Sounds of Silence: The Negative Spaces of Alberto Blanco's 'Metapoemas'


            The poems of contemporary Mexican writer Alberto Blanco (1951-) thrive in the liminal spaces between opposite concepts, in the area where complementary colors, for example, come together to form white light. This metaphor is appropriate since Blanco's work is clearly informed by his background in music and visual arts and is impossible to appreciate outside of those contexts.

            My talk will examine the place of silence and negative space in the poetics of "Metapoemas," the twelfth and final section of A la luz de siempre (forthcoming with Fondo de Cultura Económica). Blanco envisions his life's poetic work as a trilogy and A la luz de siempre represents the third and final installment to follow 1998's El corazón del instante and 2005's La hora y la neblina. Since Blanco is a meticulously spatial poet, "Metapoemas" sits in an especially privileged space as the final poems of the final book of a nearly 1500 page, three volume cycle.

            After analyzing how techniques from the visual arts (specifically collage) and music define what poetry is and is not in "Metapoemas," I will conclude by exploring the section's metaphors of creation and the inevitable dialogue between these poems and the theories of poetry outlined in El llamado y el don (2011) and La poesía y el presente (2013), Blanco's two volumes on poetics.


  • Spanish American Studies