Solitude is Oneself"
or they condemn us together
Or we two save ourselves
of his intimate notes, Walt Whitman recommends natural expression, free of
infertile, ornamental artifice, as an appropriate means to achieve literary
creation, which tries to avoid exhaustion, and to approach what is essentially
human; be natural. And then, he tells us that the secret of writing poetry is
to be in touch with humanity, to know what people are thinking about, to move
toward the deepest sources of life.
ancient, fertile relationship among humanity, nature and truth so appreciated,
sung and defended by the great American poet, is the same that our major poet,
José Martí proposes to us, as an intensive notion to achieve the most
esteemed good in the life of modern man: complete freedom, and consequently ,
the poetry of freedom as a new religion of Mankind.
very well known 1887 chronicle, "the Poet Walt Whitman", Martí
places its readers "in front of the bare, virginal, loving, sincere,
powerful man- of the man who walks, loves, fights, toils-- of the man that
without letting himself become blinded from unhappiness, reads the promise of
final fortune in the balance and kindness of the world…"And then he
sets up that image of original and rebel poetry against the paralysis of fear
the common, conservative, frightened, submissive , "discolored,
restricted, and doll like" species offers.
second reading of these poems written by Antonio Guerrero is his minimal space
of a prison in Miami, Fla, led me toward those greater courses, firmly rooted
in the development of American history and literature; Because a wall is a
wall and you know it.
other hand , the first time I read them, in the small hours, I got carried
away by the immediate ideas the texts convey to feel inside them the
quotidian, emotional presence of those eternal themes of poetry and human
existence :love, solitude, death, time, war or the most complete inner peace.
Written with straightforward, evocative language, devoid of every adornment, I
assumed Antonio did not pretend to do Great Literature with those themes , but
to show in verse the days of a man placed in an extreme circumstance, when one
arrives to that time in which the solitude is oneself.
recent of these texts was signed as recently as June 30, 2001; the oldest - I
believe- dates from the last months of 1998, as a whole, a period of three
long years, a very turbulent one for this world that is globalizing, minute by
minute, with electronic impulses , capitals, and seven league boots and that
at the same time sees appear an intense antiglobalization movement without
apparent centers in diverse zones of the planet, therefore, the day is never
pale and somber; three years of experience and very special meaning for
everybody and each one of the Cubans we are. Three years, friend reader,
during which Antonio Guerrero has been imprisoned in a high security jail,
mainly alone, with a few books,
some very tiny pencils and pieces of paper that come and go, writing
verses….for being what I am …and besides poetry.
pretending novelty, that is the way one writes upon coming back from the
precipice- I have said it before, in another part, for another reason. And
Antonio was, is, without any doubt, living and experience that places him at
the sliding door of hell and glory, at the front line, at the edge. He knows
it and assumes it, he immerses, completely in each one of these poems , with a
sincerity that trembles. I beggar of verses, faithful coat./ write
what I am without rare forms, he tells us, in the same clear way in which Martí
advocates, from his human and poetic altitude, the founding creed about
"the necessity of putting feelings in plain and sincere form."
since then the very beginning of his book, Guerrero, who has lived and knows
the burden and dangers of solitude and is not afraid of them, humbly and
skillfully, warms us that we are entering into a multiple-risk space: Here I
am , risking these verses. In this space poetry plays a role, at the same time
, as assumption and as exorcism of the crude reality and the ghosts of memory,
not only to look for the individual salvation and writing.
for the one I love and fight for, but also as an offering and bridge of
communication with a world and with dear ones from the author does not accept
to be displaced.
he feels still he is able to offer his service in the dangerous adventure of
living. Take them, if they serve you./ to cross the sea/ or some abyss.
vocation for service, the absolute giving that does not wait for reward : to
know giving, without receiving with a deep Martian root, runs throughout the
whole book, substantiates it, defines its ethics, and in some of the initial
texts, directly makes use of the very familiar forms of Simple Verses,
memorized since childhood almost by any Cuban to express his purest sense of
human solidarity and his explicit renunciation of reward.
water, clear and pure,
its stream, serene,
literary expression changes and turns complex step by step, as the time in
jail prolongs, a time the author -prisoner knows never will be brief: Long has
to be the road, he tells us
drafted with the urgency and bareness of language of an essential, moving
testimony where always the essence is fire and cold. They were written by
someone who, in the manner of the poets of independence war, whose imperfect
but beautiful verses Martí did not fear to enjoy, preface and praise,
preserves intact, in the midst of the struggle, his innocence, his strength ,
his intelligence, his purity.
is why he can proclaim also, on the written page, the happiness for life that
never abandons him, and his alive hope in which he caressed of the return will
return and say to life
I have come back to be your confident
Wednesday , July 18