Gente que Cuenta

by Leonor Henríquez

Joaquin Sorolla Atril press e1696454134371
Joaquín Sorolla,
White Roses from the House Garden, 1919

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Today I remembered a dialogue from that old movie “Il Postino”.

Pablo Neruda complained to the “postino”, the postman, that he was using his poetry to make a girl from the island fall in love with him.

The postman replied: “Poetry does not belong to the one who writes it, but to the one who needs it.”

In the end, Neruda supports the postman in his mission to seduce his beloved and they end up getting married. I remember another scene from the film when the poet is helping the young man write a love letter, which ends with I love you, and Neruda suggests: “Better write, I will love you, a promise is always better than the truth.”

And there are many reflections on poetry. Borges said that it is the manifestation of a longing; for others it is simply the artistic expression of beauty through words.

But today, a strange day, a day of rare fragrance, a day when time stopped perhaps for half an hour, poetry came to my rescue.

It seemed casual, my friend and I went to visit a poet friend who recently published a book. We met in a poetry group, where every Sunday, six of us, the usuals, shared, wrote, and read poetry, with a nice cup of coffee.

This morning that had an aura of mystery, we were in his very cozy house.

I didn’t talk much, but I brought my friend a white rose and a poem.

When there are no possible words, poetry comes to the rescue.

After a long and painful illness, my friend chose, as a poet wrote, “to withdraw, to step aside, to hide for a moment, to be still….”

Today was our farewell.

“Between what I say and what I keep silent.
between what I keep silent and dream,
between what I dream and forget,

Octavio Paz

www.atril .press Leonor Henríquez e1670869356570

Leonor Henríquez (Caracas, Venezuela) Civil Engineer by training (UCAB 1985), writer and apprentice poet by vocation. From her time in engineering emerged her Office Stories (1997), another way of seeing the corporate world. Her latest publications include reflections on grief, Hopecrumbs (2020) ( and “The Adventures of Chispita” (2021) ( an allegory of life inside Mom’s belly.
Today she shares her “impulsive meditations” from Calgary, Canada, where she lives.

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