Hola mi Gente,
Most of you probably never heard of Miguel Hernández Gilabert, but his work ranks right up there with the rest of the Latinx pantheon — Julia de Burgos, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Cesar Vallejo, and Pablo Neruda just to name a few.
I love Hernández because, as he himself wrote, “I have plenty of heart/ I who have a bigger heart than anyone,/ and having that, I am the bitterest also.” It was true: Hernández was a warrior/ poet who fought against fascism and eventually died in a Spanish prison of tuberculosis.
To read Hernández is almost like digging your hands into moist, fertile soil. You can almost smell the soil and clay, the ozone. His poetry is emotionally charged, and so full of earthiness and freedom that it’s an amazing experience to read him. Hernández wrote poetry to the very end, reinforcing for me the truth that art isn’t a luxury, but one of the most important of human necessities. On the wall next to his cot, he wrote his final poem: “Farewell, brothers, comrades, friends: Give my goodbyes to the sun and the wheat fields.” Click here to read more about him. Here’s one of my favorites…
* * *
My heart can’t go any longer
My heart can’t go on any longer
putting up with its love-mad and murky storm,
and it raises to my tongue the blood-filled
noisy thing that weights it down.
Now my tongue, slow and long, is a heart,
and my heart is a tongue, long and slow…
You want to count up the pain? Go out and count
the sweet grains of the bitter sand.
My heart can’t stand this sadness anymore:
it flies in my blood, along with the floating
ghost of a drowned man, and goes down all alone.
And yesterday, you wrote from your heart
that you have a touch of homesickness –
half for my body, half for the grave.
(Translated by Timothy Baland)
* * *
May you have a great Saturday surrounded by beauty.
My name is Eddie and I’m in Recovery from civilization…