Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thoughts and Notes on Juan Parra del Riego (by Dennis L. Siluk)

1—It should be noted, Cesar Vallejo was 45-years old when he died, and Juan Parra del Riego was 31; Vallejo born 1893, died 1938, and Parra del Riego born 1894, died 1925, both were friends. One year apart in age. ´Both Great poets, but for my money would take Juan Parra before Vallejo; he is the greatest modern poet in Uruguay, and not quite that well known in Peru, although Huancayo, where he was born he is clearly a name recognized.

2—To my knowledge one has yet to write a full biography of Parra del Riego in English, the contents in this book (and on a site I created for him on the internet in English and Spanish) is the closest thing to one; with some poems, background, sketches, photos of himself and his brothers, and so forth, some external facts to guide us through his life, is the closest thing thus far written on him in over a half century, and the only one in English, ever.

3—We know like Vallejo, Juan went to Paris, and had to borrow money to get back home, thus, he ended up poor, as most poets do, a few exceptions who have received inheritances to help them make it through life.

4—Some reader may ask, ‘Just what can we learn from this Peruvian poet?” This would in itself give justification for publishing, editing, and translating his poetry and background. I mean it was no easy task to do. First of all, scarcely does anyone know the existence of this great poet in North America, or Europe. As they didn’t know about Vallejo, until Robert Bly (North American Poet) translated his works in 1962; I have tried to bring this poet stamina and imagination to bear on the hunger and pain he faced, while writing his poetry, for he was dying during the process, thus we see a different kind of reality here. We see his inner world, almost his soul; this is why I think he is an import poet. Dlsiluk

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