Queen Sofía Prize
THE simple, minimalist, discreet but
universal poetry of Fina García Marruz places her
name alongside those of José Hierro, José Angel
Valente, Angel González, Mario Benedetti and Nicanor
Parra. García Marruz is now a winner of the Queen
Sofía Ibero-American Poetry Prize.
The Queen of Spain presided over the
presentation of the award bearing her name, which
exceptionally took place in the University of
Salamanca auditorium and not in the Royal Palace, on
the occasion of the 20th anniversary of a prize
which, this time, "has been given to a creator who
serves eternal beauty," as her grandson, José Adrián
Vitier, who received the prize on her behalf, stated.
Fina García Marruz was unable to
travel to the capital of Salamanca for health
reasons, but a little piece of Havana reached the
University via an emotional speech the poetess
recorded on video.
She emphasized that she was
receiving the prize not as a personal one but as one
of the figures of a generation particularly active
in Cuban literature, which included her husband,
Cintio Vitier, Julián Orbón, Eliseo Diego, Octavio
Smith and Gastón Baquero. They gave added spice to
the vitality of the pages of Orígenes, the
legendary magazine so closely linked to María
Zambrano, to whose memory Fina García Marruz also
dedicated the prize in her recorded message.
TRAGEDY AND LIGHT
"She came from the [Spanish] Civil
War, from tragedy and brought us light, and our
lives and words would have been others without the
knowledge which María Zambrano instilled in the
generation of Ramón Jiménez, Federico García Lorca
and Rafael Alberti," the poetess recalled.
In her profoundly moving speech,
García Marruz also noted the treasure of the
cultural link between Spain and Cuba via language.
An austere and simple Spanish with which she regaled
the auditorium in one of her most famous poems, "If
all the poems were lost/the fire would continue
naming them endlessly/cleansed of all dross, and
eternal poetry/would return roaring, once again,
with the dawns."
It was the second time in the 20
years of the Queen Sofía Prize awarded by the
University of Salamanca and the National Heritage
that the ceremony took place in this academic
institution. An occasion which the rector, Daniel
Hernández Ruipérez, highlighted as "the most special."
In his speech, the rector defended
the "magical" value of the word as represented in
García Marruz’ work, emphasizing its strong social
content. "In these times, in which we are talking of
crisis at every step, her work vindicates the fact
that poverty does not necessarily have to be
experienced as a deprivation and that certain
scarcities can signify freedom," he noted.
Ruipérez observed that in the face
of a society of abundance, "Fina García makes an
almost Franciscan apology for austerity; excess is
not always the most recommendable, at times in life
also it is true that less is more," he emphasized.
For his part, Nicolás
Martínez-Fresno, president of the National Heritage
Administration Council, highlighted in his speech
the keys of Garcia Marruz’ poetry, and the presence
of a language accessible to everyone. "She turns to
regarding, to the individual, to discover the
profound essence of things."
Marruz’ grandson, José Adrián Vitier
Rodríguez, who accepted the prize on her behalf,
utilized her words to thank the jury members for the
award, stating that "a prize to poetry is a prize to
hope." (Taken from El Norte de Castilla)