This isn’t a love poem
The fourth poem in Darío Jaramillo Agudelo’s book Poemas de amor (1986) deals with the subject of the speaker’s impossibility to represent love through writing.
Working in the manner of René Magritte’s well-known painting Ceci n’est pas une pipe, the Colombian poet writes a love poem that is, at the same time, the promise of a faithful and exact total love poem not yet written: “Someday I will write you a poem…”. This curl of representation provokes reflections that are installed in the very heart of the process of its comprehension.
The development of the text in fact deals with three axes of poetic construction: the words of poetry, literary resources and rhythm. These topics allow their segmentation into three parts:
Algún día te escribiré un poema que no mencione el aire ni la noche;
Un poema que omita el nombre de las flores, que no tenga jazmines ni magnolias.
Algún día te escribiré un poema sin pájaros ni fuentes,
Un poema que eluda el mar
Y que no mire a las estrellas.
Algún día te escribiré un poema que se limite a pasar
Los dedos por tu piel
Y que convierta en palabras tu mirada.
Sin comparaciones, sin metáforas, algún día escribiré
Un poema que huela a ti,
Un poema con el ritmo de tus pulsaciones, con la
Intensidad estrujada de tu abrazo.
Algún día escribiré un poema, el canto de mi dicha.
The initial part, from the first to the fifth verse, mentions the need to avoid the conventional words of poetry to name love, within a certain poetic tradition that has made use of and, in a certain way, has abused these terms, until turning them into worn-out topics: air, night, flowers, birds, fountains, sea and stars.
The second, from the sixth to the eleventh first verse, proposes another problem of poetic representation: the possibility of translating reality into the language of literary resources; hence the need for a poem without comparisons or metaphors, both fundamental figures for the construction of the figurative, connotative language of poetic discourse.
The third part, from the twelfth verse to the last, touches on the subject of rhythm, the foundation of poetic construction, the music of words, as well as alluding to the fundamental activity of the poet: singing.
This development into three units of content gives shape to an essential question for poetry: is representation through words possible? Jaramillo Agudelo’s poem responds to the search, without renouncing to say. The future poem, not yet written, will elevate the words to the tangible reality of love, while the poem we are facing bears witness to that love that has not yet been justly said. In any case, and whatever our choice as to the meaning of the text (expressed love, ineffable love), what is certain is that the poem postulates the unspeakable happiness of expression, inducing the reading towards a second critical level about the possibilities of poetic language, and with all this, it directs our gaze to the possibility that the only way to name a transcendent reality (like love), through language, is perhaps to name it with the old words that a vast tradition has circulated: again the night, the sea, the stars; in short, the words of love and poetry.