18 abr. 2011


Ah de la vida.
Y una sed desmedida me apresura,
y un hondo amor, y un derredor urgente.

The Canary Islands poet Luis Feria published the book Arras in 1996. The word in the title means:

1. f. pl. Cosa que se da como prenda o señal en algún contrato o concierto.
2. f. pl. Conjunto de las trece monedas que, al celebrarse el matrimonio religioso, sirven como símbolo de entrega, pasando de las manos del desposado a las de la desposada y viceversa.
3. f. pl. Der. Entrega de una parte del precio o depósito de una cantidad con la que se garantiza el cumplimiento de una obligación.

The first definition is the most general and hence the most relevant: "a thing given as a token or sign in some contract or agreement." The third definition seems almost a rephrasing of this in more legalistic term: "Surrender of a part of the price, or deposit of a quantity in order to guarantee the fulfillment of an obligation."

The first line alludes to a famous sonnet by Quevedo. "Ah de la vida..." This, in turn, is a turn on the once colloquial phrase "Ah de la casa," which means basically, "Is anybody home?" The rest of the poem means, more or less, that a measureless thirst, a deep love, and an urgent environment put some kind of pressure on me. The word "derredor" is somewhat unusual but is the perfect word for this poem.

It might be stretch to call these poems aphorisms, but they have the brevity and concision of the genre. The main difference is that they are cast in the 1st person singular. They seem less generalizable, more unique to a particular sensibility.

2 comentarios:

Thomas dijo...

Is there any way of connecting this to the sense in which the duende is the true "owner" (dueno) of the house?

I like the idea of poetry as registering a pressure that is related to, but deeper, than financial pressure. (Sort of like Heidegger's extrication of the notion of guilt from the notion of debt.)

Pound would appreciate it.

Jonathan dijo...

Debt, collateral, symbolic gift, dowry. I like the idea that the poem itself is a "prenda," a jewel but one that also puts an obligation on the reader.