Luis Eduardo Rendón is an outstanding and prolific young poet who was born in San Roque, Antioquia. He is the coordinator of the International Poetry Festival of Medellín program. He lives in Medellín, is a member of the editorial board of the Prometeo poetry review, and was invited to the Struga Poetry Evenings in 1997.
In the Colombian poetic tradition there is a marked tendency towards rigidity, seriousness, transcendentalism, to a “desire to be profound”, the result of which is that many poems border on the pathetic. There is not much Colombian poetry that deals with its object with irony or humor, although in the twentieth century there were two emblematic figures: Luis Carlos López and Luis Vidales, the latter published here. The nadaísta movement attempted lightness, and succeeded in the poetry of Jaime Jaramillo Escobar and Jotamario Arbeláez (a selection of his poems is also included in this issue). Recent generations have been, on the contrary, quite ‘serious’.
Luis Eduardo Rendón is an exception among these. Not yet forty years old, he has already published five, quite original books. His is a poetry characterized by a subtle, sometimes caustic, irony, especially when it criticizes power in all its forms, as in the poem ‘The Flowering Stone’:
Let’s be attentive because a stone will flower
a song will flower and kings will demand an explanation
the journalists will journey to the site of the phenomenon
the believers will say it is a signal
the sceptics, a warning from the earth
He is also very effective when his criticism is aimed at all stereotypes and stuffy manners. The poem ‘You’re saved’ provides a good illustration in this respect (which is, by the way, a marvelous exaltation of humor, of “divine humor”, as he says):
to change your name your house your bed
to defeat the specter of the ego in the orchard in the subway
to break the diploma the siege the dummy
and to go through zodiacs with loving Muses
you’re saved from being a soldier a Cro-Magnon man a robot
a prince a clown a mouse
you’re saved from the chisel of the murmur of the abyss
from losing the satchel the crutch the mulatto
This irony, however, is framed by a very ‘serious’ proposal: it is, in general, an invitation to look and perceive the world in another manner, to escape from the two enemies we daily encounter, habit and convention. It is an invitation to go off center and to question ourselves, to refuse to resign ourselves to believing that reality is what we see, to lift the veil of our routines and discover miracles that we would otherwise have not noticed.
Arpa a merced de las manos invisibles, Editorial Lealon, Medellín, 1996.
La velocidad de las piedras es azul, Colección Prometeo, Medellín, 1997.
Universal Gong Night, Edición personal, español-inglés, Medellín, 1997
Tras la loba espectral, Ediciones La electricidad de la i, 1998.
La Plaza Mercurio, Ediciones Fénix, 2000.
International Poetry Festival of Medellin web page: http://www.festivaldepoesiademedellin.org/pub/es/Revista/ultimas_ediciones/56/luis_eduardo.html
/>Two poems. In Spanish.
Cyber Humanitatis, Nº 20. Revista de la Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades de la Universidad de Chile: http://www2.cyberhumanitatis.uchile.cl/20/crea12b07.html
/>Two poems, short biography. In Spanish.