The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

    Rising Star: Luis Portilla

    Instead of expressing his anger or feelings physically, Luis Portilla, 20, releases his emotions by writing Spanish poetry.

    “I write out my feelings because I cannot really express them to others,” Portilla said. “The feelings are not always about love; they can be about anger or any emotion.”

    Portilla said he was really bad at sharing his emotions when he lived back in Peru and he always kept his emotions in.

    Portilla’s mom handed him his first book of poems at the age of 14.

    “My mom got me into Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet, and he got me into poetry at the age of 14,” Portilla said. “But I did not write a poem until I was 16.

    Portilla said he knew he had talent when he entered a poetry contest and won in his high school in South America.

    “I entered a poetry contest at San Julian High School in Peru, but I only thought it was just a contest and nothing big,” Portilla said.

    He likes writing his poems in coffee shops or around the public.

    “My most inspiring place is the Redondo Beach pier because the scene just lets me open my mind,” he said.

    Portilla always writes his poems in public places because he always gets inspired by the people who are around him.

    “I like to see the people, see how they are and see how they react,” Portilla said.

    Portilla said he prefers to write in Spanish because he knows more about the language and understands more definitions in Spanish.

    “I only write in Spanish, but it’s not that I can’t write in English,” Portilla said. “I have a better vocabulary and grammar in Spanish because I graduated high school in Peru, which is a Spanish-speaking country.”

    Portilla said he never likes naming his poems because he can’t sum up all the emotions in one title, so he prefers to leave them untitled.

    “It is like giving a name to something important, and for me it’s really complicated.” Portilla said. “And I think it’s really hard to give a title to the feelings I write down in my poems.”

    Portilla’s most memorable poem that he wrote was to his longtime friend who had to move to a place far from him.

    “Y entonces te vas y no te volver a ver, si no en mi suenos,” Portilla reads. ” Y sabre cuanto te hallas ido que no te vere jamas y entonces te habre perdido.”

    The poem is translated to “and then you left and I won’t get to see you again, but in my dreams, but then I’ll know you are gone and I will never get to see you again.”

    Portilla wants to get a message out there to the people who think that poetry is boring.

    “Spanish poetry might sound a bit boring or lousy, but it is a really nice way to express yourself and your feelings,” Portilla said.

    Portilla said he thinks that poems are much more beautiful in the language they are written in than when translated, because they capture the meaning that the writer wants to express.

    “If you translate poems to any other language, it usually does not make sense,” Portilla said.

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