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IVÁN OÑATE (Ecuador, 1948)

IVÁN OÑATE (Ecuador, 1948)

Tango

Bless you, tango
because in nights of rage and pain
I took you in my arms
without caring who provided the music
the tears,
this farewell fog, who
the recurrent story.

Bless you, scoundrel ritual
only
by men professed
in faraway times. Freezing rogues
who after showing the depth of their love
with a knife,
embraced for the dance
and stepped towards the doors of dawn
to the same cadence
with which their steps
would measure the long prison solitude
day after day
going and coming.

Taciturn lovers
who in a turn of the concertina
took a leap
and dropped
upon the prompt rendezvous with destiny,
on the dreadful score
written before time.

Tango,
crucifixion in tuxedo, strange funeral
where love’s dead
attend their own wake,
their hair greased,
a silver heart
shot into their chest.

Rough melody, in its cellars
you can still catch a glimpse of the sword
or that other lightning bolt,
perhaps
more modest,
the knife with which
epics are written indoors.

Bless you
because on the soiled snow of this dawn,
a desperate man,
some man dead of love,
greases his hair right now
and dances you in flames
burnt by his shadow.

Translation by Leticia Damm

Iván Oñate was born in Ambato, Ecuador, in 1948. Poet and narrator. He made college studies in Quito, Argentina and Spain where he was doctorated in Communication (Semiotics) from the Universidad Autónoma of Barcelona. Part of his work has been translated into German, French, English, Portuguese, Italian and Greek. He is currently professor of semiotics and Hispanic-American Literature at The School of Language Science and Literature of the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature of The Central University of Ecuador. Published works: Estadía Poética, 1968; En Casa del Ahorcado, 1977; El Ángel Ajeno, 1983; El hacha enterrada, 1987, Anatomía del Vacío, 1988; El Fulgor de los Desollados, 1992; La canción de mi compañero de celda, poetic prose, 1995 and La nada sagrada, 1998. Jean Franco and Jean-Marie Lemogodeuc, authors of the Anthology of Hispanic-American literature of the XX century, published in France, say about him: “In him probably the most original poet of the new generation emerges: we must be aware of his disturbing visions, of his taste for life and vertigo, of his mad revelations mixed with anguish and craze. For Ecuadorian poet Filoteo Samaniego: “Oñate takes his own path and he gets on through it with resolution as Lautréamont, Pablo Palacio did before him or any of those poets that refused within themselves the right to smile.”. The American poet Alfred Corn was in agreemente with these criteria in respect to Oñate: “I have confirmed my impression that I had in regards to his extraordinary skillfulness in the art of poetry. Besides that, you also possess a persuasive ability for fiction. Few poets can pretend this, but your work reveals as a proof to that possibility. The fusion between philosophy and imagination to create a new mysterious and musical amalgam. “Your originality shows strongly when one considers both styles at the same time” The Uruguaian journalist and writer Kintto Lucas wrote about Oñate: “Emissary of pain and frolic, of dream and reality, of thunder and utopias, of the question and restlessness, this is the best message from a generation of poets afflicted by the daily fight against the shadows”.
Última actualización: 28/06/2018