For the pain of abundance is more bitter than barrenness,
And the sorrow of the rich from whom no one will take
Is greater than the grief of the beggar to whom none would give."
— Khalil Gibran
— Khalil Gibran
“I know what I have given you; I do not know what you have received.”
- Antonio Porchia - Buenos Aires 1943
30, rue Saint Sulpice - Paris 6 è
22nd February 1963
Dear don Antonio Porchia:
I always think of you and have wanted to write you countless times. But I was always waiting for a unique moment to arrive—an exceptional one, separate from all others, unlike any other—to send you a few lines which might tell you in the finest manner how much I think of you and how terribly important it has been—and is—to have known your voice, your voices…
You’ll know via our common and dear friend Roberto Juarroz that I’ve been in Paris for almost three years now. I’m often tempted to come back, to see you, and Roberto, and a few others… and, what is strange: your book is the most solitary, the most profoundly alone that has ever been written, and yet, re-reading it at midnight, I felt accompanied or, better said, sheltered. And also assured, calmed, as if they’d agreed that I was right in the only thing I begged to be right about. Coming back to Paris: the reason I feel calm here is because I live alone, without family, and I see people only when I want to see them. This is very important to me. I need silence (or maybe it is silence that needs me). “Almost without words, you’ve come to this world, which understands nothing without words.” This sentence reiterates itself in me and sings in me with such frequency. Really, all I do is think about silence. And I’ve ended up asking myself whether silence exists. But if I ask then there’s no longer silence.
If you ever wish to write me a few lines, you’ll make me extremely happy, you’ll do me a great good.
Buenos Aires, 20th April (1963?)
My dear friend Antonio Porchia:
…Your voices are some of the purest and most beautiful things one can find in this world. And it is you who created them. Thank you.