Sunday, April 12, 2009

Poem: Nancy Morejón

Nancy Morejón(finally posted)
Nancy Morejón
(1944-) is a name anyone familiar with contemporary Cuban literature knows well: she is one of Cuba's major poets, translators and critics, and a leading voice in Spanish-language and African Diasporic literature. In 2001, she won Cuba's highest poetry prize. I don't know if I'll have an opportunity to meet with Sra. Morejón when I'm in Havana, but I can say that her poetry has lived within me for a long time. I even featured her poem "Impressions" ("Impresiones") back in 2005, pairing it with a poem by another poet I adore, Thylias Moss. Sisters in conversation.

Since I don't have access to my books right now, I'm culling the Net for poems and links, and I came across this fine, concise discussion of Morejón's work on Brett's "The Shapes You Need Blog." I'm reposting the translation he features of Morejón's "Un patio de la Habana." (I'm not sure who the translator is, but when I find out, I'll post that.) Enjoy.


A Havana patio,
as Machado requested,
is dear to memory.
Without tall walls,
without that intrepid glow
of the rainbow,
without the Andalusian flower
grandmother so much demanded
in the flower vases . . .

A Havana patio
preserves the bones of the dead
for they are ample treasures,
a farmer's old seeds.

A patio, ay, from where
so many stars twinkle.

Copyright © 2008, Nancy Morejón. All rights reserved.

And, Nancy Morejón reading her work, in Spanish!

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