Darío's Impossible Loves

It's always a pleasure to discover new poetry that interests you. That was certainly the case yesterday. The Bilmore group had a nice lunch with Pablo, who was in town to receive the Medal of Honor from the Academia de San Telmo. That event was Thursday evening at City Hall. In any case, Pablo, at his 85 or 87 years of age, still seems like a kid and is doing just great. During the lunch Julio mentioned that there was a reading in the evening with a Colombian poet by the name of Darío Jaramillo Agudelo. I'm so glad I went. Jaramillo turns out to be a very interesting poet, full of irony and elegant clarity. During the reading, which was really more like a conversation, moderated by Fernando Valverde, Jaramillo discussed the distinction he makes between possible and impossible loves. He was very funny: impossible loves are the ones we just dream about, Quixotic and fantastical. They have many of the advantages and none of the inconveniences of possible (real) loves. He declared that his great impossible love was Ingrid Bergman. But there was more than just humor. In fact, the few love poems he read were quite moving. Between poems he discussed his creative process and the importance for him of letting poems 'sit' for a long, long time.  After all, he joked, when we are really in love, it's simply impossible to write coherently about our condition because love makes us completely idiotic in a verbal sense. Good poetry is that which can be successfully digested when eaten cold. Anyway, after the event I was able to chat with him for a couple of minutes and I joked to him that Ingrid Bergman was my impossible love. (I'll never forget the first time I saw Casablaca. Wow!) He joked that was yet another of the great things about impossible loves–there's no problem sharing! On my way back to the Malagueta I ran into Soler, who was playing host to the novelist Clara Sánchez, here for the Book Fair.  So I ended up having a light dinner with that group.

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