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The author of the sonnet "Me desordeno, amor, me desordeno" , one of the most read and remembered of all the Cuban poetry of the 20th century, was born in Matanzas and will always live there.
The publication of the book of poems that made her known beyond the confines of Matanzas dates back to 1949: "Al sur de mi garganta", which one year later won the National Poetry Prize of the Ministry of Education, and of which other editions have been published since then. The triumph of Carilda Oliver Labra was splendorous, and the recognition arrived to her: Eminent Daughter of Matanzas, Commemorative Medal of the Centenary of the Cuban Flag and her inclusion in very serious anthologies.
Bold woman, in 1957 and 1958 she took important steps in her life: in the first one she wrote and sent to the Sierra Maestra her "Canto a Fidel"; in the second one appeared, in the book Memoria de la fiebre, her famous" Me desordeno, amor, me desordeno" (I mess up, love, I mess up).
Years later she would tell her biographer Vicente Gonzalez Castro:
When I published "Me desordeno..., the bishop came here, because the Catholic ladies wanted to excommunicate me, and so other things that today are seen with much laughter. When I wrote "Canto a Fidel", I also dared, because although I did not have a signature, my style was known by everybody.
So, it is worth reproducing the sonnet that has been so often brought back and forth:
I get out of order, love, I get out of order
when I go in your delayed mouth,
and almost for no reason, almost for nothing,
I touch you with the tip of my breast.
I touch you with the tip of my breast
and with my helpless loneliness,
and perhaps without being in love
I get out of order, love, I get out of order.
It is curious to know what Carilda said: "It is for the rhythm and the feeling that it undresses. Although people do not believe it, it is a very spiritual poem". No comments".
But here is a second anecdote of the eternal bride of Matanzas city. For those who do not value in its measure the tenth or spinel it has to be very interesting to know what the poetess thought and expressed in this strophic form.
Back in 1987 she was interviewed by journalist Luis Sexto, who asked her, surely to provoke a forceful answer, if she did not feel "diminished when using a form so used even by those who are not poets".
Carilda replied: "Diminished? I am exalted by the "décima". Although of Spanish origin, it is the favorite stanza of our people. Nowadays we have very happy "decimistas". Of course, it is difficult. That is to say, when composing it we can sin of being facile, of being mannered; bordering on vulgarity, or, on the contrary, we can suffer from coldness, rigidity, loss of freshness if we try too hard to purify it".
And then he added: "A décima will be perfect if, in spite of having an enjambement, it does not seem so; if it is a drop of music and, at the same time, a drop of wisdom; if we do not expect, when we hear it, the rhyme as a clock chime; if it disguises that it is a décima and at the same time it is splendid as a "décima"... I do not know if I make myself understood: the good "décima" is a miracle".
Anthologies, jury interventions, programs and videos on her life and work, round tables, awards (the Distinction for National Culture, the Alejo Carpentier medal) endorse the criteria of an author who in 1997 received the National Prize for Literature and lives forever in the grateful memory of her readers.
It is not trying to repeat them, or mechanically reproducing their ideals what makes us honor the great ones of our country's history. First, because they are unrepeatable, and second, because they did not bequeath deep thoughts for a simple learning of words, but as lessons of life that need to be enriched in the daily work in order to take root.
This is how the peoples build their most sacred values, because to the processes of apprehension of the valuable legacies that make up their historical evolution, they incorporate the popular wisdom of building, of fighting for the causes that are closer to them, more of their own, of doing that requires convictions to materialize.
Only when that continuity is a conciliatory bond between predecessors and those who decide to give course in the future to the path initiated by them, there is truly the certainty of recognizing ourselves in those who never by ambition, but by the merit given by the infinite sacrifices for the good of the Homeland, inscribed their names in the select parchment of immortality.
That is why when we Cubans affirm our recognition of an ideal as a flag, this intrinsic affirmation contains all the sincerity of a wise people, who with the experience of their untiring battle and their always clear and just goals, know perfectly well what such a choice is all about, and what it implies for their own existence, growth and freedom.
Let us know, then, how far-reaching is the dimension of what already constitutes for us a tradition, a principle with treasured zeal, an indispensable guide in the construction of a just society: to know that we are .inalienably Martianos.
To revive in each day of the present the immense work of the Apostle, to assume it as a sincere interpretation of human nature, of the spheres of duty, of the seldom so masterfully understood correlation of saying and doing, is both a challenge and a privilege.
Challenge, because it takes a lot of dedication to live up to such dignity, to the humility that coexists with unlimited detachment, to the wisdom that is not satisfied with today, but aims at tomorrow. Privilege, because although he is a radiated example for the world, Cuba was the inspiring mother of all the nobility and libertarian love that always accompanied him.
To walk the path of deep virtues and meritorious acts that Martí traced with his existence, has been an indescribable motivation in every historical moment that followed his walk through this land. To recognize him as the ideologue par excellence of the Cuban people's struggle to free themselves from oppressive ties, served to give course to the noblest endeavors in pursuit of making that dream come true.
Say Fidel, and you will have quoted the greatest Martiano of all times, the visionary who took the legacy of his thought to the highest level of interpretation and realization and who, even after the triumph, always maintained the defense at all costs of the study of his work as an indispensable component in the formation of every revolutionary.
It is not possible to visualize a single moment in the construction of Cuban socialism without the latent presence of an Apostle who seems to renew himself as each step consolidates the strength of this common work, in whose growth all the noble hands have joined together, knowing that "the Homeland is an altar and not a pedestal" and that love for it is also "the invincible hatred of those who oppress it and the eternal resentment of those who attack it".
Dark storms are looming over this humanity, which, incapable of uniting to protect itself, has sustained its insubstantial differences on the unpostponable need to march for the common good. However, Cuba has once again been a torrent of solidarity, a clear voice of hope amidst murmurs of death and abandonment, a beacon for Latin America and the world as always predicted by that star that was born on Paula Street.
In these times, new dimensions have been added to our Marti's precepts, because this time is not only about the defense of the redeeming land in which we live (a permanent premise of Cuban men and women), it is about assisting the dispossessed, about opening the way to life among the conflicts of power.
We are witnessing a moment in which the humanism that runs through our veins is multiplying, in which internationalism is increasing, in which we are more anti-imperialist than ever, because without any trace of shame, that enemy of the peoples is betting on an asphyxiation as cruel or crueler than the one caused in the sick by the deadly virus.
We are Martianos, yes, and there is an overflowing pride in this affirmation. The pride of drinking from such a crystalline source of values, of knowing that the choice of duty is not always the most pleasant experience, but it is the one that most enhances the human being. The pride of those who know they are useful and understand that today's sacrifice is the guarantee of tomorrow's smile.
It is January and it is therefore inevitable that fidelity to your legacy flourishes, because 168 years after that birth of Leonor, you continue to educate, to build the ethics that you preached from your personal example, to move feelings that go beyond the scope of an individual to become universal.
Martí, although it is true that the approach of Cubans to your legacy begins with the guidance of more mature generations, who show in your words and deeds how exemplary the existence of a man can be, it does not take long for the conscience itself, even in childhood, to be inclined to love with transparency the one who is first the author of The Golden Age and later, the reflection of indispensable concepts for life and action.
You inhabit the sacred space of paradigms, that which your people have reserved to form their convictions, to discern between the just and the cruel, between truth and falsehood. That, thanks to which we can distinguish the true patriot from the salaried mercenary, who pretends to want the best for his country.
In that way we feel you as ours, in that way we honor you. Today and always, on the chest of those of us who are both fruit and tree of the Revolution, continuity of today and example of tomorrow, your name can be read because every revolutionary is inhabited by a Martí.
(Taken from Granma)
English version Hector Hdez.
Memories, oral and written, have passed from one generation to another as an invaluable inheritance. It is said that José Martí had a high-pitched voice; that he spoke forcefully but softly and that wherever he was, people swirled around him attracted by the magnetism of his fiery verb. Martí overflowed the confines of this Island to lodge in the memory of the world.
Right in the middle of the planet, in Ecuador, stands a monument to the Cuban National Hero. "Homeland is Humanity", can be read at the base of the bust located in Shanghai, China; and in Turkey, his image appears next to that of Atartük, an emblematic figure of that country's national history.
"Human beings need a three-dimensional image to perpetuate those important figures of our culture and the world." The phrase comes from the perception that, about this field, has the director of the Office of the Cienfuegos City Conservator (OCCC), architect Iran Millán Cuétara, and describes a phenomenon as old as man.
Millán Cuétara has devoted the last few years to the study of monuments and sculptural expressions in homage to the man whom history recognizes as the "most universal of Cubans". The research started from an existing inventory at the Provincial Heritage Center on the commemorative monuments linked to José Martí in Cienfuegos, and has been extended to a large part of the national geography.
"We started from Pinar del Rio to eastern Cuba. We have visited some of the main cities of the territories, but this does not mean that the subject is exhausted, but up to here, we have evidence of the most transcendental expressions or of greater impact found in the different territories."
The research has so far revealed the existence of 167 monuments dedicated to the Apostle in Cuban territory. Other significant findings bring to light the sculpture of the child Martí in the Institute of History of Cuba, the only one of its kind; as well as the similarity between the sculpture located in the Great Masonic Temple in Havana and the one in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba.
The only bust of Martí as a child in the country/Photo: Courtesy of Iran Millán.
"All this has allowed us a very important element: to classify, first, the works according to the stage in which they have been developed; second: the sculptors and architects that have been identified by each stage and how we see expressions in different cities made by the same author," explains the conservator of Cienfuegos city.
According to this line of research, the sculpture located in José Martí Park in Cienfuegos was erected in 1906 and was the second one dedicated to the Apostle in Cuba, after the one in Havana's Central Park. The study also states that due to their similarities, the group located in the municipality of Caibarién and the one in Cienfuegos were both sculpted by Italian masters, followers of the same style.
"This research is in full development. Because every day we realize that more and more commemorative exponents linked to José Martí are appearing," Millán Cuétara confirms, while showing the results beyond Cuban borders.
José Martí's thought and work had a great impact on the nations of the American continent. It is natural to find his image throughout South America, in Central America, among the peoples of the Caribbean and in the United States. His efforts to unite the Cubans living in the U.S. and to obtain from them the necessary support to carry out the liberating deed took him to the United States.
However, this inventory of Martí's monuments and busts counts until today, some 43 pieces in countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Germany. Others as far away as Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, within the European continent, and Asian nations such as Cyprus, India, the Philippines and North Korea, among others.
"We have realized how Cuban culture and that of various countries have taken Martí as their own and express him through their own cultural visions. When you see the bust of Martí that we found in China, you realize that there is an influence of that culture in the work and in its environment. When we look for the monument, when we find the sculpture, we are also investigating and getting to know the presence and impact of Martí in those countries".
One of the most recent sculptural expressions about Martí, in Cuba, is located in the city of Camagüey/Photo: Courtesy of Iran Millán.
Architect Iran Millán Cuétara recognizes that his Marti vocation comes from the inheritance he received from his father. A photo, taken when he was three years old next to an issue of Bohemia magazine with Martí's image on the cover, serves as an introduction to the study that perhaps, later on, may become a book.
"This image encloses a symbolism of what, later on, that three-year-old boy, and already a member of the Martiano Club of the Conservator Office, has tried to project. But I have a granddaughter whom we encourage to read Martí. That is also what interests us with this work, to stimulate, to motivate the study of Martí's work. Whoever does not drink from the source that is José Martí, does not know the essence of our nation and our culture and the projection of the Cuban Revolution", explains architect Iran Millán.
Like a wind announcing the rain, José Martí awaited hearts; he touched with his pen and his voice the lives of those who knew him and many others, who still seek him today in the validity of his ideology and in the living marble of the monuments.
The complex located in the municipality of Cruces is considered the second most important in the province of Cienfuegos.
(Taken from 5 de Septiembre)