Poetry is the journey of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance - Carl Sandburg..........Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject - John Keats .........Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge - William Wordsworth ..........Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand - Plato .........No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language - Samuel Taylor Coleridge .........One demands two things of a poem. Firstly, it must be a well-made verbal object that does honor to the language in which it is written. Secondly, it must say something significant about a reality common to us all, but perceived from a unique perspective. What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognize its validity for themselves - W. H. Auden ...........Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash - Leonard Cohen .........There is a pleasure in poetic pains which only poets know - William Cowper .........Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood -T. S. Eliot ..........Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason - Novalis...........He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life - George Sand .........A poem is never finished, only abandoned - Paul Valery ........A poet is a bird of unearthly excellence, who escapes from his celestial realm arrives in this world warbling. If we do not cherish him, he spreads his wings and flies back into his homeland - Kahlil Gibran.............Poetry should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance - John Keats..........To be a poet is a condition, not a profession - Robert Frost........A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself - E. M. Forster.........Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo - Don Marquis...........Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things - T. S. Eliot ..........You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it tick. You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in - Dylan Thomas .........Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words - Paul Engle......... There is not a joy the world can give like that it takes away! Lord Byron

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by Jorge Palma

What can a pilgrim do, especially if he is a poet? Well, he can briefly tell about his eternal day, give a profile of himself, speak about his journey along the paths of his fate. Already written?  Decreed in advance? Each of us would gladly give a handful of days, weeks and even months of our short lives just to know the truth. Therein lies what Federico García Lorca saw about the hidden secret of life: "Only mystery makes us live, only mystery." And that is precisely what Sayed Gouda’s poetry is made up of: mystery … and banishment (geographic? internal?), a road that the poet walks along despite himself and surprises him, harasses him, and often makes him lose sleep or his way, or else annihilates him as it does any other mortal.

Sayed Gouda was born in Cairo, but his poetry is far from being "warm" – taken to mean closer to the desert and high temperatures. Sayed Gouda's poetry, if anything, is more closely related to the cold, nocturnalness and roughness. And still more: his poetry is closer to the rock.

Like any pilgrim, Sayed Gouda yearns for a time lost, and, at the same time, denounces personal circumstances, raw material with an autobiographical accent, a hard-hitting, blazing rhythm, asking (urging) the reader to make an inherent commitment to uncompromising poetry.

Sayed Gouda, the poet, does not negotiate. He presents his own world, his paradise lost, and with the truth – his own, non-transferable – he reveals himself. From his own mountain, he speaks out openly against injustice and disruption in a disjointed reality; poetry in stark contrast with a world devoid of substance, where the poet is left alone, announcing his truths in the face of the incomprehension of an inattentive world largely devoid of sensitivity.

And these are the words of the poet, the pilgrim that carries his truth around the world, stubbornly, despite universal inertia and deafness.

© 2009, Jorge Palma.



por Jorge Palma 

¿Qué puede hacer un peregrino, y más todavía si es poeta? Pues contar en pocas palabras su día eterno, hacer su propia semblanza, relatar su derrotero por los senderos de su destino. ¿Ya escrito? ¿Decretado de antemano? Cada uno de nosotros daría de buen gusto un buen puñado de días, semanas e incluso meses de nuestra corta vida, con tal de saber la verdad. Allí radica posiblemente lo que Federico García Lorca veía sobre el secreto oculto de la vida: “Sólo el misterio nos hace vivir, sólo el misterio”. Y de eso es precisamente de lo que esta constituida la poesía de Sayed Gouda, de misterio. Y de un destierro (¿geográfico? ¿interior?), de una ruta que el poeta transita a pesar de si, y que lo sorprende, lo acosa, y muchas veces lo hace perder el sueño, el rumbo o bien, lo aniquila como a cualquier mortal.


Sayed Gouda nació en El Cairo, sin embargo su poesía dista mucho de ser “cálida”, entendiéndose por esto una poesía más cercana al desierto, a las altas temperaturas. La poesía de Sayed Gouda, en todo caso, está más emparentada con el frío, la nocturnidad y la aspereza. Y más todavía: su poesía está más cerca de la roca.

Como todo peregrino, Sayed Gouda añora un tiempo perdido, y denuncia, al mismo tiempo, circunstancias personales, materia prima de acento autobiográfico, con ritmo contundente, abrasador, pidiéndole al lector (exigiéndole) un compromiso inherente a la poesía sin concesiones.

Sayed Gouda, el poeta, no negocia, presenta su mundo particular, su paraíso perdido, y con la verdad (la suya, intransferible) se revela. Desde su propia montaña, se declara abiertamente en contra de la Injusticia, el desorden, en una realidad dislocada; poesía en verdadero contrapunto con un mundo vacío de contenido, donde el poeta queda solo, anunciando sus verdades frente a la incomprensión de un mundo distraído, mayoritariamente carente de sensibilidad.

Y estas son las palabras del poeta, del peregrino que lleva por el mundo su verdad, porfiadamente, a pesar de la inercia y la sordera universal.


© 2009, Jorge Palma.


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