words by Dulce María Sotolongo Carrington
How many collections of poems are published in Cuba every year, the country that managed to accustom the tenth verse, as said Indio Nabori? The country where his National Hero is an excellent poet. The country where Dulce Maria Loynaz wrote his lyrical novel Jardín and where Lezama Lima condensed his poetic postulates in Paradiso, the greatest exponent of Cuban prose fiction, even Alejo Carpentier wrote poems! We are not mentioning the endless list of poets this land has given, since Silvestre de Balboa, from the Canary Islands, wrote in verses Espejo de paciencia to the National Poet, Nicolas Guillen.
During the last years, there were few voices that manage to stand out in the poetic speech in the island; it has become reiterative; one can chose poems from a random book and it seems that just one author has taking over the lyrical universe. The anti-poetry wins spaces disguised as modernity when what’s really missing is talent.
Domos magicvs is a book written by a poet, and I say poet because he makes poetry, even though this statement seems childish. It is a baroque book, heir of the best of the Spanish lyrical poetry, above all from Gongora, due to the virtuosity and elegance of the image, the simile; therefore it is also an heir of Lezama, but just that and not an imitator, because in Lara’s book the image is born from the pain and does not subordinates to the word, images do not add up, they are multiplied, divided into a chaos with order that sustains thanks to the author’s honesty and culture.
In Lara’s poems, the Spanish language strengthens. It takes the energy from the archaic times; some from the so called bad words recover their original innocence when poetry saves the man from indecency. He needs an adjective, not to wrinkle—parodying Carpentier—but to expand the image, multiply it, give it that tone as only painters can do.
Just as the poet says “There is no verb game but the utility of thinking”. Impossible to imagine Lara’s poetry without aphorism, which answers more to the meaning of adagio, it tends to be slow, dense, meditative. It comes from an old song, a psalm, a tribute to great people like Leo Brouwer and Silvio Rodriguez.
There is barely place for the moon but there is much sun, sun from the tropic, sun from Africa that burns the skin and the soul, but which also ennobles. The sun Marti wanted to die facing, with no homeland, but with no master either, because Lara is not afraid, but he is not an executioner also. He is a man that hates the hypocrite silence that makes us accomplices not from the submission but from free will.