Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers. Como la arena.

Como la arena, the recent verse collection by the Argentine Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers, was published by PROA, a literary magazine founded by Jorge Luis Borges and his friends in 1922 and now doing well in its third incarnation. (Three of the poems in the collection are discernable accolades to Borges.) In this sixth volume of poetry, Roemmers continues to uphold the evolution of his lyrical status, of late confirmed by several poetry awards and prestigious distinctions garnered in his own country and abroad.

As a skillful practitioner of the sonnet, Roemmers assimilates its sequential rhyme and rhythm while striving for fresh nuances of expression within the classic matrix. This predilection for formal verse, already well illustrated in some of his earlier works--Mas alla (2003), Espana en mi 0996), and Ancla fugaz (1995)--does not preclude the deft approach he exacts from the lyrical cadence of freer forms in twelve of the thirty-two selections included in Como la arena.

For Roemmers, heartfelt emotion that embraces the love-object and lucid meditations on God's ever-present transparency in the cosmos are the springboard for a wide range of impassioned experiences. With deep romantic sensitivity, the poetic voice exults in its alternations of love, whether it descants with lofty protestations or is manifestly eroticized. In "Aqui estoy," for example, lovelorn pleas are infused with a soulful gentleness that focuses on expectations rather than the joys of fulfillment. In "Dejame entrar," however, the amorous possession unfolds into voluptuous images that link the tantalizing naked body of the lover with a symbolic landscape. Prominent though the subject of love appears in its distinct motifs, the lyrical voice explores other topics of broader emotional scope. While eschewing existential angst in "Como sera la muerte," the transcendental speculation elicits a sober meditation on the irrevocable fact of the poet's own mortality. Responding to a morose unbeliever who in "Ni quiero oir de un Dios" rejects all signs of divinity in his life, the poet-listener addresses the artless scoffer by pointing to the vault of heaven and the panoramic view accessible to an eagle in flight. Moreover, that same awe of God's manifestations in nature resurges in poems dedicated to "Las rocas" and the millenarian immanence that palpitates inside them, like a "maternal lava," and quietly listens and understands eternity.

Never frivolous and ever rhythmically adroit in his verse compositions, Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers weaves his poetic language with whelming emotion. In the discipline of the sonneteer, he testifies to a lyrical plenitude anchored in a pantheistic embrace of God's universe.