic works, what he wanted to save, about 1300 poems, that suppressed line-endings in all unrhymed poems. In other words, any poem without rhyme would be printed as a prose poem. This is a radical gesture. As Howard Young put it in a review of the book--which didn't appear until 1978, years after the poet's death:
The poet who introduced verso libre / desnudo and who eloquently justified its use resorted in his last years to undermining at least part of his theory and permitting the undulating lines he had compared to bird flights or dancers' movements to flatten out in a paragraph”

I've always been shocked and fascinated by this decision. Could you imagine Williams are Creeley doing this?

3 comentarios:

Joseph Hutchison dijo...

This is fascinating. Did Jiménez ever write about his decision? That would be an essay worth reading...

Jonathan dijo...

He didn't write an essay about it as far as I know but just left instructions. He seemed to feel that rhyme made the line.

Tom King dijo...

I remember Kenneth Koch having us do this as an exercise. Take a famous poet and rewrite their poem in prose. He didn't care if it was rhymed or unrhymed though. I remember doing this with Keats and Williams.