Knowledge is prime in Winston Morales Chavarro‘s poetry, awareness is key to the real, as the only way of enduring and understanding life in its dark and unique light; its permanence and fugacity, its eternity and continuous drift. The list of his published books to this date attests to this knowledge and his particular view (which should be said, initiatory), his exploration through language, through the worlds of others and himself alone upon the purity of the blank page -analogy of the invisible-, where the poem’s true revelation takes shape, the lasting voice of things, highest expression of beauty and truth; fullness and sovereignty of the being.
The poem in Winston Morales Chavarro’s poetry is a flowing of images, time’s pulse made of words, a transversal cut upon lived life where the absolute is mirrored and evocated in a vision; set of rules to facts that otherwise would continue hidden in our psyche. Since the beginning of his journey the poet was always interested in going beyond the accepted paths, far away from the purely anecdotic limits to which poetry seems inclined today. Because for Winston Morales poetry is primarily to decipher the myth; anagnorisis about the origin and essence of all human activity projected in history and manifested in nature as well as in our own self. It can be said that for more than twenty-five years all his poetic work has gravitated around the great myths of America and the world. But his work isn’t about a consolidated scholar registration on useless metaphors, and although we ignore what secret impulse let him to explore from his early years that complex mythological and symbolical universe of sources and sacred scriptures such as the Vedic, the Bible, the Koran, the Kybalion, the Tarot, the American Codices, and the hermetic traditions of East and West, we understand it’s his readers’ task to try and follow him throughout this spiritual adventure which is his poetic endeavor.
Certainly, very seldom Colombian poetry has taken this kind of exploration, strange for many, or even esoteric to a degree. Perhaps, as Winston Morales put it himself in his book Poetic of the Occultism, only Carlos Obregón is the best immediate reference. I would also add Raúl Henao and Gabriel Arturo Castro, contemporary poets whose works share the same interest about mystery and dreams, and even the taste for secrecy and mysticism.
However, Morales Chavarro is essentially a terrestrial poet, as close to mankind as nature itself; his own elements are always present in his books, his scenery, his phenomena including hopes and dreams, hardships and human desires. There is no distance between these two dimensions of reality. Therefore, his most recent poems seem to return to the concerns and existential uncertainties that come from the consciousness of becoming; an insight, painful at times, as time and mortality itself; something which, in one way or another we all share. In that sense we can say now that Where do the elapsed days go? Awarded with the David Mejía Velilla Award from De La Sabana University in 2014, is perhaps the most moving, intimate and personal book from the author, while recognizing the symbolic and poetic height of his previous books.
Where do the elapsed days go? Is truly the definitive shift in the poetic work of Winston Morales Chavarro. This is a book in which the poet’s voice -with refined experience and expression- exposes the essential, the vital core of the transcript where we face, as noted, this complex experience on finitude, on life’s fugacity; the uncertain fate of the being against time and death, the affront of pain and the world’s misery, all this made possible with intense sobriety sustained upon a clear and grand musical language that the reader will recognize and appreciate.
Without diminishing the qualities outlined above these texts then confront a darker thematic closer to the Pathos, the order of the most intimate sensorial concerns in a tone of great lyrical purity, not forgetting, not even for a moment, that the speaker is someone who has already come and lived a long way, and knows the burden of every day lived, the deeper meaning of each image and each word here evoked, saved by and for poetry:
Where do the elapsed days go?
Those little shadows of what once was the sun?
Why is it so elusive that what is called tomorrow?
That looming coming from behind the mountains as the future?
And the days run like straws in someone else’s eye.
However, this is not a hopeless and pessimistic book. We’d rather say it’s a lucid book, aware of the limits of our own existence which beauty can be celebrated for been in fact temporary, fleeting, mortal. The nature of this poems bring us to the best of the metaphysical poetry from old times, from the pre-Socratic Wise men so attentive to the course of things and men like Heraclitus, Democritus, Diogenes, and the already mentioned Anacreon, or the classic Romans Horace and Ovid, till the Persian poet Omar Khayyam, the Englishman John Donne, and our unforgettable Francisco de Quevedo, through essayists like Michel de Montaigne and a distinguished group of contemporary writers and poets that have addressed the contradictory consciousness of life, full of wonders and at the same time with countless disappointments and terrors. Echoes of such beings, so many poets and thinkers resonate in these pages, which at no time belies the originality of the poet’s own voice but instead supports it, improving it deeply, as it should be.
Reading these poems one finds mainly a voice that although skeptical and gloomy at times, fails to become a depressive complain and instead transform itself into a shining light upon our own uncertainty, our darkness.
The poetic work of Winston Morales Chavarro will surely continue deepen into his own style and vision, which define a true master piece and befits an authentic poet, faithful to poetry and faithful to himself.
Pedro Arturo Estrada