Wednesday, October 20

Francisco Brines wins the Cervantes Award for his “intimate and endearing” poetry


Francisco Brines at his home in Oliva, in a recent image.  |  FERNANDO BUSTAMANTE

Francisco Brines at his home in Oliva, in a recent image. | FERNANDO BUSTAMANTE

The poet and academic Francisco Brines stated, after receiving the news that he had been awarded the Cervantes Prize 2020, who is happy that his poetry, which he has done “forever”, has reached “its destination.” Brines made these statements in a telephone conversation with Efe, from his home in his hometown, Oliva (Valencia), in which he pointed out that, although it is an acknowledgment that he “did not expect” is received “with great emotion.”

The first person she thought of after receiving the call from the Minister of Culture and Sports, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, was her mother and how she would react to the award, since when she told her that she wanted to be a poet “she thought about what directions she would take »Your child and where it would take him.

Brines, whose state of health is very delicate, encouraged current generations of poets to continue their work and was convinced that “Garcilaso and a poet of today would feel the same about poetry and when a verse came out, the joy they had was huge”. For the Valencian poet, poetry must also serve in a time as difficult as the current one, in the face of the crisis generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, as a “refuge”, because it has the power to “heal” the soul.

The jury, chaired by the director of the RAE, Santiago Muñoz Machado, decided yesterday to award this prize by majority and considered that the poetry of Brines, 88, “goes from the carnal to the metaphysical and spiritual, to the aspiration of beauty” .

Brines is one of the few surviving poets from the Generation of the 50s and who already has other awards such as the National Prize for Literature, the Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry, the International Poetry Federico García Lorca and the National Critic Prize. An intimate and “endearing” poet of the 50s generation who is one of the masters of current Spanish poetry and whose teaching is recognized by all the generations that have succeeded him, the jury indicated, according to the minutes read by the minister, who At the press conference he read a fragment of the poem The Autumn of the Roses, he stressed that he is very proud that a great Spanish poet has been awarded, a writer of “enormous importance that must be recognized.” It was a “wise and fair” decision, said the minister.

The president of the Generalitat, XImo Puig, stressed that Brines is the first Valencian poet to receive the Cervantes and said that he has “taught us that we are a parenthesis between two nothings.” “He is the author of melancholy and a look at a past that neither poetry nor memory can restore,” added Puig, who said that Brines “is a great person.”

Respect for the unknown was the “best lesson” his father gave him because it was what led Francisco Brines, the poet of emotions, to love literature, the maker of a whole catalog of verses full of tolerance where he dissects literature. loneliness, love, time, old age or death.

Although he is one of the last survivors of the «Poetic Group of the 50s», you cannot speak of social poetry when you talk about him, despite the fact that this is the watchword of this generation. Brines is just Brines. Because the writer defends poetry as an “exercise in tolerance” as a result of the reader’s emotional identification with the poem, although its content is alien to his convictions.

A conviction that has led him to write verses like this: “As if it were something foreign, we talked about ourselves and we were uncertain, some shadows.” Verses with a metaphysical poetic look, that art that helps “to live better, because it educates and refines the sensitivity to perceive enjoyment and experience pain, and thanks to it we can live experiences that would not correspond to us”, according to his words.

Decisive figure in the recovery of Juan Gil-Albert

Francisco Brines was a decisive figure in the recovery of the poet Juan Gil-Albert from Alcoy in the 70s, after “returning” from his internal exile. Between 1969 and 1971, Brines took the man from Alcoy to visit Jaime Siles and Gillermo Carnero. In 2004, he attended the opening of the events for the centenary of Gil-Albert’s birth in Alcoy, organized by the institute that bears his name. And last year, Brines was president of the International Congress on Gil-Albert, organized by the IAC and the UA, although he could not attend due to his delicate state of health.


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