Love, Attributed City, by Nancy Morejón

Morejon_01_bodyNancy Morejón was born in Havana, in 1944. She is a reknowned Cuba poet, essayist and critic, her work having appeared in over 10 languages. Morejón is a firm supporter of the Cuban Revolution and of Cuban socialism. Her work is important in the development of Cuban culture and society, focusing in on the role of women and black people within the revolutionary process.

In 1986, Morejón won the Cuban Premio de la crítica (Critic’s prize), an acknowledgement of her important theoretical contribution to Cuban literature – which includes a book on Nicolás Guillén. In 2001, she was award the Cuban National Prize for Literature – the first time this award has ever been won by a black woman. Her contibution to a revolutionary Cuban literature, Cuban socialism and internationalism is enormous. RED proudly reproduces her poetry below.


Love, Attributed City

For the Reader, Compañero

here I say again: the heart of the city has not yet died
for us need never die
oh dream, the summer screens return
and the carpenters’ hair blowing in the morning
merging now with all I leave in the wake of my steps

my heart is lodged in the city and its adventure

freely with all I leave in my wake poetry comes:
flower or demon
poetry comes freely like a bird
                                                (I offer it a red tree)
and it alights fiercely on my head and eats
                                                         what is sclerotic in me;
but now it’s not just the dawn, not just the
                                                                 singing of birds
not just the city

here I’ll tell of coastal waves and the Revolution
here poetry comes with a beautiful sword to make my breast bleed

who am I

who hears the dream of cursed youth
for whom do I speak, what ear will say yes to my words
the mouth of the poet fills with ants each time it yawns

who am I

the guerilla, the roving madwoman, the Medusa, a Chinese flute,
a wamr chair, seaweed, the coast guard’s cannon, anguish,
the blood of the martyrs, the ovum of Ochún on this earth

who am I

that I go again through the streets, among orichas,
through the dark and corpulent heat,
among schoolchildren reciting Martí,
among the cars, the hidden niches of the streets,
the summer screens, into the Plaza of the people
among the blacks, the guardacantones,
through the parks, the old city, the old, old neighbourhood of Cerro,
and my cathedral and my port

here I say agin: love, attributed city

(Translated by Kathleen Weaver)

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