As someone who doesn’t read poetry all that often, I’m always amazed by how relaxing it can be to read bite-sized slices of life, full of emotion.
I received a reminder of this recently when I picked up María Evangelina Vazquez’s book Ese oleaje hirviente (translated — loosely — as Those Boiling Waves).
Longtime readers of this blog will remember the author as our guest blogger who educated us about Blake. Now, for those among you who can read Spanish, you’ll discover that she is a very talented poet, someone whose command of the language allows her to turn emotion into words much more effectively than mere prose writers–which is the point of poetry, after all.
I’m probably not the person best qualified to evaluate poetry (prose writers tend to think in terms of words to tell a story, with emotions present to bond the characters to the audience, but not necessarily as the central motor of the text), but I found Vázquez to be particularly strong when her poems give us a glance into a snippet of daily life particular to a social class and situation. Good examples of this can be found in the poems in the first third of the book that deal with her experiences in high school.
I also particularly enjoy the fact that her poetry is not opaque. The meaning is either right on the surface or buried under just one layer of metaphor… and that makes it much easier to connect to the emotion contained within each piece.
I recommend this one to lovers of poetry and to lovers of prose who want to take a break to read and savor something different.
Gustavo Bondoni is an Argentine novelist and short story writer. His work spans every genre imaginable. Lovers of poetry will likely enjoy his book Love and Death, a series of very short stories, each standing alone, but which linked together for a single continuous narrative that not even the characters know about. It’s a secret between the writer and the reader. You can check it out here.