Hi Toads & visitors to the garden! My feature poet this weekend is David Huerta, considered by critics to be one of Mexico’s major living poets. This judgment was confirmed in February of 2006 when Huerta was awarded the Xavier Villarrutia Prize, Mexico’s most prestigious literary award, by a unanimous vote of the jury for his four decades of poetic production.
David was born in Mexico City in 1949 & is the son of the well-known poet, Efrain Huerta. He is one the leading poets of the generation that first came to prominence during the 1970s in Mexico. He published his first book of poems, El Jardín de la Luz [The Garden of Light] (1972), while still a student in the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts at Mexico's Autonomous National University (UNAM). It has been followed by numerous collections, among them: Cuaderno de Noviembre [November Notebook] (1976), Huellas del civilizado [Traces of the Civilized] (1977), Versión [Version] (1978), El espejo del cuerpo [The Mirror of the Body] (1980) and Incurable [Incurable] (1987), a long poem in nine parts that encourages the reader to participate in constructing the meaning of the poem.
Aside from his poetry, David Huerta has translated works from Italian and English, and is an editor of the Mexican publishing house Fondo de Cultura Económica. He writes a column for the Mexican weekly Proceso, and teaches literature at the Universidad Autónoma de México. Huerta has been a central figure in two of the most influential poetic movements in late 20th-century Latin America - the neobaroque movement and that of postmodern language poetry. His imagery, intertextuality, and dense lyricism remain unparalleled in Mexican letters. (Source)
About his own work, Huerta says: I am a writer of traditional poetry. I write poetry of images, metaphors, metonymy, all sorts of tropes and figures of language. But I do not worship imagery. Instead, I believe it helps us to say some things that can help us live outside the logic of markets, if that is still possible.
Open and Shut
You open the blade of a flick knife
so it drips transparency.
You shut the restless cube of night
and a stream of shadow ramifies.
You open and shut the liquid diaphragm
of my heart - and at dawn I arrive
in the stately, tenfold
starlight of your hands.
Lord, save this moment.
There's nothing outlandish or
miraculous about it, unless it holds
a hint of immortality, a breath
of salvation. It looks like
any number of other moments...
But it's here now among us:
it casts its yellow light and swells
like the sun or like flaming lemons
- and tastes of the sea, of loved hands
and smells like a street in Paris
where we were happy. Save it
in your memory or deliver it
into the light that sets
on this page,
barely touching it.
You can read more poems translated by Jamie McKendrick HERE.
(translated by Mark Schafer)
The fruit descends
like a chapter of lightening:
fertile in its volume
of peel and gleaming.
The fruit fills
the shadow burn
of your hand.
Shadow of transfixed
and curved delight.
Here, then, is the fruit,
in the Sun of a hand.
There are more poems from Before Saying Any of the Great Words that have been translated by Mark Schafer. In the interest of copyright, please read the rest in this LINK.
Our challenge is to write a new poem or prose poem in response to David Huerta's words. Some examples of responses include affirming what the speaker said or using his title or line of verse as a jumping board for your own writing. The prompt is wide open so feel free to explore where your muse takes you. After you link up, please visit the work of your fellow writers. Happy weekend to all ~ Grace (aka Heaven)