Death anniversary of Manuel María

On this day, 17 years ago, Manuel María (Outeiro de Rei, October 6, 1929, A Coruña, September 8, 2004), a poet from Terra Chá, died, to whom I paid tribute to the album “A voz do vento” ( The voice of the wind) in 2016, the year in which the Galician Literature Day was dedicated to him.

Versatile, in addition to being a teacher and attorney, Manuel María was editor (Xistral editions), politician, playwright, poet and storyteller, also being one of the first to publish in Galician for children with the book of children’s poems “Os soños da gaiola”(The dreams of the cage).

Poet of the land, combative, necessary and with a strong political commitment in favor of Galician and Galicia (he was active in the clandestine UPG, and already in democracy he was a councilor in Monforte de Lemos with the BNG), Manuel María sharpened his word around any subject, encompassing a worldview that delved into the idea that our language is and speaks of universal things.

Tenderness

It matters little that the bird of hope
or the yellow spark of desire
cross us like a sob
to become mist
or shadow faded into memory.
What really matters,
beloved and inalienable companion,
is the delicate flame of tenderness
with which we light the fire
in which we burn the monotonous
sadness of the days and where it burns,
serenely and meekly, the tree
faithful and noisy of our own life.

Manuel María (2001). A Luz resucitada en Obra poética completa II (1981-2000) A Risen Light in Complete Poetic Work II (A Coruña: Espiral Maior)

“Aínda teño a esperanza” (I still have hope), extracted from the collection of poems “Versos de lume e do vagalume” (Verses of fire and firefly) published in 1982, it seems that it was written thinking about the route that I myself was going to start in this year 2021 in March, in the company of my brother Carlos, touring the Galician parishes to present my new album “Popsía Vol. I”.

  1. Ainda teno a esperanza Fran Amil e a tribo incompren 3:07

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I still have the hope of being able
go one by one
all the parishes of Galicia,
places and houses,

walk door to door,
dialogue person to person
face to face,
because there is no more urgent task,
beautiful, clear and necessary.
I will waste my body on the roads
until it is dust, pebble and bush.

My voice, so used, will be
the faint echo of a rumor:
only seed foundation
that you can barely touch
the closed intimacy of the Galicians,
strange incomprehensible tribe
made of darkness, wind and stonework.

Going through all the parishes of Galicia one by one, talking person to person, is one of the greatest satisfactions that my albums “A Voz do vento” and “Popsía Vol. I” bring me. There is no more urgent, beautiful, clear and necessary task. I will waste my body on the roads until I am dust, pebble and bush. And I’m not alone, great friends and musicians like Richi Casás and Fernando Román always accompany me. This time, we met at Casa Lourán, in As Restrebas in Val de Xestoso, a parish of the Monfero municipality in A Coruña, where Anabel González welcomed us with love. The excuse for making a visit to such a beautiful and welcoming place was to get together to pay tribute to Manuel María, playing an acoustic version of “Aínda teño esperanza”, I scratching the rhythmic guitar, Richi the alto sax, and Fernando the cavaquinho. Enjoy it.

To listen to it, click on the title above the photo.

If you want to know more about the poet from Terra Chá, you can visit the Manuel María House-Museum.

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