Bilingual writer, politically and poetically committed, Joan Margarit dies

The Spanish poet and architect Joan Margarit, 2019 Cervantes Prize winner, died this Tuesday at the age of 82 due to cancer, leaving a politically committed work but also influenced by a more poetic lyricism.

Biligüe, wrote his poems originally in Catalan and later returned to express them himself in Spanish.

In fact, he began his work in Spanish, inspired by Antonio Machado and did not begin to write in Catalan until 1980 encouraged by his friendship with the poet Miquel Martí i Pol.

The writer received the highest prize in Spanish literature on December 21 from the kings of Spain, who went to Barcelona privately to deliver it to him in an “intimate and family” act, after it could not be held. the ceremony on April 23, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and the delicate health of Margarit, who had suffered from cancer for a long time.

The Cervantes Prize was awarded at the Albéniz Palace, the official residence of the kings during their stays in Barcelona, ​​in the presence of the wife, children and grandchildren of the poet and the Spanish Minister of Culture, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes.

In fact, Rodríguez Uribes was one of the first to react to the death of the Catalan poet on his Twitter account: “What a great shame! Rest in peace, dear Joan.”

A loss also regretted, in Catalan, by the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez,

Joan Margarit’s work was also awarded the Serra d’Or on three occasions, the National Prize for Literature of the Generalitat and the Reina Sofía for Ibero-American Poetry, among others. He was also the most widely read living poet in Catalan literature.

His work, rich and varied, understood poetry as a political and social weapon as reflected in ‘Casa de Misericordia’

The father shot.

Or, as the judge says, executed.

The mother: misery, hunger, …….

As beautiful as it is, a good poem

must always be cruel.

There is nothing else. Poetry is today

the last house of mercy.

But he was also inspired by a philosophical lyricism in ‘Don’t throw away the love letters’

The years will fall. Books will tire you …..

The noise of the city on the windows

it will end up being your only music,

and the love letters that you will have saved

they will be your last literature

A literature that in the case of Joan Margarit will continue to endure over time as a love letter to poetry and its readers.