University of Cauca Press recently published Personal Anthology by the Colombian poet Giovanni Quessep. The text presented here is the introduction to the book, written by our General Editor.
Collecting all the life on a personal anthology sailed by poems is even more than say that a poem can be a lifetime. Few things in the universe are privileged to be counted and sung by his own poems. The poet of the present work is one of them. The poems that vibrate in this wave were not simply chosen to make more of his poetry collection; these were read, counted, and flavored laughed at in the middle of a sentence that Giovanni Quessep always said: “Le voy a contra algo…si me lo permite senor Jaramillo…”"I'll tell you something ... if I may Mr. Jaramillo ..." I am going to share then what seas this beautiful book sailed:
Every Tuesday at ten o'clock, the poet and I sat in a hallway of this old house on the outskirts of the editorial room, to give life a thousand more times to the poems that would make up the intense waves of this work. The chosen poem was read aloud ... sometimes he did it ... other times I did ...; after reading, Giovanni would say: "I'll tell you something ..." as a beginning of an internal wave that drove him to narrate, to spiraling his right hand pointing towards infinity the motivation of each story. He told me why blue in a poem; or how it came to the surface, because internally it was living in his being: “Alguien se salva por escuchar a un Ruiseñor” - Someone is saved when hearing the nightingale; or the time he dreamed for long nights with his father until that last night when he saw him leave as a point of silver, immediately he rises like a sleepwalker and write without stopping: Elegy; or the history of that sad afternoon when he learns that the Mediterranean took his great friend forever, then blue dress mourning, left alone by typing “Un verso Griego para Ofelia” A Greek verse to Ophelia.
So Tuesdays went by where I was balanced by heavy waves of the poet, the waves that eventually were becoming symphony. He invited me to travel on each of its ports -books- this personal anthology. Listening to the poems in his own voice was not only a privilege for me but also a blessing: each poem accompanying a story, a ... I'll tell you something ... it was like a stream of light that walked the corridors of this old house.
Personal Anthology became the pretext to approach Giovanni Quessep, but also to meet the man out of San Onofre. His exile. The family: the preludes of his childhood and adolescence awakening; the bond with their parents, grandparents. The house with a courtyard where almond trees, swing, children, birds and the tank are present; in turn, the house is attached to a town that links to a port wistfully: starting point that throws the poet to a non-place, where he lives as a foreigner to collect all the things and make coral poetic art. Therefore, it is not by chance that his poetry is constantly between the sea and exile conjunction that push him to not stay anchored to place but always venture into the unknown, to infinity. In Giovanni is perfectly possible that the privacy of a house raises its anchors to sail open sea thought the universal poetry, revealing in every port the nakedness of our human existence. For him, the sea is not a source of inspiration but of life; in other words, there is only the sea, sea and there house, Sea and names: "The sea opens the night, burning dreams with his time down. Blue [...] skims the water and restart. "His poetry is an internal wave composition in which each poem is a whirlwind that comes from deep inside where you can feel the sound of a musical piece; his poems make a swell that hit a cliff, restart to remain part of the universe.
This sense of restarting is like a small little story that a teacher named Morrie tells a young student:
The story is a wavelet that is jumping by the sea and passes very well. Enjoy the wind and the outdoors, until he sees the other waves in front of him crashing into the shore.
- "My God, this is terrible, says the wave-.Look what will happen to me! "
Then comes another wave. Goes to the first wave, which seems afflicted, and she says. "Why are you so sad?"
-The First wave says, "Do not you understand? All will break us! All the waves are going to get rid! Is not that terrible? "
-The Second wave says. "No, you who do not understand. You're not a wave; [you] are part of the sea. "
-Part Of the sea says [the teacher] - part of the sea.
For coincidences in life, and I think in poetry nothing is coincidence, this little story written by Mitch Albom (2005), is in a book called Tuesdays with Morrie, which tells the training received by a man who profoundly influenced his life .
A similar case has happened to those who have been sailing by internal waves of Giovanni Quessep. For me were Tuesday with the poet; for others, a different day in a corner of the White City Café. Similar to Sherazada restarting every night with, "there was once a King ..." Giovanni restart your story with an "I'll tell you something ..." kicking Thousand and One mornings which always he transported us the unknown. Sherazada not conclude its history, Giovanni not, lets cut to encourage a new meeting, a new tomorrow ... one restart ...
Now, if in the Thousand and One Nights, one of his favorite books, Queen's saves his life by art, in our case, poet saves us by beaten by the waves of his poetry, to see and feel an empty and hopeless reality; each story is a horizon, resumption of a life that holds the secrets of beings and objects that inhabit it. For him, writing is to remove the veil of reality, what is hidden, what exists within it: he sees on a wood table, wood connect you to a tree, and the tree takes you to a forest ; thus, the poet in the city can perfectly hear the song of a bird. For him a stone 'dreams of old and painful mazes ... the towers were never built but music in stone. "Giovanni collects what is the place to give a fresh start; in this sense, do not read poetry of the poet, read what's in the poetry of the poet; in other words, singing the essence of beings and things: a bird called Oriole, Simurg or Nightingale, a stone between branches, hidden spring flowers; or tree pencil makes the resource that nurtures writing.
Personal Anthology is full of ports, of surfing cliffs leading to unknown; thence an essential sense of life is restarted. Then I invite you to attend this festival, as he named one of his poems, and carry our ships to port, making the sea: "life is beautiful".