CubaPLUS Magazine

The power of poetry

By: Alina Veranes
Mar 21, 2023
The power of poetry

Anyone can think that in these times of shocking videos, "I tell you" and "you tell me" plain and direct on social networks and mobile phones, there is no need for poetry and that beautiful manifestation of the human soul, common in all regions of the world is in decline.


Look again, because we will verify that its inspiring force is not dead, but perhaps silenced. For this reason, every March 21, almost together with the beginning of the boreal spring, World Poetry Day has been celebrated since 1999, a UNESCO initiative that not only aims to honor the creators of each nation, but also to ensure diversity. and planetary linguistic richness and prevent the disappearance of some endangered languages.


Since the beginnings of our literature, in Cuba poetry played a fundamental role since the first classified literary work was the epic poem Espejo de Paciencia, (Mirror of Patience) written in the 17th century by Silvestre de Balboa, which narrates a rescue action of a cleric, delivered against pirates in the Puerto Real area of Manzanillo.


In the 19th century, the inspirations of José Martí, our national hero who was also a politician and journalist, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, José María Heredia, our first romantic bard, José Jacinto Milanés, Luisa Pérez de Zambrana and José Fornaris, shone especially.


Once the 20th century was settled, we also had poetry of greater stature in Rubén Martínez Villena, in our National Poet: Nicolás Guillén, Eliseo Diego, Regino Boti, Carilda Oliver Labra, Dulce María Loynaz, Cervantes Prize winner in the Spanish language, Manuel Navarro Luna and Jesus Orta Ruiz.


But the plethora of our great poets is much more extensive. Today, in these same times of such a hurry and the Internet invading our privacy and daily life, a good number of young Cuban poets have taken to rescue a genre of poetry of Hispanic origin and very popular sap: the tenth. Yes, that same lady who has been the basis of so many good and memorable poetic compositions in the Spanish language from the Golden Age until now and who is also basic in the creation of current country music and suddenness. So that on television and in other media the authors and interpreters of that genre so expressive of our character and idiosyncrasy, so gentle or sharp, depending on the moment, so full of mischief, expressive flourishes and color as we Cubans have reappeared. Alexis Díaz Pimienta is one of the aces in that field.


Good rise of the Cuban tenth in these times. Without counting the creators who, either as members of the Hermanos Saíz Brigade -two poets immolated in adolescence for the Homeland- or in their personal capacity, decide on the non-rhyming variant. Cheers to Cuban poetry, which still beats with life.

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