Tuesday, May 17

Raquel Lanseros: «Poetry adapts to all channels and now there are social networks»

You say that love only exists in the present, but we all know that the present is only a hallucination, since the here and now pass in a second. How do you justify that statement if the human being is basically past? Taking into account also that Matria, among other things, is a search through memory areas that are still present in our daily events, how to marry past and present?

Love only exists in the present is an affirmation that refers rather to the need to feel comforted and lovingly clothed at all times by all the people around us. It is a need that never diminishes. The fact that we have enjoyed a lot of love in the past does not diminish the need we have in the present to continue feeling it. It is true that when we love we tend to forget the way of loving that we had in other times and we focus only on what is existing. Although the human being is memory and past and, at the same time, is projection and future, moods and feelings tend to happen and are experienced mainly in the present. Marrying past with present is one of the always pending subjects that we have in this life. In fact, memory allows us to forge an identity, but the events that overlap make us need continuous reviews of our past, to adapt it to the new knowledge acquired. I believe that, throughout our existence, we are always learning how to fit the past with the present and how to project ourselves into the future. It is an activity that never ceases and for which we are eternal learners.

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«The constant homage to the ancestors is one of the main points of my poetry and my way of understanding life»


¿Matria can it be understood as a return to the origin, a tribute to the homeland and the ancestors?

Matria is many things together. It is a tribute to the origin, to the roots, to the identity … A return to the native land, but not only to the land, also to the native language, to the first emotional experiences, and to everything that shapes our personal identity and collective. As for the ancestors, they are logically very present. The chain is very present, to mention the theme from before, which links the past, with the present and with the future. It is a tribute to them to a great extent, although it sings to many other things. The constant homage of the ancestors is one of the main points of my poetry and my way of understanding life.

The concept “motherland” comes from authors like Virginia Woolf. What meaning do you bring to the term?

«Matria», obviously, is not a term collected in the RAE dictionary, but it is widely used by previously literary men, as you mentioned, Virginia Woolf, but also Jorge Luis Borges, Julia Kristeva or Miguel de Unamuno himself, who He spoke on many occasions of the Basque motherland, for example. I felt the need to use the term, because what I wanted to denote is that this search for identity, everything that makes us human beings culturally, linguistically, emotionally, biographically, exceeds the geographical and administrative limits of what we call homeland and it can only be encompassed or referred to with the word “motherland”, which is much more inclusive, much broader and a reality in perpetual growth.

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«Literature is a dialogue, in which a receiver is needed. I have very much in mind that fictional you to whom I am addressing »


How would you define your poetics?

It is not easy to define one’s own poetics, or even to write it reflectively. The best poetry unfolds in the concrete poems that one composes or that one creates. I do not see myself qualified to be judge and party as far as myself is concerned. I prefer that my poetry is defined by others and I, as far as possible, continue to draw or create it in my poems.

Poetry is having a good time in Spain. Has the use of social networks made it universal?

It is true that poetry is having a good time in Spain. There are a number of poets of the highest quality, and many people beyond interested in poetry, I think that is magnificent. I do not know if social networks have universalized it. I believe that poetry is not a completely universal phenomenon, understanding as universal that one hundred percent of the population is aware of it. It is still an immensely minority literary genre, as Juan Ramón Jiménez said. But logically, the dissemination of poetry is always going to be good news. I believe that poetry takes advantage of the communication mechanisms of each era. Now it is social networks, before it was oral tradition, papyri, in the Golden Age the corrals of comedies representing plays written in verse … Poetry is transmitted through many channels and formats, times change but poetry suits all of them.

Do you write with the reader in mind?

I don’t think anyone writes without thinking about the other. Literature is still a dialogue, a conversation in which a receiver is needed. I have very much in mind that fictional you to whom I am addressing. But, yes, very rarely do I have in mind the ideal and specific reader for whom I am writing a poem. I am aware that the ultimate goal of the poem is to be interpreted by another person, therefore to become human communication.

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What are your literary references? Have you ever thought about throwing yourself into the narrative?

I have dozens, and I am not exaggerating if I say hundreds, of literary references, which I have accumulated throughout a lifetime of readings. The vast majority of them are poets, I will not deny it, because I spend my life mostly reading poetry, but I also do not believe in literary genres as watertight compartments. That is, if all the arts are sisters and are born from a similar impulse, let alone the literary genres that are built with the word, the literary ones. I do not rule out exploring other literary genres in the future, you never know.

Where is your poetry going?

I could not tell. I do not believe that anyone’s poetry walks with a purpose or to a specifically delimited place. I believe that poetry flows, flows with readings, with experiences, with the passage of one’s biography, with one’s own acquisition of experiences, with knowledge, with one’s own concerns. Therefore it is mysterious and unpredictable. We have to be wise enough to accompany her and let ourselves flow with her. That would already be quite a feat.


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