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NEAR THE LETTER: Pronouns

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What a scare! This morning an email jumped off my screen like an angry cat. And it is that, although I had been writing it for a long time, it sounded harsh and almost accusatory when the only thing it wanted was to convey unimportant information. But, when rereading it, it seemed much more like a complaint to a telecommunications company than a simple work email. So I read it again and realized what the problem was: the accusatory finger was born directly from the pronouns.

A lot of me, a lot of you, a lot of them. Not to mention some lack of inclusive language. Ladies and gentlemen who make word processors, when will a proofreader that eliminates all those expendable masculine characters from our texts? But, back to my email from this morning. In the review, all the pronouns were eliminated: You no, I don’t, they don’t either. Better. “Send” key and done.

Although we carry those Salinas verses engraved on fire and we believe that the joy is so high for living in the pronouns, settling in the I, me, me, me is quite heavy. For those who practice it because they are people forced to be better and better, faster, wiser, more everything than you, always more than you. That race must be very, very tiring. And for those who put up with it because it’s a boring message, very boring to which one ends up not paying much attention to it and nodding like one who accepts cookies on the computer.

But there, sometimes, poetry appears, good poetry, to turn everything around, to create a new language, so that the pronouns stop belonging to us. There, on that land, grows a collection of poems called “You will not forget” and what has the rocianera written Julia Gutierrez.

Julia knows about language and poetry. She is a philologist by training, a regular reader of poetry – which she shares abundantly on her social networks – and a poet. After a parenthesis without publishing, she gave us “I will jump over the abyss”, her previous book. This “You will not forget” is a collection of poems that surprises due to two fundamental characteristics: the fragmentation of the narration and the use of the first person in the construction of almost all the poems. From the beginning she makes her intentions clear:

I call myself

to see if I’m still

From there, the collection of poems unfolds and, like a fan, gradually releases its rods. On the one hand, Julia shows us the world, the passing of time. She calls herself an observer, sometimes in long poems where she draws landscapes and smells (in poem 55 we are by her side, in Los Enebrales, smelling of pine and saltpeter) and other times in short poems where she unleashes all her poetics like the burst of lightning

can’t live

above dreams

or below its frequency.

On other occasions that observation becomes introspective and, like life itself, tells us how intimacy and love are experienced. Thus we transit in some poems by passion, in others by disappointment or disappointment, but also by the tenderness of a minimal gesture such as putting you to sleep, after a long night shift, and that the person with whom you share life is still asleep.

In her poems, Julia lends us a window through which we can lean out and be observers of that life that floods us. And throughout this journey, as she herself acknowledges in poem 19, the author has been fading away. Because Julia in this “You will not forget” speaks in the first person as a way of questioning our lives, of making us readers and part of this book, so that it never happens like those that preceded us:

Useless. They flew on the kite for a while,

and blew against him

the wind of oblivion.

“You will not forget” by Julia Gutiérrez is published by Ediciones Alfar in its collection “Other poetry”.

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