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Recitation of poems   (included in Conversations with Itziar)

In the recitation of poems today we tried the 12th Shakespeare's sonnet (studied carefully in Rhythmic and Phonetic Transcription of two Shakespeare sonnets).

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silver'd o'er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

After we comment subtleties of recitation.

We live in a thin pasarelle between two seas: the Life and the Job. That is, we are feeling sincerely what the poem says -after understanding it, of course- but at the same time -and that is difficult- we are rendering a service to the listeners. We communicate them a poem with the necessary rhythm, expression and emphasis, because otherwise the poem is lost for them, our task fails and everybody, us with them, is disappointed. Half the brain is making a job, and half is occupied in feeling and understanding with all our soul. Because the poem is for them, not for you. Very difficult indeed.

Another day we tried the pentameter as the Spanish "endecasílabo" poem from Claudio Rodríguez: Don de la ebriedad. (strophes not in the original)


Siempre la claridad viene del cielo;
es un don: no se halla entre las cosas
sino muy por encima, y las ocupa
haciendo de ello vida y labor propias.
Así amanece el día; así la noche
cierra el gran aposento de sus sombras.

Y esto es un don. ¿Quién hace menos creados
cada vez a los seres? ¿Qué alta bóveda
los contiene en su amor? ¡si ya nos llega
y es pronto aún, ya llega a la redonda
a la manera de los vuelos tuyos
y se cierne, y se aleja y, aun remota,
nada hay tan claro como sus impulsos!

Oh, claridad sedienta de una forma,
de una materia para deslumbrarla
quemándose a sí misma al cumplir su obra.
Como yo, como todo lo que espera.
Si tú la luz te la has llevado toda,
¿cómo voy a esperar nada del alba?

Y, sin embargo -esto es un don-, mi boca
espera, y mi alma espera, y tú me esperas,
ebria persecución, claridad sola
mortal como el abrazo de las hoces,
pero abrazo hasta el fin que nunca afloja.

Speaking of light and how things need light to be and light needs things to be, Claudio Rodríguez, being very precise, even scientifically precise or perhaps because of that, is able to throw us in a wild metaphor of light and darkness, life and death, and love, cosmic love, wonderful love. And we observe that after dual pairs, we arrive to a single item, Love; by eyeing the poem we cannot find any trace of the opposite. What does that mean? Probably that love is the end of duality, the result of every antagonistic pair, the ultimate aim of everything, we happily included. Beautiful, very beautiful.

In this way the poem becomes mystic and deals with eternities, existence and non-existence

Reciting this poem requires from us a delicate proportion of intellect, physical rhythm, deep emotion and a sort of high perspective from where we behold the world in ourselves in its great lines. We cannot be too precise in the physical explanation of how light gives light, we cannot be too immerse in the emotion and strangle ourselves, we cannot be too rhythmical and fall into a musical complacency...But we must have intelligence, emotion and rhythm, all in the subtle proportions that make Art.

We need thus a fair chariot.


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