RAMÓN LÓPEZ VELARDE
In our article “Remembering Aquiles Valdez” we mentioned a piece that he was commissioned to write by the state of Zacatecas. It was based on the them of Mexican poet Ramón López Velarde.
We felt we kind of left some of you hanging asking: Who is this poet? So we decided to post something on him.
López Velarde was one of those poets who was cut down in the prime of his life. Born in 1888, he only lived until 1921. He was born in Jérez, Zacatecas.
At first, López Velarde was set on a career in the church, actually going to seminary in Zacatecas for two years. He then moved to the seminary in Aguascalientes when his family moved there. He later decided the church was not his thing and began studying law.
However, during his years in the seminary, he would spend holidays in Jerez, and in one such visit, he met Josefa de Los Ríos. He wold write his most famous poem, “Fuensanta” in her honor.
ELOGIO A FUENSANTA
Tú no eres en mi huerto la pagana
rosa de los ardores juveniles;
te quise como a una dulce hermana
y gozoso dejé mis quince abriles
cual un ramo de flores de pureza
entre tus manos blancas y gentiles.
Humilde te ha rezado mi tristeza
como en los pobres templos parroquiales
el campesino ante la Virgen reza.
Antífona es tu voz, y en los corales
de tu mística boca he descubierto
el sabor de los besos maternales.
Tus ojos tristes, de mirar incierto,
recuérdanme dos lámparas prendidas
en la penumbra de un altar desierto.
Las palmas de tus manos son ungidas
por mi, que provocando tus asombros
las beso en las ingratas despedidas.
Soy débil, y al marchar por entre escombros
me dirige la fuerza de tu planta
y reclino las sienes en tus hombros.
Nardo es tu cuerpo y tu virtud es tanta
que en tus brazos beatíficos me duermo
como sobre los senos de una Santa.
¡Quién me otorgara en mi retiro yermo
tener, Fuensanta, la condescendencia
de tus bondades a mi amor enfermo
como plenaria y última indulgencia!
With already revolutionary activity brewing in 1905, López Velarde began assisting the literary review Bohemio. He studied law at the University of San Luis Potosi, but soon returned to Jerez when his father died. After returning to his studies, he worked with several publications El Observador, El Debate, and Nosotros in Aguascalientes, and later with El Regional and Pluma y Lápiz in Guadalajara.
At San Luis Potosi, he studied the poetry of modernist poets like Amado Nervo and Andres González Blanco. He subsequently molded his own poetry to the modernist style. In 1910, he began to write La sangre devota.
During the Mexican Revolution, López Velarde was a supporter of Francisco Madero. He met Madero in 1910. By 1911, with his law degree he served as a judge, but later moved to Mexico City hoping for an appointment from Madero. This appointment never came.
Eduardo J. Correa who served as López Velarde's mentor asked him to assist with the publication La Nación, which was a Catholic journal. There López Velarde wrote poems, reviews, and political commentary. When Huerta took power in 1913, López Velarde left the journal returning to San Luis Potosí.
Settling again in Mexico City in 1914 during the administration of Venustiano Carranza, López Velarde felt out-of-place because postmodern poetry was the trend, especially that of Enrique González Martínez. López Velarde followed the camp of José Juan Tablada, whom with he was also friends. López Velarde also gained interest in Argentine modernist poet Leopoldo Lugones.
The poet finally published La sangre devota in 1916, and with it, gain critical acclaim. One poem from this collection was “Viaje al turruno”:
De tu magnífico traje
recogeré la basquiña
cuando te llegues, o niña,
al estribo del carruaje.
Esperando para el viaje
la tarde tiene desmayos
y de sus últimos rayos
la luz mortecina ondea
en la lujosa librea
de los corteses lacayos.
No temas: por los senderos
polvosos y desolados,
te velarán mis cuidados,
Y cuando con mil luceros
en opulento derroche
se venga encima la noche,
obsequiará tus oídos
con sus monótonos ruidos
La serenata del coche.
During 1917, he worked on his next book, and with González Martínez edited the review Pegaso. In 1919, he published Zozobra. Scholars have called Zozobra his opus and compare its style with that Uruguayan poetry Julio Herrera y Reissig. The poem “Hoy como nunca” was included in this collection:
Hoy, como nunca, me enamoras y me entristeces;
si queda en mí una lágrima, yo la excito a que lave
nuestras dos lobregueces.
Hoy, como nunca, urge que tu paz me presida;
pero ya tu garganta sólo es una sufrida
blancura, que se asfixia bajo toses y toses,
y toda tú una epístola de rasgos moribundos
colmada de dramáticos adioses.
Hoy, como nunca, es venerable tu esencia
y quebradizo el vaso de tu cuerpo,
y sólo puedes darme la exquisita dolencia
de un reloj de agonías, cuyo tic-tac nos marca
el minuto de hielo en que los pies que amamos
han de pisar el hielo de la fúnebre barca.
OBREGON ERA AND DEATH
With the rise of Alvardo Obregón, the first post-revolutionary period of artistic fervor ended. When things calmed down, José Valconcelos was named education minister. López Velarde would write for two journals Vasconcelos promoted. During this time, López Velarde wrote his most famous essay, “Novedad de la Patria.” Even today, on the centennial of the Revolution, this essays has sparked commentary on the Internet.
López died in 1921. He was only 33. He left behind an unpublished manuscript which would be published posthumously in 1932.
Through Vasconcelos' insistance, the Mexican government held López Velarde up as a national poetry signifying post-Revolution artistic expression. The later Mexican poets called Los Contemporaneos saw López Velarde as one of the pioneers of modern Mexican poetry.
López Velarde has been the subject of studies by Allen W. Phillip, who wrote the first U.S. Study on the poetry. Octavio Paz wold also focus on López Velarde in Cuadrivio.
We Are Not Beasts of Burden: Cesar Chavez and the Delano Grape Strike, California, 1965-1970
(Civil Rights Struggles Around the World)
[Library Binding] Twenty-First Century Books (CT)
(August 2010) ISBN-10: 0761346082
"The only way we could win was to keep fighting for a long time...the only way we could win was by staying with it."--Cesar Chavez
As the sun rose on September 8, 1965, in Delano, California, thousands of acres of ripe grapes hung heavy on the vine. But instead of harvesting the crop, Filipino farmworkers on nine large ranches laid down their tools and walked out of the vineyards in protest of their low wages and dangerous working conditions.
The strike quickly caught the attention of Cesar Chavez, who had been organizing Mexican American farmworkers through the United Farmworkers Union. Together, thousands of California agricultural laborers fought for their rights through strikes, boycotts, and a 250-mile (400-kilometer) protest march, the longest march in U.S. history. For more than five years, their struggle had the support of the American public and led to labor laws and agricultural practices that ensure the rights of all farmworkers to decent pay, safe working conditions, and other benefits.
In this compelling story of the rise of Cesar Chavez from local organizer to national civil rights hero, we'll learn how he and other leaders of the grape strike endured violence and fought corruption to win rights for workers. And we'll see how the story continues in the twenty-first century as the United Farmworkers Union works to protect the civil rights of every agricultural laborer in the nation.
Floating on Mama's Song
(Katherine Tegen Books
Aug 2010 ISBN-10: 0060843683)
Yuyi Morales (Illustrator). Ages 4-8.
Laura Lacamara, Yuyi Morales (Illustrator). Ages 4-8.
Anita's mama loves to sing. She sings such beautiful, happy songs that something magical happens: Everyone who hears her music floats high above the ground.
But then Mama stops singing. Can Anita find a way to bring back happy times and magical moments for her family?
Debut author Laura LacÁmara's lyrical, uplifting tale is paired with Yuyi Morales's stunning art for a magical celebration of family, music, and happiness.
A la mama de Anita le encanta cantar. Sus canciones son tan bonitas y felices que crean algo magico: todo el que escucha su mÚsica se eleva y flota en el aire. Pero la mama de Anita deja de cantar. ¿Lograra Anita recobrar los tiempos felices y los momentos magicos para ella y su familia?
La lÍrica e inspiradora historia de Laura LacÁmara y el arte espectacular de Yuyi Morales retratan una celebracion magica de la familia, la mÚsica y la felicidad.
to the United States
(New Americans: Recent Immigration and American Society)
Sladkova explores undocumented Honduran migration to the United States through interviews with Honduran migrants who made the crossing through Mexico and across the guarded border to the U.S.
She examines the factors that contribute to their success or failure: access to finances, ability to hire a coyote, means of transport in Mexico, encounters with Mexican police and immigration.
Mexico is the most difficult part of the journey for Honduran migrants. Many are injured or die in the hands of gangs, police, and from freight trains they travel on top of. The U.S.-Mexico border presents only the final barrier; many don t even reach it.
Sladkova also explores the psychological processes migrants employ to process their experiences of the dangerous journey, which most would never undergo again.
The link we share with you today is: Poems del Alma