Congratulations, Poet! / Regina Coyula

Manuel Díaz Martínez turns 74 today, one of the most important Cuban poets of his generation. If Manolo wasn’t my friend, he’d still be one of my favorite poets. As if that weren’t enough, conversations with him are full of anecdotes and humor; and when he turns serious, he’s of a great clarity and erudition, with that virtue of knowing much without being pedantic. As an homage on his birthday, I’ve posted one of his poems and I invite you all to leave him birthday wishes on his blog:


For Fabio and Grace

An expanse of land,

An arch of coast, a sea,

Some houses, some streets

Three or four rivers,

A pattern of rainfall,

A garden, some mountains,

Some frustrations,

And perhaps a utopia,

A stew, a song, a tree,

A somewhat moving history,

A way of saying things,

The aging parents

In a provincial patio,

Perhaps some siblings too

That complete the family saga

And some friends…

That and something more is homeland

If there is space for liberty there.

If there is no space, I prefer

to die from a distance.

Translated by: Yoyi el Monaguillo

September 13, 2010