Back in the spring of 1988, when Enrique Loewe and I were creating the Loewe Foundation International Poetry Award, we thought Carlos Bousoño would be a necessary and crucial member of the jury. Carlos accepted and went on to contribute first in an active and most brilliant manner and then taking on an honorary role – as President– when his deteriorating health prevented him from continuing on. Carlos Bousoño (1923-2015) has been, though sadly silent in the last years of his life, one of the most outstanding poets of the postwar generations – a description he liked to use himself – and an outstanding poetry theorist, upholding the most profound sense of irrationalism and surrealism, that is, that the magic of the irrational can be understood. What Freud believed, though in another field, was not much different. He was the author of award-winning books of such tall order as `Oda en la ceniza´ or `Las monedas contra la losa´, and we also think of him as the genius who wrote `Teoría de la expresión poética´ with its ramifications on irrationalism.…
Discussing poetry with Carlos, whom I had met fifteen years before, was a veritable pleasure. He was not one for gossip or unnecessary criticism and liked nothing better than agreeing with others if their discourse was convincing. Carlos savoured and discussed the submitted books at length during the jury deliberations and was always clever, clearheaded and reasonable in equal measure. A staunch admirer of Aleixander’s superrealism, for example, he loved lucidity and clarity above all. Like Caillois when he explained Saint-John Perse. That’s how he explained Lorca or Aleixandre or the books that were seemingly more complex and that the jury couldn’t agree on… We’ve missed Carlos for the past few years. Saying goodbye now is easier or harder. He leaves us his immense knowledge, his cordial and open disposition and his need for light, more light, always reasoned and thoughtful. Such a gifted talent, my friend.
Luis Antonio de Villena
Poet. Jury member of the Loewe Foundation International Poetry Prize
Photographs: Enrique Loewe, Luis Antonio de Villena and Carlos Bousoño ©Loewe Foundation 1991