Carlos Bousoño

Together with Vicente Aleixandre and Francisco Brines, Carlos Bousoño (Boal, Asturias 1923 -Madrid, 2015) was a close friend of Claudio Rodríguez. Bousoño also admired his poetry, to the extent that he provided the answer to Claudio’s admission speech into the Royal Academy of Language in 1992. Decades earlier, in 1959, Bousoño had written an article for the journal “Cuadernos de Ágora” entitled “Ante una promoción nueva de poetas” (“A New Generation of Poets”) in which he singled out Claudio Rodríguez above his peers.
Bousoño was the first critic who structured Claudio’s poetic, non-transferable thought in his foreword to the 1971 volume of poetry (Poesía 1953-1966) published by Plaza & Janés. This book included all of Claudio Rodríguez’s published poetry at that time –that is, his first three titles–. Bousoño’s foreword “The Poetry of Claudio Rodríguez” was more than a mere approach to his poetic universe, since through those pages he explained and developed some of the key concepts in Claudio Rodríguez’s oeuvre. A few extracts, though already known, are worth being mentioned again.
Bousoño highlighted at that early stage the originality of the poetic voice. He affirmed that the verses of Gift of Inebriation “did not resemble those of any other Spanish poet”. In this he agreed with Vicente Aleixandre, who had also stood in awe before this book; Bousoño also coined the concept of dysemic allegory concerning the title Conjurings and the relationships between the imagery and the everyday world established through it. He regarded the transition from Conjurings towards Alliance and Condemnation as an inversion of the allegorical process. Finally, he focused on the peculiar metaphorical irrationalism that unexpectedly transcended the simple reference to the traditional context, as well as on the condensation that the poet achieved by his strict use of meaning or, from another perspective, by means of resonances and inner rhymes of special sound depth.
From then on, Carlos Bousoño has often lent critical attention to this poetry. In many of his essays he described it as a “fresh voice” in constant renovation after each reading. He still insisted on that point, in an article published on July 19th 2000 entitled “Claudio Rodríguez: The Self and the Song”, on occasion of the first anniversary of the poet’s death. There, Bousoño claimed that the Zamoran poet had offered us “a poetry work in which the song does not shy away from the self; that is precisely the reason for its extreme originality (…) In other words, Claudio Rodríguez sings, but in a different way; a way whose outcome, however song, poses a new problem, which he surpasses without denying it. And there is the nub and its geniality, if I may say so. Rodríguez does something that, as we perceive it, cannot be done. This is what, in my opinion, we call the genius”.