A Novelist And A Poet Dance As One

To speak eloquently, takes something of eloquence within the spirit. It rests in your ability to feel what is essential to humanity and then regurgitate that in a forms that adds a graceful brush stoke to the tapestry of beauty. The question of course is how you choose to showcase this display of eloquence.

The novel is arguably the most popular form while poetry is the most ancient. Two very distinct forms of storytelling that rarely ever converge. Even rarer is the breed of author who can marry the two forms. Oh they have been many attempts at such a thing, rest assured—but a successful harmonious marriage is a thing that alludes many. The select few, who can capture that have mastered not only language—but the soul of language. They captured the essence of feeling. Thus the poetry contains the narrative of prose and the prose the artistry of poetry. Those in my opinion who have achieved that are in the realm of genius.

I am not one of those who have reached that level. My prose is effective—even elegant at times—but rarely poetic. My poetry, although embedded with narrative is so distinctive from my traditional narrative to almost question whether it is progeny of the same hand. But it is—just different volumes of my soul.

When I started on this journey of novel writing I found that the poetic volume kept wanting to turn itself up. However since I was not necessarily going for masterful artistry, just effective and at times dramatic storytelling I suppressed those urges. The funny thing is when you are invested in writing a novel you become thoroughly familiar—actually intimate with your characters. You know what they think, what the feel, how they behave and most significantly of all—understand their motivations. Although not necessarily autobiographical, they are most certainly extensions of yourself.

It was this intimacy—this romance dare I say—with my main characters that made me want to express my poetry. All of my books—from my currently published work Valdivia—A Family Dynasty—to my three remaining professionally unedited works Valdivia: A Heart of a Woman, Valdivia: A Dynasty Reborn and Valdivia: A Dream of Esperanza can be rendered in poetry. That is because those stories encapsulate three central ideas: the pain of misunderstanding; the desire for love; and the audacity to hope. To simplify it further—amidst all the surrounding drama the story can really be reduced to the destinies of two people; a mother and a daughter.

The thing that I wanted to display and the thing that I feel is so fundamental, especially for me, is the two conflicting desires to succumb to one’s pain or to rise above it. One choice embraces bitterness—the other seeks out hope. This is a constant battle, which I know for me is a very real struggle—but in the last book I choose the side that I most believe in. But having expressed that story with the novel, I still had the urge to tell it through poetry and merge both halves of my soul.

When I was writing this series, I did it in sections, and I chose two sections to attach the story of Valdivia in poetry. The first would be what I’m currently re-editing Volume II – A Heart of a Woman, and the last, will be for my final volume in this series – A Dream of Esperanza. The reason why I chose those two parts is because they represent a turning point within the story, but also on a particular journey. It will also be for those who read the series, where they will become most intimate with these characters—meet them when they are shriveling in their nudity and their poetry is the revelation of their destiny.

This then is my dance with the novel and poetry. Since I could not marry them, I decided to instead bring them to a point of conversation. Perhaps one day I will gain the ability to merge the two—or to simplify the matter—render my novels in poetic form. But for the time being, I’ll just let things rest as they are. In the meanwhile, I’ll let you eavesdrop on the conversation.


Poetic Excerpt from Volume II Valdivia: A Heart of a Woman

The story that is me

rests in the myth of a legend

of a heart that was poisoned

as it danced with time

In my chest

I once carried a love

so sublime

that I created poetry

with the glow of the sun

But as my soul

was eviscerated of its hope

my womb began to bleed

rivers of eternal misery

And they cursed me

for my bitterness

for the emptiness

that lies within my chest

They cursed me

as I stood naked

baring my mournful breast

And I laughed at them

knowing that in ten thousand generations

they would never know me

Even as I bleed

Even as I die

For as woman

I’ve learned to be a master of disguise

I may shed tears

Even as I smile

But my heart

my heart


I will always hide


Poetic Excerpt from Volume IV Valdivia: A Dream of Eperanza

My name is Esperanza

and I am the symbol of humanity

The fortitude to which you did not know exist

The extra breath that came, when you thought you breathed your last

I am the epitome, of the whimsy of childhood

The laughter of little girls, the restless spirit of little boys

I am the sweetest joy of sunshine after an avalanche of rain

The courage to straighten your back, after your thought the straw had broken it

I am the dancer’s pain at broken toes, her glory that glides as she leaps through the sky

I am the beating heart that knocks once more when it’s stopped

I am the greatest love of your life

That you didn’t know you were destined to meet

I am the bravery that saved the world after the kiss of Gethsemane

I am the villain on the cross who was given entrance to Paradise

I am the dream that remembered to dream

The last chance that flew out of Pandora’s box

My name is…

Soy Esperanza


Copyright © 2013 by C.P. Desir

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