Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Os diplomatas na literatura (2)

Le di

Many diplomats have used poetry in their diplomatic work: wrapping words in silk is the diplomat’s job. A diplomat may turn a lie into a ‘constructive ambiguity’ – which is a way of defining poetry. Some poets have been diplomats – Neruda, Claudel, St. John Perse. It’s an occupational hazard: the stimulating place, the sheltered existence – and the ability to paraphrase the unknowable. Few diplomats will admit to using poetry as a survival strategy.
Diplomats are like watchmakers: their art is hidden inside a bland, if polished, case. Only a couple of hands, forever going round and round to no apparent purpose, betray the existence of an intelligent design. The best designer is the one who leaves no signature – just invariant perfection. Creating a masterpiece, however, is a rare opportunity.
In daily diplomatic routine one is to judge the quality of a negotiated text not by its content, but by its discards. At the end of the day, under a diplomat’s table one may find crumpled amendments, execrable points of order, and many a plain word. The box of useless qualifiers, the well of slimy compromises, lie about empty.
To survive, a diplomat needs poetry. Filed amidst the many layers of the brief, the short poem will refresh the bleary mind. Poetry brings distance – hence perspective and insight. Poetry reminds the diplomat that the best professional is the amateur.
Most deeply – poetry is truth.

(Aldo Mateucci)


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