Saturday, November 6, 2010

.
.
.
.
.
ANNIVERSARY OF THE CREATION OF POEM MASS
.
November 10, 1937
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
MASS
.

At the end of the battle,
and killed the combatant, a man came to him
and said: "Don't die, I love you so much!"
But the corpse, alas! kept on dying.

He was approached by two men who repeated:
"Don't leave us! Courage! Come back to life!"
But the corpse, alas! kept on dying.

Then came twenty, a hundred, a thousand, five hundred thousand
crying, "So much love and we can not do anything against Death!"
But the corpse, alas! kept on dying.

Millions of people surrounded him,
with a common plea: "Stay brother!"
But the corpse, alas! kept on dying.

Then all the men on earth
surrounded him; the corpse looked at them sadly, moved;
he raised to his feet slowly,
embraced the first man; began walking...

Cesar Vallejo
November 10, 1937
.



.



MASS: A SCENE OF THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR

.
The frightening moments of the Spanish Civil War, with its innumerable acts of heroism and idealism, left indelible impressions in the intellectuals of that time. We have among them the attestations of Octavio Paz in The Labyrinth of Solitude and the affirmations of Pablo Neruda in Spain in the heart.

César Vallejo was also moved by the violence of the conflict. After attending the Second International Congress of Writers for the Defense of Culture in Madrid, he traveled to the frontline where he personally saw the horrors of the struggle. Perhaps at some point he wished to stay, with a rifle and a revolver, to fight by the side of the volunteers of the Republic.

But as Miguel Hernández said, while some had to die with the firm chin and the head highly held, others had to sing atop the cannons and the bayonets. Vallejo then returned to France to experience the warmth of the beloved under the blankets and to write, touching on what he observed, the collection of poems entitled Spain, take this chalice away from me.

This photograph of a wounded militiaman, who bends his legs and drops his gun, was the most widespread image of those times. It shows combatant Federico Borrell Garcia, from Alcoy, falling after being fatally shot by a Franco bullet in the Battle of Cerro Muriano during the last Republican effort to recapture the city of Cordoba. It was taken by Hungarian photographer Robert Capa, with a 35 mm Laika camera and was published by Vu magazine in Paris on September 23, 1936, undeniably becoming the best known image of the entire conflict.

The following year, on November 10, 1937, the author of Black stone over a white stone concluded his most surrealistic and almost Beaudelairian poem: Mass. But he did not see it published because he died shortly afterwards on April 15, 1938, victim of a malignant fever of unknown origin which no one could alleviate.

It was as if the formidable Death which Vallejo described shuffling across the bombarded cemeteries and battlefields of Spain, with its cognac, its moral cheekbone and its expletive word, had come to his Parisian apartment to drag him to the Montparnasse even if it had to be done against his will.

Today, November 10, we meditated for a few moments remembering the morning when, with an old typewriter, César Vallejo gave final shape to his poem. Although we were the only ones, we advanced behind the combatant who had just raised slowly and had begun walking...


Manuel Lasso

.
November 10, 2002


No comments:

Wishing that world peace would be not only for one day, but for the rest of humanity's existence. Wars will contin...