Teresa Wilms Montt
Viña del Mar, 1893 - Paris, 1921
Teresa Wilms Montt showed from an early age great sensitivity and intelligence. She was the second of nine sisters, her family belonged in high society, and her father called her “Tereso”. She married a violent man and soon her thinking veered towards feminism and freethinking. She had two daughters and was separated from them and locked away in a convent against her will for falling in love with someone else. The pain caused by this maternal punishment hurt her beyond measure. She finally manages to flee, helped by Vicente Huidobro. Loneliness is always present in her diaries and verses, as is the protest against all forms of oppression and imprisonment suffered by her and women in general.
I am not suitable for ladies.
In Buenos Aires, Madrid and everywhere she went, bohemian worlds became a second family for Teresa Wilms Montt, who finally makes it to Europe. One of her pen names was Teresa de la Cruz. The cross expressed her suffering: unfair, disproportionate and caused by the evil of others. She challenged conventional femininity norms. Her actions and words, like those of a good prophet, were guided by love.
I do not know why I am here!
Body and soul share in life and death, the latter being part of the former, especially if the former lacks laughter. The poet dares to defy the construction of the female body as a a sick body, basic premise of the new psychoanalysis. She cannot accept histeria as prognosis. Her education and knowledge make her aware that it is repression what kills life as it prevents awareness of the self and the consolidation of identity, from which women are robbed.
Oh, life! What a minute circle you have granted me…
Death, both actual for having felt it hear in her suicide attempts and symbolic, understood as absence and as a lockdown, was so important for Teresa Wilms Montt that she establishes a constant dialogue with it. A woman, tired of living a nomadic existence with no possibility of finding a solution to an unfair and illegal situation, speaks to us with words dictated from within a physical and mental closet.