Ángel Luis Prieto de Paula

Ángel Luis Prieto de Paula (1955 - ) has been one of the most enlightening readers of the poetry of Claudio Rodríguez. He wrote his Doctoral Dissertation about the poet’s oeuvre (The Flame and the Ash: Introduction to the Poetry of Claudio Rodríguez, Salamanca, 1989), focusing on the spiritual dimension of the poetry but regarded from the point of view of its language. Prieto de Paula has later developed studies that have cast suggestive light upon this oeuvre. Among these, we can mention “The Solar Night of Claudio Rodríguez” –in The Lyre of Arion: About Spanish Poetry and Poets of the Twentieth Century (Universidad de Alicante, 1991)– , Claudio Rodríguez: Vision and Contemplation (Alicante, Instituto de Cultura Juan Gil-Albert, 1996), as well as an approach to the poet in the anthology Spanish Poets from the 1950s: A Study and an Anthology (Salamanca, 1995). Through these titles, Professor Prieto de Paula has become one of the most accurate readers of Claudio Rodríguez, adding an emotional nuance to the theoretical corpus on his poetry.

It is precisely in “Claudio Rodríguez: Vision and Contemplation” where Prieto de Paula detects the unfortunately facile assimilation of Claudio Rodríguez into a homogeneous list of names to whom his poetry bears little resemblance. Prieto de Paula refers just a few convergence points: the telluric and temporal qualities, the critical attitude and the metaphysical aperture. Beyond these traits –and only partially shared– the critic emphasizes two elements that definitely single out Claudio Rodríguez’s poetry: an epistemological and a moral space. From both sides, the search for knowledge and the search for significant human values (solidarity, fraternity, company…) the poet attempts to save the “spiritual adventure” of existence, which he considers bound to fail beforehand but still worthy of being sung; of being born into a “cosmophanic” poetry, in Prieto de Paula’s words, in which the concept of “clarity” rises as the only substance of the word.