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Eduard Encina, the voice that remains

Published: 2017.09.27 - 16:18:13   /  /  Alina Iglesias Regueyra  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

Eduard Encina, the voice that remainsSensitive and worried about the disease of others, he did not see his own coming. It was the same for him as for Walt Whitman. He suffered the pain of the world and felt love, sadness and hope as if he experienced all of them, and he expressed it in his verses. His poems Lupus (2016) attests it.

Eduard Encina Ramírez died at the age of 44 on September 8 during a passage through his homeland in eastern Cuba of a hurricane that left suffering and destruction amongst Cubans. Just as painful was the poet's early death for those who know his life and work. Testimonies from various archipelago and world sites honor his memory.

In an emotional review, Naskicet Domínguez Pérez, a founder and webmaster of Claustrofobias Promociones Literarias wrote: "I would like to say many words and tell who this farmer of Baire was in a village of Contramaestre. (...) he built a family with his wife, whom he adored and two little ones he leaves today. In Baire, he had a club called El Café de Bonaparte, and there all his friends and family met to talk about poetry and current subjects regarding their dream Cuba. He gave advice and scolded you like a real farmer. He was a narrator and a multi-award poet, but also a brother and friend.... today his body says goodbye, but he leaves us that desire to continue his fight, to continue his eternal fight. Today I thank all those who followed day after day the health of this warrior and who knew how to fight until the last second of life..."

Both the poetry and the prose of Eduard Encina are described as confessional and lyrical, rooted in his homeland, despite the obvious human universality they carry in their essence. His words of energetic impact and uncharacteristic expression mark an art that springs from the very entrails. About the concept that defines his work, the author says, "Poetry does not serve as a balm, but as an infested wound, as a leg to be cut. I do not believe in the sweet idea of literature in the midst of chaos, poetry is also chaos (...). How to stop the discouragement, the apathy? How to understand with reality without participating? That is the endurance. “(Interview made by journalist Reinaldo Cedeño for La Jiribilla)

We remember his lyrical creations De ángel y perverso (2000), Golpes bajos (Premio Calendario 2003), El perdón del agua (2004) and Lecturas de Patmos (2011). Also, El Silencio de los Peces (2003), which is poetry for children published by the Editorial Abril in Havana. In his narrative dedicated to childhood, Las Caravanas (2013), a delightful portrait in brief images of his closest environment, published by Ediciones Caserón, from UNEAC santiaguera, stands out.

In his blog Caracol de Agua, Arnoldo Fernández Verdecia shares Eduard Encina's last public speech at the Poetry Festival in Medellín, Colombia, after winning the contest La Gaceta de Cuba, from which I propose these fragments where he reveals more of his ideas on the poetic creation and the role that poetry plays as the mobilizing axis of human understanding:

"The experience with poetry is not necessarily rational, from which changes are made, stimuli that enrich us and make us better, even becoming sometimes intelligible, we feel that something in us has changed, and it is more important to feel it than to explain it. The enjoyment of a good poem does not allow a certain reality to be transformed, but a good reading (...) helps prepare us for change. Is a state of peace possible without having first created a "state of sensitivity"? In that sense, poetry acts, regenerates, catalyzes, and is capable of bringing together a spirit, a kind of Babel language, where the difference and understanding come together.

Although many know that Santiago de Cuba saw him born on January 27, 1973, perhaps few know that he was a Bachelor of Arts Education and a teacher of Appreciation of Visual Arts. His talent earned him numerous prizes in meetings of literary workshops and municipal, provincial and national contests in various genres.

Here is a poem full of hope, out of his pen, for eternal remembrance:

Lyrical poetry and bicycle

My son tries

and falls on the asphalt.

And again he falls.

It is too much for him

but he masks the pain.

He falls again

for those who laugh,

he starts pedaling

for those who hesitate.

He falls and gets up.

«He will be a poet», says

my wife.

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