Homage To Unamuno Poem by Paul Hartal

Homage To Unamuno

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The Spanish poet, novelist and philosopher
Miguel de Unamuno Y Jugo,1864-1936,
was born in Bilbao into a Basque family.
He was educated in Bilbao
and at the University of Madrid.
As a professor of Greek and Classics
he taught at the University of Salamanca,
where, from 1920, he served twice
as rector of the university.

An existentialist, Unamuno was tormented
by the mystery and anguish of life,
the conflict between faith and reason.
In his 1913 Del sentimiento tragico
de la vita he explored the absurdities,
the tensions, the incomprehensible fences
of nothingness: birth and death,
man's yearning for eternal life,
the perennial desire for immortality,
the pervasiveness of hopelessness and despair,
the human experience that nourishes
the development of the brotherhood of man.

A Catholic, Unamuno held that religion
is needed for authentic human existence.
For pragmatic reasons, we need religion,
a courageous leap of faith is necessary
for our well-being and we must live
as if God does in fact exist.
Unfortunately skepticism intrudes,
shadows of despair threaten
the logic of the heart,
the darkness of the logic of the head
overwhelms faith.
Sorrow has no resolution
and evil has no redemption.
We can weep, of course, and we should,
but it avails us nothing.

Unamuno believed in the eternity of the soul.
In death the soul merges with the universe,
man has total union with space, time,
cosmos and being.
The idea of the nondestruction of the soul
follows from the a priori impossibility
of the destruction of the soul,
as we cannot even conceive
the nonexistence of consciousness.
The Bible says that man was created
in the image of God. Unamuno believed
that to be a man meant to seek
to become God. And unless man is God
he is not even man.
He died in turbulent political times,
during the Spanish Civil War.

Anat Tour 11 October 2022

Beautiful poem. I love it!

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Paul Hartal 17 October 2022

Thank you, Anat, for your comment.

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Richard Wlodarski 07 October 2022

A magnificent poem whose timing is perfect for me. Many THX, Paul!

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Paul Hartal 08 October 2022

Thank you Richard for your comment.

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Cowboy Ron Williams 07 October 2022

Fascinating stuff, Paul. Thanks for posting.

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Paul Hartal 08 October 2022

Thank you CRW for your comment.

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