April 07, 2007

Ser, nada más

Ser, nada masIn a small Málaga back street it is written on the wall, just slightly above a door:

Ser, nada más. Y basta

Poetry thought out by a poet called Jorge Guillén.

I walk past these words on a sunny spring afternoon; the light of the sun is reflected by the white plastered walls and besides us there is no-one in the alley. The words stick in my head, they seem a truth like a rock: “Being, nothing more. And that’s all”. Words that are a promise of calmness and simple life: fresh bread, coffee and warm sunlight through your window.

The web of streets around the one mentioned above seems to be a poets’ quarter – every other building contains a line of a Málaga-related poet. But only the words of Guillén stick with me. Is it possible, just to be, simply be? Guillén was a self-exiled poet who spent many years in Oxford, after which he returned to Spain upon Franco’s death. Was he simply being all this time? Guillén wrote poems. Is writing simply being?

Maybe writing poems is a normal state of being for a poet. Maybe Guillén only fulfulled his destiny by exiling himself. I don’t know. All I know is that the poet himself does not doubt: Ser, nada más. Y basta


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