I find it distressing to rehash what everyone says about Josep Pedrals, that he’s a young poet, as if we were announcing Youth Fashion Week at El Corte Inglés – denim fashion, bold sonnets, poetic joy, etc. We get it: Pedrals was born in Barcelona in 1979. So what? It was the year the new water treatment plant on the Besòs river was opened. When someone tags him as a young poet, they are tangentially indulging in condescension, paternalism – he’s new blood, the lad is full of promise, we’ll see soon enough, let’s wait to see if he praises me so I can praise him back, etc. Pedrals has no need for such conventional and vile crutches – at this moment in time (and it’s still early days) he is already an exceptional poet. If he died right now of rampant dysentery (God forbid) he would bequeath several books of first-class poetry: the duet comprising El furgatori (published by Labreu, 2006), a poetic diary of an individual called Quim Porta, and El romanço d’Anna Tirant (Labreu, 2012), a conversation between the said Quim Porta and Pedrals wandering around Barcelona with unusual nonchalance, interspersed with poems that tap into popular poetry (ballads, the anthology by Don Mariano Aguiló is highly recommended) and erudition (Baroque): satire and optimism, brazenness and melancholy, and above all the desire to be understood. Or an older book, Escola italiana (published by Empúries, 2003), which uncovers the poems of the Italian poet Giuseppe dei Pedroli, whom I confess I hadn’t heard of. Rumour has it that it is an alias of Pedrals himself. I do not know what to think; people say so many things.
Diametrically opposed to that torturous and plaintive poetry closely resembling a stately burial, and to cryptic and indecipherable poetry, so obtuse that some intelligence services even avail themselves of it, Pedrals blows us away with his poetic audacity and sense of showmanship. And I say so not without reason, as Pedrals is known to recite on stage (I have been told about poetry covens in L’Horiginal at number 29 Carrer Ferlandina on the days of the waning moon), to act and sing and to have recorded the disc Esquitxos ultralleugers with Els Nens Eutròfics in 2010 and En/doll with Guillamino in 2007. Since I have not yet had the time to enjoy them, they are pleasures that await me. One Sunday morning I will head for Sant Miquel del Fai, park on a bend in the road somewhere and listen to them at my leisure.