Writing to Don Quixote has always been a source of inspiration for Spanish-speaking rhapsodists and others. An inveterate lover of Cervantes' work and aware of the creative wealth accumulated around the "knight of the sad figure", the writer Odalys Leyva Rosabal gave life to the anthology La Raza Promisoria (The Promising Race), which in three volumes compiles poems by 317 authors from more than 20 countries and different periods, from the 16th century to the present day.
Las Tunas, Cuba.- The volumes not only provide a glimpse of the diversity of styles and techniques of these inspirational writers over time but also allow us to delve into the lyrical depths of the sometimes better-known and sometimes lesser-known areas of the adversary of the windmills. These are poets with little experience, poets of long standing, all united in a cause that Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra could never have imagined.
"With the book, published by the Spanish publishing house Deslinde, I defend the novel concept of poetry as a transcendent literary source, which occurs when a writer of a certain century can inspire creators of all times with his work", she says.
The president of the national group Décima al Filo and the Writers' branch of the Provincial Committee of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (Uneac by its acronym in Spanish) in Las Tunas, commented that the publication covers different stanzas, including prose poetry, free verse, the décima, the sonnet and the romance. It also includes authors from countries such as Spain, Mexico, Perú, Panamá, Venezuela, France, and Italy, including writers who do not speak Spanish.
"It is a study that took me almost 15 years of research, but I tried to make it as complete as possible. And, although it was done based on thematic inclusion, I tried to ensure that the texts demonstrated artistic quality," he says. And then he mentions to me names that appear there such as Luis de Góngora y Argote, Lope de Vega, Francisco de Quevedo, Antonio Hurtado, Rafael Wenceslao, José Jacinto Milanés, Ventura Ruiz Aguilera, Eugenio Fuentes, Jesús Orta Ruiz, Nicolás Guillén and José Lezama Lima.
"Ever since I began to read and study El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de La Mancha, I imagined Don Quixote as my study companion. I felt indebted to that work, which is why I wrote this anthology and another book that is about to come out, called Cervantes de luz hispana, which also has to do with this transcendence, but with forced footings that I sent to authors from different countries.
"This last proposal also includes an essay on how I consider that the figure of Cervantes has contributed to Hispanic culture, alluding to contributions made by thinkers such as Miguel de Unamuno and José Ortega y Gasset, and an essay in which I carry out a psychological study of the universal author who inspired so many, based on his texts, of how he uses Don Quixote to say things that he could not say in his own time, using symbols and similar edges".
These words on the back cover, written by the author herself, sum it up well: "Spain had no better ambassador, over the centuries than Don Quixote of La Mancha (...) The subject, with all its conflicts, had its romantic halo. Tradition, chronology, war, and the cultural events of the time all played a part in his speech".
It is not difficult to understand, then, the passion that drives Odalys Leyva to always be "in constant research work, in that search among the sensorial twists and turns of art". She is moved by the sanest of madmen, the one capable of inspiring verses like those of Raúl Hernández Novás.
A madman rides across the arid plain
on his rickety donkey, and then
another madman follows him, like a blind man
after another blind man, on the dark path.
But if his wandering in the shadows lasts
and he warms the nights with his fire,
I bless the mad weapon and pray
may he infect us with his madness.