~ Poet: Ernesto Cardenal ~

Viniste a visitarme en sueños (You came to visit me in dreams) by Ernesto Cardenal

Spanish director Eduardo Yagüe adapts a short poem by Nicaragua’s great poet-priest Ernesto Cardenal. Jean Morris provided an English translation for the subtitles.

One of the things I’ve noticed this week whilst looking at narrative-style films adapting lyric poetry is that there are (at least) two ways that the directors of such films can regard a poem: as a point of departure, or as the actual (if elusive) destination. But thinking about it further, I’m not sure these are mutually exclusive perspectives. After all — to extend the analogy — the true goal of a journey often turns out in retrospect to have been quite different from the supposed destination, which as it existed in the imagination of the traveler setting forth was indeed a mere jumping-off point. I think Eduardo’s films illustrate this paradox as well as any.

Be that as it may, no survey of narrative-style poetry filmmaking, however brief, would be complete without one of his films, which always feel so deep — as if they’ve emerged from an engagement with the text as intimate and sustained as that of any translator.