Miguel Maldonado


A veces prosa - Adolfo Castañón


Joaquín Xirau Icaza y Miguel Maldonado

Work is the prayer of slaves, prayer is the work of free men. These words of the Catholic poet Charles Péguy spring to mind on greeting “El libro de los oficios tristes” by Miguel Maldonado, winner of the Joaquín Xirau Icaza Poetry Prize 2016 (the previous winners were Paula Abramo, Ricardo Cázares and Armando Salgado). The book was chosen from 37 works presented. The apparent austerity of its style contrasts with the richness of its poetic imagination and invention. Behind every one of the poems that make up this beautiful book there unfolds an idea of the city and of work and, of course, of art and of trades, sometimes sad, sometimes comic which shadow the human condition. The fragility of the human condition such as it is lived and endured in the Mexican part of the American continent is displayed for all to see, and touched in the senses that this word has of reached, interpreted, palpated and wounded. This album of picture postcards and sketches opens doors to the past and tradition, but it also opens inspiration toward the future present. Not in vain is the author both a poet and a scholar in the area of cultural theory and political science; this dual condition make him seem predestined to receive the prize named after the young poet and scholar Joaquín Xirau Icaza, born in Mexico in 1950 and who died in Boston in May 1976, whose poetic vocation existed side-by-side with his research into economics and social science, scion of an illustrious family, descended on both his father's and his mother's side from a distinguished intellectual and poetic lineage. Joaquín Xirau Icaza belongs, moreover, to that tragic lineage that could be called “the dispossessed”. He belongs to that select band of poets to whom the gods, “Oh Pindar!”, showed their preference by calling them early to themselves, poets such as Hugo Margáin Charles (disciple of Ramón Xirau), Amelia Vértiz or Jordi García Bergua, the novelist and poet who was a son of Emilio García Riera, or the poet Álvaro Quijano. Reading Joaquín Xirau Icaza's life with attention, I see that as well as his poetic work properly speaking, he directed an amateur film inspired by “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. The shadow of the raven's wing guided the steps of Joaquín Xirau Icaza, like those of Miguel Maldonado, who, indeed, is the author of “Bestiario” (Aldus, México, 2015), in which the raven also makes an appearance. Ir al artículo completo