They Have Said...
Alaior, 1956. Poet, writer, critic and translator
Ponç Pons defines his poetry as classical in its rhythm, modern in its expression and forceful in its content. In other words, firstly, Ponç Pons only writes poems that respect metrics, with a rhythm that is pleasing to the ear when they are read. Secondly, he uses a literary language that, while cultured in its register, also reflects the present-day use of Minorcan. Finally, he does not coneive of poetry as a simple rhetorical or formal word game but rather believes that the poem must always have something to say and that what is to be conveyed must be powerfully conveyed.
[...] On the one hand we have varied and heterogeneous sources of inspiration - or "pretext" (pre-text), as it might more aptly be named, one suggests - and, on the other, the application of this variety to equally diverse stylistic recipes. In effect, there is hardly a single poem in which we cannot find the tradition that Ponç Pons claims as his own: Vladimir Holan, Franz Kafka, Graciliano Ramos, Montale, Pessoa, T.S. Eliot, Walter Benjamin, W.C. Williams, Nerval, Marcel Proust, Wittgenstein, Matsuo Basho, Seamus Heaney, Ramon Llull ..., a tradition which is that of a Poundian Digest but now updated thanks to the culture and readings of a modern-day man. Pons is modern-day because he writes for his equals, for an anonymous public that is represented by himself above all. And it is this sum of entelechian individual readers that is precisely what makes the modern world what he understands it is: a Babel of multiple and disparate interests before the fact of culture, and a global village of human affinities, a mosaic that, the more it grows and the bigger it gets, the smaller and less significant are the pieces that comprise it, and the more homogenous it becomes from a sufficiently distanced perspective. (...) This great anthology of literature that Ponç Pons offers us also has, as is to be expected, all the possible forms: that of the narrative exposition of a Central-European story set in Menorca ("Milena"), of the delicate Oriental watercolour ("Les Petjades Escrites" - Written Footprints), of the May-'68-rock-just-under-the-water list of "Divagavari" (Divaguely), of the dialogue in the rhymed quartets dedicated to "Bernat Huguet, the eighteenth-century Menorcan poet ?", of the epigram ("De Gravitate Mundi") ... Hence we have a collection that achieves its own tone and colour, its precise gamut, thanks to the variety of voices that are mingled in it. The sum of the cobblestones has brought into existence a path that leads to this point - where the track ends. [...]
Francesc Parcerisas, Prologue to Ponç Pons, On s'acaba el sender (Where the Track Ends) (Barcelona, Edicions 62, 1995)
[...] In the case of Ponç Pons, a writer who is open to transcendence, with work of a perceptible spiritual content, there is a fruitful coming together of a huge knowledge of the cultural world that characterises European modernity and a full identification with his island territory. In his work we find the familiar presence of Gauguin, or Van Gogh, or Eliot, Pound, Rilke, Pessoa, Montale and many others. Ponç Pons, although he eschews being called a scholar, seeing himself rather as a man of letters, does, however, passionately inhabit the rich literary world that pervades his books, endowing them with numerous references. However, the work of Ponç Pons is no simple inventory, a kind of drawer where time and literary concerns have been accumulating all the books he has read. Ponç Pons is an imaginative writer of great creative power, who is felicitously constructing an intense and crystal-clear personal voice.
[...] Among his writings we find these lines: "My eyes are so worn from living in the pages of others, / my heart so weary of living the lives of others, / that I now take up my pen and try to write some lines / to save this day that is about to expire". On one occasion Ponç Pons said, "I write for me or for an invisible reader who has all the combined features of the authors I love". This reflection moves me to recall some words of Blai Bonet in the Prologue of his book Cant de l'arc (Song of the Arch, 1979): "If I had to write a book that was the description and the expression of the human being installed in me, the title could possibly be La Casa en obres (House Under Construction) (...). I let myself be. I let myself be made. I am happy to see and hear that I am being built (?). Let yourself be constructed and you'll know what transcendence is all about". Continue reading...