Heriberto Yépez, “Re-reading Maria Sabina”: (via Elaine Castillo)
Sabina represents a critique on those who believe (like Paz and most mainstream poets) that poetry is a voice that comes from nowhere, “inspiration” or the unmediated unconscious, an ahistoric otherness, those who consider poetry is an individualistic practice by essence or solitary compromise, she challenges those who find the idea of having just a single identity possible, of who try to produce a voice without a context, an impossible purity.
But Sabina is also a critique on those who believe there can be radical experimentation without healing, or see the poet as a sophisticated specialist whose social role is just writing, those who act in the mere sphere of literature, and who don’t break up the boundaries that separate the different domains of their own culture. “Poets” without radical wisdom, wisdom that comes from the roots; “poets” who don’t go to the roots of society, to cure ignorance, sickness, injustice and poverty.
Sabina was without a doubt a poet. She was not only a poet, but more importantly poetry’s wholeness. Her activity’s goal was totality. She reached for the impossible. Searching for a book-beyond-the-book. Having a new poetic body. Breaking the differences between writing, reading, chanting, talking, dancing and silence. Removing pain from others. Fighting for the survival of a great culture. Investigating sounds, meanings and languages. Increasing wisdom. Teaching. Being radically self-critical, recognizing when one fails, when one is dying.
Being a writer is easier.
attempts to answer the question “what is poetry for” / “why write” sorta make me queasy, but then queasiness is an affect i’m interested in, and this article is about that, and i want to get to a place of writing about queasy cheesy compulsive questions.