The 3rd Global Conference of Researchers on Issues of the Hispanic World will take place, on this occasion virtually, from August 19-21, 2020. This third edition makes special emphasis on the complexity and uncertainty of current times, as a result of the COVID19 pandemic, which has emerged as a health crisis with devastating consequences in the economic, political and social order.
As I frequently recall functionalist theories, I ideally imagine society as an organic, balanced and harmonious whole in which its members, integrated within a set of institutions, perform a series of functions – political, economic, informational, educational, health, cultural, etc. – that favor, in turn, peace and prosperity, the common good. In our current disturbing reality, the academic world, as part of this «whole» now unstructured, has today an important mission and responsibility: to reflect on vibrant issues, find answers, solutions, share a constructive vision that, ultimately, offers, on the one hand, ideas and perspectives to decision and policy makers; to provide, on the other hand, encouragement, discussion, debate and a critical spirit towards citizens.
Therefore, I encourage you to follow this very engaging conference of interdisciplinary nature, which addresses the different facets of the pandemic in an effort to build a more dignified and equitable society, through the dissemination of knowledge and shared experiences. I also envision that each of us will take a few minutes to consider how we can contribute to improve our daily environment, since I am convinced that this sum of small steps or gestures, when taken by millions, can bring exceptional consequences.
As a participant in the 3rd Global Conference of Researchers on Issues of the Hispanic World, as well as as a poet, writer and academic, I am delighted that Mercedes Roffé is being honored. She is a leading figure in the field of poetry who has also stood out for her translations, essays, interviews and photographs, together with her editorial work and her literary cycles. This wealth of wisdom, charm and creativity is not only showed through the pages of her prodigious work, but has also been transmitted in the classrooms of the New School for Social Research, New York University, or Vassar College.
Her verses are captivating. In accordance with Fabián O. Iriarte, it is worth highlighting the intertextual game; the attention to certain trends of oral poetry —from the old romances to the North American indigenous poetry—; the central place of music and rhythm in the poem; a special handling of irony; the intermittent attraction for the myth of the decadent poet; and a declared adherence to symbolist aesthetics. Certainly, Mercedes graduated in music and plays the piano, so it is possible to appreciate the tone, harmony and musical structure in her creations.
In her more recent stage, this versatile and multifaceted character emerges, since she brilliantly amalgamates her photographs and poems, confirming how the different arts coexist and nourish each other, resulting, even, in greater beauty.
On the whole, Mercedes Roffé has devoted her life path to creating, inventing and making her poetry known, but also that of other distinguished poets who have preceded her in time, as well as that of the generation of emerging poets, whose fresh, vital and ardent voice deserves to be heard. In her own words, this prominent author has sought to bring to light a «new conception of poetry, in the sense that it contributes to a unique understanding of what poetry could be». Congratulations on this recognition! We trust that «words do their work» and poetry and poets, like other social agents, can carry out a transforming action: poetic action.
“A menos pensamiento, pensamiento más tiránico y absorbente.” - Miguel de Unamuno