Then spree

poetry & diary by Nia Davies

Tag: Richard Gwyn

Forgetting Chatwin

Las Plumas, Patagonia

Las Plumas, Patagonia

Back in August of this year I visited Buenos Aires and Patagonia as part of my work with Wales Literature Exchange. Forgetting Chatwin was an epic journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific with four Welsh poets Richard Gwyn, Tiffany Atkinson, Karen Owen and Mererid Hopwood  and a group of Chilean and Argentinian poets: Jorge Fondebrider, Jorge Aulicino, Verónica Zondek, Marina C Kohon, Ines Garland and Silvia Camerotto. I took hundreds of photographs with my brother’s wonderful camera and learnt so much about the region, its peoples, culture, literature. I wrote an account of the journey for Wales Literature Exchange and it is published alongside galleries of images of Buenos Aires and Welsh Patagonia, the Andes/Bariloche and Chile.

Nothing

“Only the mechanical voice / that nothingness assumes in times like these.” Joaquín Giannuzzi (translation by Richard Gwyn).

So does nothingness have a voice? Does it sound like nonsense? It is dehuman, debodied, mechanic Giannuzzi suggests.

Only only. Just this.

“Because the voice belongs to no one when you are waiting for a doctor to answer your call,” says Giannuzzi. “Before long the doctor’s non-response / has required / the strangeness of utopia,”

What is utopia other than nothing? What is the voice of utopia? What is the noise of the voice? “Poetry makes nothing happen” says Auden.

“The human heart is told / Of nothing – / Nothing is the force that renovates the World,” says Emily Dickinson.

“I feel that ‘nothing’ is generative and opens up a dynamic space,” says Peter Gizzi.

Meanwhile, for Giannuzzi: “the constant homicide of creation”.