José Olivio Jiménez

José Olivio Jiménez (1926-2003) was another critic who constantly read and interpreted the poetry of Claudio Rodríguez. Starting with his study on Alliance and Condemnation (in Ten Years of Spanish Poetry, 1960-1970), José Olivio Jiménez soon envisioned the exceptionality of the poet. Commenting on Claudio Rodríguez’s verse, he wrote that at its core lay “[t]he revelation or sudden manifestation of a truth, of the truth that catches the spirit unawares, even in the midst of the most unusual or ordinary circumstance.”

This perception is related with that “epiphany” mentioned by Gonzalo Sobejano in reference to the poetry of Claudio Rodríguez. Consequently, in his 1984 article “For an Essential Anthology of Claudio Rodríguez”, the Cuban critic explains the two main tensions of his poetic task: the metaphysical volition and the moral involvement. According to the interviews that the poet gave throughout his life, he fully agreed with this description.
José Olivio Jiménez was therefore an apt critic who defined the poetry of Claudio Rodríguez as “the spectacle of a still, timeless morning, from where reality and life, always innocent and fresh, may be beheld –that is the reason why the poet can speak about clarity as an adventure”.