Esperanto
Author: David Poulson


Juan Regulo Perez (conclusion)

Author: David Poulson
Published on: February 19, 1999

On the occasion of Esperanto's 100th "birthday" in 1987 (Zamenhof published the first version of his international language in 1887) the Universal Kongreso of the Universala Esperanto Asocio took place - where else? - in Warsaw. More than 6,000 people attended that historic Conference and there was a full programme of activities to keep them entertained and occupied for several days. One of the cultural events which was organised was the launch of a collected edition of the Esperanto poetry of William Auld who, considered in terms of the volume and quality of his writing would have to be considered (against some very stiff competition, I might add) the outstanding Esperanto poet at that time.

Auld's work first became known to Esperantists some thirty-five years earlier when Juan Regulo Perez published, as the first of the 90-something Esperanto volumes which poured from the presses of Stafeto, a selection of the works of four young and up until then unknown poets. That small book - now famous - was Kvaropo (which means, approximately, "Four at Once") and the other poets featured in it were J.S. Dinwoodie, J. Francis, and R. Rossetti. These four poets became known as the "Scottish School" and Reto Rossetti (who was an Italian-Swiss who spent most of his life in Scotland) became a giant of Esperanto literature in his own right and one of my favourite authors.

Kvaropo was re-issued in 1997 by the Hungarian Esperanto Association, expanded to 256 pages by the inclusion of a long critical study by Vilmos Benczik.

At the Warsaw Conference, Regulo Perez, who loved poetry, obtained a copy of William Auld's collected poems and asked the author for his autograph. But as well as his signature, Auld improvised a little poem which he wrote in the book's flyleaf. It reads as follows:

Vi lanc^is antau^ pli ol tri jardekoj
fragilan goeleton: risko nobla.
Alhavenig^as nun c^i galiono
kun plena pompo de velar' multobla.
Transdonas jen trezoron en la hold'
al sia kapitan' maristo Auld.

More than three decades ago
You launched a fragile schooner: a noble risk.
This galleon has now come to its harbour
With all the majesty of a full complement of sail,
And, here you are, the treasures from its hold
Hands over to his captain. - Able Seaman Auld.

After Perez's death in 1993, Auld wrote:

"Never have I written a more sincere poem because that is how (metaphorically speaking) I felt then and still feel now about that marvellous and loveable man. I just cannot imagine what my life would have been like without his influence and support. And certainly I am not the only writer for whom those sentiments are true. If he had not selected Kvaropo as the first of his series of publications, would I have dared to so fervently pursue my subsequent literary career? It is impossible to know for sure, but it is certain that the existence of such a dedicated publishing house as Stafeto did in itself allow a further flourishing and evolution of our literature, which had been left an orphan after the destruction of the pre-war publisher, Literatura Mondo. If you make a list of the 90+ titles which he published, you will find that it is almost identical to a list of the most important works written in Esperanto during an important quarter of a century of our history. What an incredible achievement! Is it any wonder that I, just one of his many sailors, acknowledge him as the captain of our finest galleon?"

You can find a list of 67 titles published by Stafeto which are held in the German Esperanto Library at Aalen, (with a link to a full list at the Belgian Esperanto League).

You might like to print out this list and produce it the next time that someone tries to insist that there is no Esperanto literature.

And of course, be sure to tell the inspiring story of Juan Regulo Perez.

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KION ONI SKRIBAS PRI ESPERANTO
ESPERANTO EN LITERATURO
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HUMURO PRI KAJ EN ESPERANTO
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DIVERSAJHOJ
INTERESAJHOJ
PERSONAJHOJ
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UTILAJ LIGILOJ
IN ENGLISHPAGHOJ EN ANGLA LINGVO
PAGHOJ TUTE EN ESPERANTO
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