Squirru by others
Voces y miradas sobre Rafael
"...organizer of spirits
hero in his own time
letters and blows
his own manuscript.
More than blood,
of his presence
A man yesterday
a man today
tomorrow a man
always a poet."
Natalio Jorge Povarché, 1973
"We would like to comment on Rafael Squirru with words which might hopefully transcend the banality of forms. To say, for example, that we can make a list of his achievements but not one of the ways he loved and struggled. To say that this man of America, lucid, aggressive, is also -for what he does and says- a vigilant consciousness of America. And that this vigilance contains a process of effervescence, a boundless commitment to the people of America, a permanent unrest.
His resistance, his opposition against the most obscene forms of darkness and silence, his pledge to time and language, are a sort of resistance in joyfulness, because he believes in things that will not turn into junk, in hard permanence opposing sterile chaos and senselessness. We ignore whether his is a small or a large part of truth. But he is truth. We know that in his letters,
which travel to the four corners of the globe, he always ends with "En la lucha!" - "In the fray!" This book is part of that spirit."
Edna Pozzi, 1973
(from the back cover of Quincunce americano by R. Squirru)
"Rafael Squirru, at times, resembles Zorba, Kazantzakis' great character whose capacity to be surprised never stops, and in whose structure all elements which nature and science put within his reach represent a vital demonstation of man's faith and constancy. Rafael Squirru feels the problems of Latin America boiling in his blood. The New Man of America has in his tall and overwhelming figure -and in his special poetic figure- an inestimable element of the path Argentina and Latin America must follow to get out of the swamp which contains us and that many of us -silent and silenced- know so well."
Ariel Canzani, 1973
"The poet exiled
stretched on the couch
after frugal and American lunch
organization of alienated states
and where Argentina
in space and time?
in the poet's spirit!
Brother and his brother's keeper
sweet and tolerant conscience
he sends me a message
he thinks of me
he thinks of everyone
using his friends
ready to lead us
to a tropical Patagonia
FROM THE MOON."
André Jordan, 1965
I always know when someone dear to me or important in my life
has passed away, Edgardo Krebs, 2016 Download
A great guru, Catherine Ward Kavanagh, 1978 Download
"To Rafael, in your style
Even archangels don't stay long
so try to get questions accurate
as with expensive transatlantic calls
or hospital visiting,
even though we know we know
that the best answers seldom come from questions
but in parables, or a shared feast,
on postcards, or over cups of tea.
Since life makes the rules, not history,
we need more to check lines still open
than that the rules haven't changed;
rules being part of the game
as the first lesson. Then:
courage, to see what's possible,
decorum; filial piety;
at least, to cry and laugh during intervals.
The arts of solitude and shared time
(public life an advanced grade);
guessing the password, while
staying on the Qui Vive.
Your theories to prove it: that
our world, like God's, embraces
all of the Karamasovs,
and allows things to come to pass
according to natural forces, the
supernatural, the diabolical,
inertia and karma, all
holy energy, including law-making;
and that all can be over-ruled
by one thought, in an hour,
or in a grain of sand.
That best contains most.
That God has a sense of humour,
and likes it in others. Bottom no fool,
nor Siegfried ludicrous, if sung from the heart.
That saints may be doves or serpents.
That pigs are dangerous.
Irony, like activity, a peril
and a quiet life a work of genius.
Mental bricks: Faith, respect, pride; Hope,
balance, imagination; Love, a creed and a talent.
To diagnose without killing,
build without losing ground.
With questions as answers, write
legibly, on one side only,
in the right order
and with an eye on the clock."
Catherine Ward, 1978
BIOGRAPHIES AND ESSAYS
"It had reached my ears that the new cultural director of the OAS was an Argentine. Some said he was rather odd and a bit eccentric, that he was wont to walk around the corridors wearing a pampa poncho with a distant air and holding a mate in his hand. Others commented he was anything but conventional, a friend of poets and artists. I had heard of him myself and knew he had founded the Museum of Modern Art of Buenos aires and that he encouraged young talents. I also knew that for certain people there was nothing more suspicious than being different. And Squirru was decidedly different, especially as regards a foreign official. First, because it was difficult to imagine a poet as a foreign official, and Squirru was a poet, a characteristic which was more of a stigma than an asset in that environment.
Each one of us went to him with his own problems and needs. And although he received us with affection and respect, Rafael was strict and of little patience with attitudes of stubbornness or sloppiness, so frequent in artists. It was curious to observe Rafael's sensitive devices at work with people and how he acted in certain circumstances. He forgave anything except disloyalty, pettiness and arrogance..."
Carlos Alberto Salatino, 1979
from the Prologue of Arte de América by R. Squirru page 6
POEMS AND WRITTINGS