Analysis, Poetry

About: Tree, river and man. Julio Cortazar

Berkeley, Sunday, May 5, 2019 1:30 PM

Here a poem by Julio Cortazar, “El árbol, el río, el hombre”, which was recited by the Argentinian singer Atahualpa Yupanqui.

How true or inflexible are those words? Would the advise on not replanting the cut tree that already dried, apply to decisions or relationships? Well, I think that yes, if already dried up, the dead tree cannot fool the birds. No one is fool, actually, but if the tree was dead. Otherwise, yes, the tree can move and adapt to different places and soils, with good care.

Regarding the second paragraph of not building diques in rivers, because clouds ride in the free air. Well, it sounds good, but we are mixing water and air here. Regarding, freeing the rivers, I would say allow us to know them better, before taking extreme positions of just building for “economic” development, or not building structures on rivers, for the love of freedom. We are learning to from our mistakes, and accounting on design and planning of diques and dams, river flows, sediments fluxes, migration of aquatic species, food chain connectivity, environmental justice, economic sustainability, social benefits, and climate adaptation. Poetry and art is beautiful, as a free flowing river is. I support those, and I think that human art springs from contact to nature. However, it is important to keep the practical point of use of resources present on it.

I do not have experience with the third paragraph yet. Hopefully, I will not have, and if I do I will comment then. I have lived 5 years of my life abroad. 2 years in Belgium and 3 years in California, US. I have not been exiled. I came to study.

El árbol, el río, el hombre

Author: Julio Cortázar
Interpret: Atahualpa Yupanqui

Al árbol ya cortado
No lo claves en tierra
Porque su copa seca
No engañara a los pájaros

Al río que discurre
No le levantes diques
Porque en el aire libre
Cabalgaran las nubes

Al hombre desterrado
No le hables de su casa
La verdadera patria
Caro lo está pagando

El árbol ya cortado
El río que discurre
Y el hombre desterrado
Caro lo están pagando

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