Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thanks for the fire, dear Benedetti

I never liked to listen to poets reading their own poetry out loud, but there was an exception: I loved listening to Mario Benedetti. His voice made his own poetry sound more powerful and deep. His intonation made your heart change shades of feelings: anger, loneliness, love, desperation, hope, sometimes all at once. You start listening to his poems and he seduces you, making you an addict.

But Mario Benedetti’s writing was not only limited to poetry. He authored short stories, essays, plays, and novels. Human nature, one can say, is the main topic of his works and that might be the reason why he has been one of the most widely read and translated Latin American authors of our time. Because of his political views Benedetti was in exile for 12 years. During that time, he lived in various Latin American countries and Spain where his work is well known and admired.

This exceptional Uruguayan writer passed away two weeks ago and people around the world are in mourning. So thanks for the fire, dear Benedetti, thanks for all the feelings, and ideas you shared with us through your art. Now, enjoy a sample of his work:

I can´t still believe it,
You are arriving to my side
And the night is a handful
Of stars and happiness.
I feel, taste, listen and see
Your face, your long step,
Your hands and, however,
I can´t still believe it.
Your return has so much
In common with you and me,
That, because I guess it I say it,
And because of the doubts I sing it.
No one ever could replace you
And the most trivial things
Become fundamental,
Because you are arriving home,
However I still
Doubt of this good luck,
Because the pleasure of having you
Seems to me like a fantasy.
But you come and it is sure
And you come with your gaze,
And for that reason your arrival
Makes the future magic.
And although I have not always understood
My blames and my breakdowns,
On the other hand I know that in your arms
The world has sense.
And if I kiss the audacity
And the mystery of your lips
There won't be doubts nor misunderstandings,
I will love you much more.

Some of his books that you can find at the library are:

Memoria y esperanza (audio book)

Little stones at my window = Piedritas en la ventana : poems (Book in English and Spanish)

Blood pact & other stories

La tregua
(audio book on cassette)

El cumpleaƱos de Juan Angel

El amor, las mujeres y la vida

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