“I have a paper soul”

3rd Vol , No 2 (August 2016)

Flip chat between Spanish poet Luz María López & Surabhi Bhattacharjee.

Luz María López from Puerto Rico. She is Continental Director World Festival of Poetry (WFP). As well as she is activist of Poetic Front in Defense of Women’s Rights (WM). Winner of Pentasi B “Universal InspirationalPoet” Award 2016

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Millenarian Chants by Luz María López

a sorceress
spreads its wings

a timeless
cosmic ritual

millenarian chants
enlighten the soul

wisdom and lust render
their ultimate divination

poetry!

 1.What does poetry means to you?

Poets are healers. Being poetry the most compelling force connecting beyond borders and ideologies, poets have the mission to reconcile a strife-torn and wounded world. The Universe was created out of poetry. Its transcendent beauty is within each of us as the ultimate knowledge to sublimate ourselves and others, to reach spiritual conscience and fraternal harmony. Poetry is free and seeks freedom. We all deserve social justice and truest peace. We all deserve to live in congruence, tolerance of cultural traditions and religious contemplation, for it only enriches Humanity. This is our highest responsibility as poets, to make it possible.

  1. A purely individual question – to you, as a poet, what matters the most? Do you prefer the wilderness, the imagination or like the practical views in your writings?

As poet what matters the most to me is this fiery need to express emotions which require, when stabbed by painor love or joy, tobe release in verses.  Imagination flows here, I must concede. A state of mind or soul then expressed with conscience, sensibility, highest consideration of the beauty of language, to the inner self and the outer self, to the bigger word, to become a world of their own. Poems that are no longer mine for I have delivered them. Once conveyed a myriad of encounters take place and in this mirror we call “Poetry” others see themselves, we see ourselves, bond somehow. And if some healing or noble action- reaction is possible, my poetry has achieved a purpose, a reason to be. Only then I become the “poet”. What can really matter more than that?

3.Tell me any favorite line from your own poems, and one from any of your favorite poets.

From my own poems there is always a favorite line in each. I will offer this one:

“I have a paper soul, it has had to crumplemore than onceeven so it still revivesand keeps being the gentle wrapof my own existence”.    From the poem “Paper Soul”, Beneath Your Skin (2016)

One of my favorite poets is of course Julia de Burgos (1917-1953), from Puerto Rico.Julia is considered to be one of the greatest female poets in Latin American history. I actually have her original 1954 poetry book titled “El Mar y Tú” (The Sea and You), given to me as gift by the owner of a Library in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Besides poetry, or because she was a poet, she became a women’s rights advocate and libertarian as well.

From the poem titled “I Was the Most Quiet”:–“My route was the wild music of birds which flung into the air my kindness…”

  1. What are the things that you like to write about? What inspires you the most?

I like to write about the soul and social justice, although I also write about love as the greatest force governing our minds and emotions. Right now I am in a process of writing  poetry for  peace  and women’s struggles, taking a stand for it is necessary to  voice to the world that we need to come to terms  and  make it better for all, not  for  some. As poet we must convey messages to subdue humanity of wrongdoings and praise all efforts towards that ideal.What inspires me the most (in terms of how can I through poetry might help to heal this world) is to see sadness in a child’s eyes, to see deprivation, to see that even so they are capable of coping with misfortune in the most surprising ways. We got to learn from these souls and teach the world what we have appraised through their beautiful hearts and redeem ourselves as well in that process before trying to redeem others.

  1. What led to your work as a human rights activist and humanitarian?

I have seen a lot of suffering. To stand before it and do nothing corrodes the soul.Bring the “human” to “human rights.” Make it personal. Human rights violations, social neglect, violence affectus all, eventhose blissfully unaware of such.For once, I have worked with victims of domestic violence and have seen how impotent they become, how a strong emotional support is vitalfor them to start on new and better terms with themselves, rather than financial or legal help. The gravity of social problemsand inequities is overwhelminghavinga toll in family members and ultimately society as a whole.We must educate, take actions. Humankind needs advocates. Harmony must be reconstructed as a daily prayer. I have a mission.

  1. What’s next for you or are you currently working on any new projects?

Right now I have returned  from a Poetry Festival  in Ghana  and  while there  was able  to talk to many leaders of  organizations and activists working in deprived neighborhoods, providing education, medical relief and hope. The proposal for WM World Summit on women’s issues, health and educations has taken place for 2017.With the support of the Minister of State, Anglican Bishop, among other influential Ghanaian leaders and advocates from different countries.  Also in agenda is a World Festival of Poetry Poetic Sanctuary next October 2016 in India, which I am the main organizer. Of course,more traveling and possibly couple of books,this might be poetry and the pending novel over my desk.

  1. What in your life has brought or given you the greatest satisfaction or fulfillment? Looking back, what would you have done differently? What would you do again?

Greatest satisfactions are simple: beautiful family, love, the opportunity to travel to many countries which granted me cultural and social awareness, to help others including animals and publishing my books. As for looking back at personal history, past events are impossible to change. I can do differently the “now”. I will do again poetry, dancing, happiness, kindness and humanitarian actions.

  1. Who have been your role models? What about them do you admire?

 Let me mention four:

Ana Roque de Duprey, Puerto Rico, opened the academic doors for the women in the island. Roque was a suffragist who founded “La Mujer”, the first “women’s only” magazine in Puerto Rico at that time. Ana Roque was one of the founders of the University of Puerto Rico in 1903. From 1903 to 1923, three of every four University of Puerto Rico graduates were women passing the teachers training course to become teachers in the island’s schools.

Rosa Parks, “The First Lady of Civil Rights”, United States of America. She set an example with highest dignityto stop racism against black people, even risking her life.

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexico, an exceptional seventeenth-century nun who set precedents for feminism long before the term or concept existed, a self- taught scholar and greatest poet.

Doňa Gabriela AneyroOliveras widow of López, our family matriarch and social benefactor. Mamá (Mother) was the daughter of a Spaniard and Puertorrican mother. Well educated in times of women’s analphabetism, she took under her wingmany young black men descendants of slaves.Our family photos portray all her children next to black brothers.She would read every day and plant margaritas.

Interview is taken by Surabhi Bhattacharjee .She is founder 13423766_1197516223616489_1016550526605554220_n(1)Editor of Asian Signature.