Uxío Novoneyra: Os Eidos

I came back from Santiago last month with a copy of Novoneyra’s Os Eidos- Libro del Courel.  I was won over by the poet’s simplicity:

Leaves fall…
                               I feel something
That rests on me without touching.

Not surprisingly this aphoristic and sensitive vision has drawn parallels with Japanese poetry and, late in life,the poet translated and was translated by Ayako Sagitani.  There is a common thread with Scottish and Irish poets: Ian Duhig, Ian Paterson and Michael Longley have all felt sympathy with Japanese poetry.

It rains so that I can dream.

This one line is pregnant with meaning in Galicia.  Exact, real and suggestive of other poets: Castelao and Otero Pedrayo come to mind.  Novoneyra paints incisive word pictures of the Courel, the chain of hills around Piedrafita Do Cebreiro where he was born and grew up.

I was coming from Os Calvares
Dreaming through the breeze

I went under Fonte
With my eyes on the distance

I lay down on the grass
With my hands on my cheeks.

He has feeling for saudade– melancholy- which we would expect from a poet who was a close friend of Ramón Pineiro (see the essay on saudade right).

I am at times left with nothing
All I have goes down
In the pain of what I lack
With no god to offer prayers to
I take refuge in your eyes.

About Jason Preater

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