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Mario Jiminez
About the Internet Projection of
The Postman (Il Postino)

Poetry Is Bread

To write his novel The Postman about the Nobel Prize--winning poet and communist Pablo Neruda, Antonio Skármeta traveled to the Isla Negra on the coast of Chile. There he hoped to find and define "the erotic geography of the poet." In writing his fiction, he entered the real-life stories of some who populated Neruda's life there, and it is the tragic love story of Mario and Beatriz that results.

Should Japanese technology ever invent a means of fusing electronics with human beings, the people of Isla Negra could claim to have been precursors of the phenomenon. But they would do so without arrogance, full of the same humility and sweetness with which they now drank in the bard's speech.

"Exactly one hundred years ago today, a poor and splendid poet, the most profoundly despairing of all, wrote this prophecy: `A l'aurore, armés d'une ardente patience, nous entrerons aux splendides villes.' At dawn, armed with burning patience, we shall enter the splendid cities.

"I believe in that prophecy of Rimbaud, the clairvoyant. I come from a faraway province in a country separated from all other countries in the world by its sharply defined geography. I was the most obscure poet and my poetry was regional, painful, and pluvial. But I always believed in mankind. I never lost hope. As a result, I have arrived here today with my poetry and my flag.

"To conclude, I want to say to all men of good faith, to the workers, and to the poets, that the entire future was expressed by Rimbaud in that one sentence: only with burning patience shall we conquer the splendid city that will give light, justice, and dignity to all men.

"Thus poetry will not have sung in vain."

(---from the book The Postman by Antonio Skármeta)

This cyber version of the Isla Negra invites the intermingling of poetry and electronics Neruda spoke about. At once celebrating an excellent movie and book, we hope to offer some mechanisms for the metaphors to continue to provoke the mind and spirit, to give voice to the many.

As Mario got into the car, he managed to hear the announcer report that troops had occupied the Quimantu publishing house and had halted the production of various subversive magazines, including Nosotros los Cilenos, Paloma, and La Quinta Rueda.

(---from the book The Postman by Antonio Skármeta)

I return to the sea wrapped in the sky,
the silence between one wave and the next
creates a dangerous suspense,
life dies, the blood rests
until a new movement breaks
and the voice of infinity resounds.

(---from the book The Postman by Antonio Skármeta)

Poetry, like bread, will rise if given the chance.


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