Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fitting the whole universe into 28 letters

"We’ve lost Eugenio Montejo, one of the noblest voices amid the poetry written in the tongue of those who pray to God in Spanish – as Rubén Darío said in one of his verses."
This is how the death of Venezuelan poet Eugenio Montejo was recorded in the Venepoetics weblog on June 10th.

Eugenio Montejo, who was the 2004 Octavio Paz prize winner, was in Spain in February of this year and there he gave one of his last interviews. He said his inspiration to write came from the time he spent as a child in his father’s bakery. "I used to love hiding away in the bakery, with flour everywhere. I loved the ritual of preparing the oven until it was red hot, and the sense of responsibility of the people who worked there, slaving away all night. That was my literary workshop."
Later he discovered words. "I was fascinated by the idea that the whole universe could be fitted into 28 letters," he said.

Montejo described his poetry as "a melodious chess game we play in solitude with God." He was fascinated by what he saw as the inconsequentiality of individual experience as opposed to life's continuity, believing our only hope is to make sure "that the song will endure."

A collection of his work is available in English in The Trees, Collected Poems 1967-2004. This book will shortly be on the shelves of Galway City Library.

Anyone interested in participating in a bilingual reading of the work of Eugenio Montejo is welcome to contact us at Depending on the response, we will schedule the reading for Galway City Library sometime in September 2008.


Anonymous said...

I wish not concur on it. I think polite post. Specially the appellation attracted me to read the whole story.

Anonymous said...

Amiable post and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you as your information.