Joao Martins’ latest poetry book- quando menino eu lia.... is a much welcomed addition to a personal production centered on his life long passionate quest for artistic expression, whether in the form of poetic writing, music, photography, painting and wood carving. This new book constitutes a powerful poetic and spiritual exploration of the many stages of the poet’s quest since childhood to adulthood that ends up joyfully confirming the poet’s timeless poetic vocation and his eternal quest to forge, create, and construct different growing imaginative worlds (childhood, youth, adulthood). This is an excellent, beautifully written and intellectual text, focusing first on that extraordinary world of a menino’s discovery of the magic world of words. It is the personal and artistic journey of someone intensely and passionately searching for the appropriate form of art to capture, structure and enunciate his poetic self at different stages of life.
Chilean Nobel Prize Laureate Pablo Neruda once stated that if people would ask him what his poetry was about, he did not know. But added that by going directly to his texts, the poetry would more precisely reveal who he was. In the same way, Joao Martins’ poetry, in the best tradition of Whitman, Marti, Pessoa, Borges, Neruda, is the vehicle to enter to the literary and philosophical ideas and beliefs that embrace his poetic pathos. What interests the most are not necessarily the anecdotical biographic circumstances (always present in any text) but how human experiences determining, shaping or affecting the formation of the poet’s world and his inter relations with society and surrounding world transcend and speak to all.
quando menino eu lia...is an ode to the pleasures of reading and writing. It is an invitation to partake in the journey of learning and yearning for knowledge and freedom. To read is to know and to be free, and to read this book is to learn about Joao Martins’ genuine and authentic love for words.