Santiago de Chile
June 22, 1952

The Voice of a Poet:
The Flooded Furrows by David Rosenmann-Taub

Editorial Cruz del Sur

by Vincente Mengod


Where music dies,/once again words, says the poet David Rosenmann-Taub, in the epigraph of his recent work, Los Surcos Inundados (The Flooded Furrows). Here are, perhaps, the two lines of an unfinished poem, fired off at horizons filled with esthetic premonition, doctrine, and content. Because when music languishes, the word lends it vibrations, becomes the support and vehicle of another music that ideas cause to arise in its alchemy.

It may be an aesthetic stance to animate words so that they arouse deep human vibrations. And, in such a case, the poem takes its worth as much from what it says as from what it suggests.

David Rosenmann-Taub is a great poet, a skillful creator of allusions, who never goes so far as to dispense with formal logic. Stimulating associations bubble up in his verses, like daydreams of harmony. At times, a thought is the experience that triggers for the poet the emotion of the poem, and so when he speaks to us about the roots of poetic creation, he synthesizes the reasons that illuminate the work of art, as in "a fruit roaming in the fog," "living lightning," "holy sprout," "sweet-smelling slime." The son is the "farewell to my ripe brio," stirring in the poet like "the strong love that dies in the thorn."

In the verses of this poet there is a diluted romanticism, a constant oscillation in his technique of showing the inside and the outside of emotions, the temporal flow of the anecdote elevated to the exemplary case.

In the section called "Frieze of Isabel," we see a sort of romantic arabesque, very close to a mysticism between lover and intellectual. The lines, in their rhythm, are like a "breeze, shadow."

Compositions like the ones titled "Abyss" and "Requiem" are feats of meditation on the shadow of death, with a child as the subject; they are full of paternal yearnings, of painful tragedy in the face of inexorable dying.

It is not easy to find echoes of other poets in this work. If such echoes exist, we need to accept that Rosenmann-Taub has completely reworked what for the other poets were basic stimuli, the very origin of the poem; he has reduced these to mere ancillary elements.

In Chile, a country of great craftsmen of verse, the voice of David Rosenmann-Taub sings his songs of love, his raptures of mysticism (apparently with esoteric roots), his exercises in rhythm, like the exponent of an aesthetic orientation which rests on an intelligent confrontation with classic poetical resources.

In "The Flooded Furrows" one glimpses a spirit masterful at plumbing depths; instead of stooping to trivial chatter, he creates images that are winnowed into song.

Here is a poetry that, without being hermetic, raises allusions to a whole new level. As with the great poets, a lived or imagined experience becomes the trigger for subtle lucubrations. And the spirit runs the whole gamut of the azure, the grays of a lyre that vibrates to the beat of reality, beyond the concrete and the temporal.