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Santiago de Chile
April 24, 2006

David Rosenmann-Taub, the poet who wanted to disappear

by Javier García


Considered a profound, hermetic poet, David Rosenmann-Taub published his first book, Cortejo y Epinicio (Cortege and Epinicion), in 1949; afterwards came Los Surcos Inundados (The Flooded Furrows) (1951) and La Enredadera del Júbilo (The Vine of Jubilance) (1952). Then a silence that lasted ten years.

Rosenmann-Taub is now seventy-nine years old and does not create a poem that does not have a rhythmic score – apart from writing, he draws and plays piano – since for him the rhythm is essential.

For the last six years he has been sponsored by the Corda Foundation, created in 2002 to preserve his works. LOM Editions has begun printing his new collections of poetry and re-releasing those already published: Cortejo y Epinicio, El Mensajero (The Messenger), El Cielo en la Fuente/La Mañana Eterna (The Sky in the Fountain/ The Eternal Morning), País Más Allá (Country Beyond), Poesiectomía (Poetryectomy) and now the republication of Los Despojos del Sol (The Remains of the Sun) with the subtitle Anandas primera y segunda (First and Second Anandas) – a book first published in Buenos Aires in 1976. As usually happens when his books are reissued, the poems have undergone modifications.

The poet has said, via a representative, that only two of the volumes of Cortejo y Epinicio have been published (it contains four), and that there are many other books of which not even the first volume has been printed.

His long-time friend, Armando Uribe, asserts year after year that it is Rosenmann-Taub who deserves the Premio Nacional de Literatura (Chilean National Award for Literature). In spite of not having seen him for more than two decades, Uribe insists that his fellow writer should receive the prize, which is awarded in September. “He is a major poet, the most outstanding alive, and his work is important for the Spanish language. His is not an easy poetry, but it moves whoever has the chance to read it,” states the winner of the 2004 Premio Nacional.

For Erwin Díaz, author of the anthology Poesía chilena de hoy, de Parra a nuestros días (Chilean Poetry Today, from Parra to Our Day), the work of Rosenmann-Taub is not hermetic: “These are terms that critics use to label him. They said the same about Humberto Díaz Casanueva, because it’s not poetry that is immediately comprehensible. The fact is, they are poems of greater information, of a philosophic order. It also happened with the work of Rosemel del Valle, Juan Luis Martínez, Carlos de Rokha, and Enrique Lihn himself.”