Nostalgia de Odiseo

Colección Vandalia / Fundación Jose Manuel Lara, 2012 | Nostalgia for Odysseus


“A powerful, fresh book that at the same time is highly unusual, and in which, driven by a refined poetics, a quest in the present takes place for imaginary edens in what seems to be a longing for paradise lost.” Manuel Rico, El País

‘These delicate, erotic poems are not merely loving exaltation, but rather they channel the human disquiet of a wait that describes the comprehension of life or the difficulty at understanding it. Poems that deftly mix genres: poetry, prose, drama. Reflective poems in which often the most concise aphorisms appear with fascinating lucidity. Poetry with an intensity and an emotion that make up a tableau tightly stitched on a beautiful loom, in whose constructions rhythm never fails and where - with clean, plain words - brilliant linguistic solutions abound.’ Fernando Delgado, Mercurio

‘With the cry of “Listen, Homer!” guiding her and without beating about the bush or using Manichaeisms of any kind, Nuria Barrios goes back provocatively to the original great void of this woman’s story, and, in a series of caustic vignettes, highlights her womanliness, the womaning-weaving her nameless stitching consists of.’ Antonio Puente, La Razón

‘Poems sharp as needles that tear at the fabric, glittering with a faint line of eroticism, full of potent, evocative images; reflections on the very act of writing, and meta-poems, too, constructed with the good rhythmical sense that is the poet’s hallmark (alert to the orality of verse, even to the visual essence of the written word).’ Trinidad Gan


(Nostalgia for Odysseus) Homer was a detailed chronicler of the heroic deeds of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, but he left only a brief outline of his wife, Penelope: a woman shut up in her room for twenty years, stitching and unstitching a shroud that was really an excuse to avoid giving up her husband for dead and choosing a replacement for the throne and the bridal bed.  This collection of poems recreates the story that the great Greek poet kept quiet. The tale of a wife abandoned in the prime of life, who grows older with each stitch she makes on her loom. A prisoner in her own palace besieged by young suitors, Penelope lives among memories, uncertainties and secret desires. Now she loves Odysseus, now she yearns for him, now she invents him, now she hates him.  Her mind moves along the knife-edge of madness. Not her son, Telemachus, nor the wet nurse, the servants or her suitors really know what her face hides, the fears and desires that come to her in the darkness of her bedchamber. No one can read what she embroiders by day and unpicks by night. Penelope does not fight bloody battles or confront angry gods: hers is a titanic struggle to save Odysseus without losing herself.