Grading scales by poets


César Vallejo’s 120th birthday was this year. Above is his Google Doodle.

Here is a Chaucerian grading scale and here is one based on Beckett. I will have to create one out of Vallejo quotations.


Mi metro está midiendo ya dos metros
mis husesos concuerdan en género y en número
y el verbo encarnado habita entre nosotros
y el verbo encarnado habita, al hundirme en el baño,
un alto grado de perfección.

[“Lomo de las Sagradas Escrituras”]

B … or D? or F?

Mañana Mañana.

El reposo caliente aun de ser.
Piensa el presente guárdame para
mañana mañana mañana mañana.

[Trilce II]

UPDATES 1, 2 and 3

I do not yet have a text for the grade C, but it will obviously have to be from one of those post-Baudelairean ennui poems Vallejo has. What do you think of my second fragment, to what grade does it correspond?

I am doing this exercise to stop being Vallejo-phobic and to keep partially abreast of what they are doing on him now.  I came upon this article which I decided I should actually read since it has both a film and a Scandinavian connection, and it turned out to cite me. I am as spectral as this poet who really is a kind of shade.

People still try to explain Vallejo’s poetry via his biography or psychology and I duly note it is easier to speculate about that than it is to run down all his intellectual sources and further contextualize his work, which still needs more doing. Independently of this a good, informed, non-hagiographic, non-nostalgic biography would be worth writing. There may be one I have missed but perhaps not.

That next to last sentence was a Freudian slip, I meant to say reading but I said writing. All right, such a biography would be worth writing for its own sake, as a project independent of literary interpretation and not meant to generate any. Vallejo was a very strange individual and his life was eccentric.

I doubt one would get to the bottom of it but one could try to sweep away some more mythifying cobwebs and say a bit more about the era, which people still seem to gloss over to talk about how this poet was an innocent who suffered and expressed pain. (That innocence, if actually evinced which I do not necessarily believe it is, has just got to be a mask.)



Leave a comment

Filed under Juegos, Poetry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s