Poems by Ernesto Cardenal Seem to be Written Today


Young people have been kidnapped and murdered by National Police forces, barricades have been put up and these poems have gained new life in this new wave of civic resistance.

Ernesto Cardenal in his room. Foto: Franklin Villavicencio | Niú

Por Franklin Villavicencio  (Confidencial-Niu)

HAVANA TIMES — Old poems written by Ernesto Cardenal have gained new life. His writing about a bloody dictatorship seem to have been written a couple of days ago and inspired by the most recent fatalities and repression in Nicaragua. But, they weren’t. They were created a half century ago under the Somoza dictatorship.

Poems by Ernesto Cardenal, Ricardo Morales Aviles, Gioconda Belli and other Nicaraguan poets are being dusted off and read in amazement by a new generation of youth who are taking to the streets today. Some of them have recently left squares over the past few days, for fear of their own lives, but they continue to protest from their barricades or on social media, which is considered to be another tool of Nicaragua’s civic uprising today.

Cover of the book “Anthology”, by Ernesto Cardenal Photo: Franklin Villavicencio | Niu

From his home in Managua, Ernesto Cardenal lives like a monk. He spends his mornings lying in a hammock, while reading books and scientific magazines which he gets every month. Although he hasn’t been indifferent to the new revolution.

On April 30th, two weeks after protests began, the poet wrote: “And suddenly, young people have emerged all over the country, protesting and taking to the streets. Something I wasn’t expecting because our youth seemed to be asleep, or a gravestone was hanging over them,” and he ended with a phrase which he used a lot during the Somoza dictatorship: “Rise up everyone. Even the dead!”

Here is one of his poems which was read on the radio in protest during the uprising against Somoza. Today, his poems are flooding a new medium: social media, where thousands of Nicaraguans are reporting attacks and the deaths of repression’s new victims.

One thought on “Poems by Ernesto Cardenal Seem to be Written Today

  • Thank God for the voices of truth like Ernesto Cardinal. May they form a chorus for justice and peace!

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