One of the most promising young Colombian poets, Lucía Estrada has published three books of poetry, has been invited to several poetry festivals and her suggestive and mysterious poems have been published in magazines and included in anthologies.
There is a challenge, almost lost beforehand, in speaking about a work that has no pre-established direction, being the fruit of a ‘sickness’, of an unknown interior force, or of a mystery whose secret is unknown even by its own creator, as with every serious mystery. Her work is a sort of geyser that imposes its strength through the writing of the poem.
But – strangely – it stays within tradition, although it is a poetry that is also a fruit of modernity, but of that part of our modernity that was consciously opposed to rationality: surrealism and some of the vanguardist Latin American poets (Huidobro, Rosamel del Valle, Eunice Odio, Vallejo).
Estrada’s poetry also uses that double instrument every poet works with: the language and the voice that he or she obeys. The geyser is, then, something more primitive: the irrepressible will to create, to create through writing, keeping a double compromise with language and beauty. What echoes in her poems is something like an archetypal music, as if the voice of a long-awaited mystery whispered things to her: “I listen to a distant music, as to words that have yet to be uttered.”
Neither do Lucía Estrada’s poems follow a moral imperative or, at least deliberately, any particular form of didactics or aesthetics, in spite of her links to surrealism and German romanticism – especially Novalis and Hölderlin – which the poet herself recognizes and an alert reader will notice in her taste for the night, the resonance of the sacred, and the continuous use of evocative and original images.
Nor is her poetry tied to a historical imperative dictated by a moment in time, in a world whose perversity moves us to denunciation; instead, when we read her we feel that what speaks to us in her words is the mysterious and yet unknown human soul. Work that is so consistent is surprising in such a young poet. There is no doubt that, with Andrea Cote, she is one of the most important Colombian young women poets.
Fuegos nocturnos (Nocturnal fires). Medellín 1997.
Noche líquida (Liquid night). Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, San José de Costa Rica 2000.
Maiastra. Ediciones El Tambor Arlequín, Medellín, 2004.
Estrada’s book Maiastra.