Don Marcelino and the power of lyrics


Brujo de Villahisan was struck by Don Marcelino’s first thesis about the impossibility of writing mystical poetry without philosophical and theological knowledge. But that’s the way it is, dear Angel, mystical poetry for Menendez Pelayo suitable only for creatures with high philosophical and theological knowledge, men and women who have converted, says the sage from Santander, in its essence, it is a complete system of relationships between God and man. My friend’s surprise is proof that Menendez Pelayo’s texts do not leave us indifferent. Our way of seeing the world changes us. They increase the level of our dialogues. Don Marcelino shakes us up and awakens from old beliefs. Mystic, Spanish mystical poetry, reveals his main secret through his prose. Don Marcelino’s contribution is simple: no one believes that Spanish mysticism is on the verge of reasoning. Philosophy.

Spanish mysticism is an expression of a wide and deep philosophical and theological culture. There is a text Spanish mystical poetry to prove. This famous speech, in addition to the background and context for the study of Spanish mysticism, is a necessary step that is almost impossible to avoid in order to understand even today a key chapter in the intellectual history of Spain during the dawn of modernity (Renaissance and Reformation of the Counter-Reformation). Menendez Pelayo shows that the culture of Renaissance Spain, especially mystical poetry, is a dimension, a moment, or simply a trance of Catholic culture. Thus, it cannot be denied that modernity has a nourishing placenta in Christianity. It is possible that the specificity or, perhaps, the superiority of Spanish mystical poetry in comparison with other mystical traditions will be rooted in the high philosophical and theological culture of the interpreter or creator of such poetry. To demonstrate this unusualness, Menendez Pelayo dedicated this speech at the entrance to Language Academy, in my opinion, is still valid, because it has hardly been questioned by modern philosophical criticism; On the contrary, the more I read commentators supposedly criticizing Don Marcelino, the more ambitious and correct some of his ideas seem to me. (The criticism of Don Marcelino de Ortega, Batayon, Valente, Ballesteros and Aranguren remains insignificant, if you cite just a few examples of authors interested in Spanish mysticism.)

Perhaps Spanish mysticism represents a key dimension of Christianity: the exaltation of the radical freedom of the human person in relation to the divine person. Perhaps the insistence of Spanish mystic poets in emphasizing the universality of this idea of ​​freedom is an indelible sign of the identity of Christian culture in modern times. Perhaps this idea of ​​the individual, developed by our mysticism, is the main asset for integrating other mystical concepts into him. Yes, Menendez Pelayo turns my poor and stuttering “maybe” with sublime prose into confidence:

“Devotion and good intentions of Christian zeal are not enough to create miracles of mystical poetry, but the interpreter or creator of such poetry must be an outstanding philosopher and theologian, or at least a theosophist, as well as a person who possesses and turns into substance owns an integral system of relationships between Creator and creation.That is why I do not hesitate to assert that, besides being a very rare flower of such poetry, it does not sprout in any literature by itself and spontaneously. Virtue, but after much intellectual development, many theories and systems, a large number of scientific and prose books (…). The concepts that serve as the substance of mystical poetry are of such a high nature and are so synthetic and all-embracing that in reaching them, understanding, and fantasy, and will, and art and science mix and create the same thing, and understanding gives wings to will, and will ignites fantasy with its heat, and this is a living flame of love in art that is serene contemplation in theology. If we separate inseparable things, and not the odes of St. John of the Cross, such a great theologian as a poet, we will be left with the emptiness and feminine sentimentality of the religious verses that are now being composed. “

So, there is no mysticism without science, that is, without philosophy. Every mystical poet, including heterodox mysticism, has always been preceded by a school of philosophy, but Spanish lyric poetry has come to the fore, because “it always brings with it a certain way of freeing one’s own feelings in relation to collective feelings. “Mystical poetry, which is not synonymous with Christian poetry, reveals to us the meeting or” possession of God through the union of love and it happens as if God and soul were one in the world“It is more than a means of communication or expression to reveal a personal feeling, it is a thought, a philosophy about every person, individual or subjectivity,” which recognizes part of the infinite essence of “God made flesh. Spanish mysticism reflects the radically subjective experience of man, conceived radically free with God made flesh for the sins of the world. Spanish mystical poetry has nothing to do with the mysticism of Neoplatonism or Hindustan. Nothing, but with the mysticism of the “Human Christ”, the connection between heaven and earth. “

Outside of this Christological mysticism, the hallmark of the great Spanish mystical poetry, which is associated with the deep humanization of the experience of the divine in the Renaissance, there is no philosophy or poetry that can give us, as our mystics, “a vague taste of the infinite, even when it envelops it with earthly forms and allegories. “This is the greatness of Spanish mystical poetry. Although the main purpose of Don Marcelino’s journey through all our mysticism is to show us that” only in Christianity this type of lyric poetry lives flawlessly and purely “, I believe that today, in a pagan world inhabited by thousands little goddesses., it could be formulated differently. Conversely, a real person would say: perhaps a journey through our vast mystical literature, perhaps, will rediscover the values ​​of the Christian God in order to fight or stop the famous. “sunset west“Who knows! But one thing I am certain: Don Marcelino’s reading of the Spanish mystics is as relevant today as it was in his time, because he analyzed and enjoyed our mystics face to face; yes, I am studying this literary genre. ” and in itself, without tying it to external history, which will surely anger those who in everything and in everything want to see mirror and reflection society in art. But I understand, – Don Marcelino concludes his reflection on the artist’s work, – that against these teachings, good and useful in themselves, but absorbing the personality and value of the artist, if they are not exaggerated, it is convenient to assert independence from the genius poetic and, above all, lyrical genius, and even more so from someone who does not talk about the crowd in the squares and does not speak in the name of a political or social idea, but rather from his own solitary thought, absorbed in the contemplation of the divine. When this state of mind sets in, the poet will be more or less perfect with the resources and forms that the art of his time has reserved for him; but believe me, it will really be lyrical. “

In short, as long as there are sky and flowers, birds and sunrises, beauty and eyes contemplating it, says Don Marcelino, lyric poetry will survive in a magnificent and strong form, and mystical poetry is “the refuge of some chosen souls”, why not, it will reserved place. Don Marcelino has always believed in the power of lyric poetry.Simply because he never believed in the “law” of sad general decline and did not fight the “law” of progress that “puts the songs of our age above all others, simply because they are more closely related to their hobbies. and feelings “

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