¡Que Viva la Poesía!

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Yesterday evening I had the privilege of attending Granada’s International Poetry Festival, a week-long celebration of this beautiful linguistic art. Poets from all over the world were invited to this event to present a few of their pieces to the public. Every day different events and activities were planned, from poetry reading sessions to music concerts to a book fair. One of the best parts: you didn’t have to pay a single penny to attend! Everything was free for anyone and everyone to come and enjoy.

Ernesto-CardenalAnd enjoy we did. We heard pieces from famous poets, included Ernesto Cardenal and Gioconda Belli, as well as a wonderful concert performed by Carlos Mejía Godoy. I resisted the urge to get my picture taken with Ernesto Cardenal, now a man of 90 years who doesn’t need another unknown stranger grabbing his hand and faking friendship. I’d much rather sit down with him and chat about his life and poetry, to see where his inspiration and energy comes from. Ah, to dream! Instead I sat back and thoroughly enjoyed his poems he shared that he dedicated that evening to the great Lake Nicaragua.

Sitting in a crowd of hundreds of people from around the world, immersed in the vibrancy of the event, sharing in moments of laughter and emotion and thought provoked silence, I suddenly realized just how blessed I was to be a part of it. And so, in the spirit of poetry and love, I thought I’d share with you a small poem I wrote about Nicaragua the end of last year. Enjoy ☺



My first steps on your dusty ground,
My eyes wide with wonder
My heart shy and timid
I loved and felt loved
By your gente, your pueblo
But I left, quickly
Afraid of the country I left behind
You confused me
You scared me
And so I left

But God read my heart that day
And cast a new future for me
A future I never could have predicted
Never could have wanted
For once again, Nicaragua was calling my name

And so, feeling the divine push of God on my back
I said yes to your call
I said yes to what scared me

And once again, Nicaragua, you shocked me
Doing the unexpected
Breaking through the cage I put you in

Against my will I was wooed
By your volcanoes,
Your corn and frijol and café fields,
Your busy streets,
Your tall cathedrals,
Your noisy parades,
Your crowded markets,
Your sandy beaches,
Your smiling children and mothers and husbands and abuelitos

You have changed me

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