Fluidity against your rock
Flowing along the crags and curves of you
Surround me, I will spill into you contentedly
Gladly taking whatever form I must to fulfill
Leaving no space untouched
You are full of all of me
Content I exist within you
You fear the heat will make vapor of me
You worry that I will seep through,
Let me swim carefree
And I will give you life
Let me rest
And I will not boil melting your walls
Let me rest
And I will not crash eroding your being
Let me rest and I will soak into you
Still waters run deep
Let me rest
My inspiration, one of my mentors
Julia de Burgos was one of the foremost poets to come out of Puerto Rico in the first half of the twentieth century. Her poverty-stricken background and African heritage were factors in the evolution of the revolutionary politics de Burgos espoused as part of the independence movement in Puerto Rico. She also attracted attention for her unconventional lifestyle: she divorced her first husband and lived openly with her lover at a time when such behavior was virtually unthinkable for most Puerto Rican women. "A woman of great sensibility, rebellious spirit, and exceptional intelligence, Julia de Burgos no doubt felt imprisoned by circumstances," explained Notable American Women contributor Carmen Delgado Votaw. "Her discomfort with social ills, her love for Puerto Rico, and her preoccupation with justice and death, all come out in the torrents of her poetry with its richly emotional metaphors."
De Burgos published two more volumes of poetry, Poema en veinte surcos (1938) and Canción de la verdad sencilla (1939), which won a prize from the Institute of Puerto Rican Literature, before she left Puerto Rico in 1940. She spent part of that year in New York City working as a journalist. Late in the year, however, de Burgos fled the city with her new love, Dr. Juan Isidro Jimenes Grullón, for Cuba, where she began writing for newspapers. For the next two years she lived in Cuba, writing and enrolling as a graduate student in literature and philosophy at the University of Havana. In 1942 she went back to New York, where she found support for her poetry from the Circle of Ibero-American Writers and Poets. She also married again, choosing for her second husband a fellow poet, Armando Marín. Most of the work she published during this period was journalism, especially editorials and interviews. In 1946 the Institute of Puerto Rican Literature awarded her another prize for "Ser o no ser la divisa," an editorial she wrote for the journal.
Modern critics believe that de Burgos's poetry anticipated the work of feminist writers and poets as well as that of other Hispanic authors. "Writing in the 1930s through the 1950s," declared a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, "de Burgos was ahead of her time in grasping connections between history, the body, politics, love, self-negation and feminism that would later prove to be the foundations for writers like [Adrienne] Rich and [Sylvia] Plath." "Her poems," stated Votaw, "reveal her gift for lyricism, while their erotic content and their cosmic symbolism provide autobiographical glimpses into a troubled and pagan soul which often felt itself lost and abandoned."
De Burgos's poetry also used images of love, sex, and death in a way similar to that of other Latin American poets, including Pablo Neruda. However, she mixed these images with the pain that her own life and upbringing brought her. In "Río Grande de Loíza," one of her most anthologized works, for example, she begs the river to absorb her, both body and soul: "Muy señor río mío. Río hombre. Unico hombre / que ha besado en mi alma al besar en mi cuerpo." In her last years, which were marked by depression, alcoholism, and despair, the poet revealed an ever darker concept of life. She wrote in "Farewell from Welfare Island," one of her last poems, "The past is only a shadow emerging from / nowhere. // Life was somewhere forgotten / and sought refuge in depths of tears / and sorrows; / over this vast empire of solitude and darkness. // Where is the voice of freedom, / freedom to laugh, / to move / without the heavy phantom of despair?"
a quick post to share the wonder that is miosotis pumarol
she's an artist & jewelry designer with an ebullient personality. j'adore! just for fun i replied to a little poetry contest on facebook. she asked that we write a little "roses are red, violets are blue". my entry was "roses are red, violets are blue. mio is fly, jani is too". silly, yes. it made her smile and low & behold i won a shweeet lil pair of earrings:
she's relocated to Georgia and we miss her much but she's only a click away. Wishing her all the best always.
xoxo ~ J