Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Seeking refuge

Mi verso es un ciervo herido
Que busca en el monte amparo.
– José Martí
"So what's a wounded fawn doing in the forest, quoting poetry?"
I had to laugh at my friend Ramesh's deadpan understanding of things.
"The fawn's not quoting poetry. The fawn is wounded and seeking refuge in the forest."
"That sounds realistic enough. So where's the poetry connection?"
"José Martí says that his verse is a wounded fawn –"
"– seeking refuge in the forest. I get that all right, I'm not that dumb. I just fail to see the point."
"Come on, Ramesh, you just refuse to see it."
"Oh, I get his drift all right. Poetry is frail and all a-tremble in the forest, shaking with fear to be read by critical and analytical souls like me."
What could I say? I'd never be able to convince this agnostic, this nonbeliever in the frailty of poetry.
So I quoted more Spanish poetry at him:
La poesía es un arma cargada de futuro. *
That made him chuckle.
"This one I like a lot better," he said, "but that weapon charged with future is probably what wounded that frail fawn in the forest."

You just can't win against Ramesh in matters of poetry. Or Spanish language poetry, to be more precise.

– Leonard "Seeking Refuge in Poetry" Blumfeld (© 2011)

* Title of a poem by Gabriel Celaya.

Written in response to 'seeking' at One Single Impression.

The first quote may be familiar from the song Guantanamera, which is based on the poem by Cuban poet and national hero José Martí.
While the above dialog is entirely fictitious, my friend Ramesh does exist and, with his typical distrust of things not traceable by science, might have responded in this very manner.

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