LitBirthdays September 28, 2010

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Tuesday September 28

Rosario Ferré (b. 1938) – Puerto Rican novelist, essayist, short story and children’s book writer – Lazos de sangre / Blood Ties (Spanish language) (2010)
Rosario Ferre

Read about Rosario Ferre here and here and here

“She was the toast of the well read and well bred in San Juan, an accomplished writer of fiction, essays, poetry, the daughter of a leading island family. Then Rosario Ferre committed her outrage: She began writing in English. “Everybody was furious.”

‘Puerto Rico is a fundamentalist country. But instead of religion, it’s politics,’ she says today. ‘You’re either on the far right or far left. There’s no real space in between.’ ”

From Associated Press article “Books and Authors: Rosario Ferre”
by Charles J. Hanley 5/21/1998

Message

To my mother,
and to my mother’s monument,
to my aunts,
and to their well bred manners,
to Martha,
as well as to Mary,
because she dared choose the better part,
to Francesca, the immortal one,
because from deepest Hell
she insists on praising love’s agony,
to Catherine, who unravels over water
the pristine obscenities of her ecstasy
as she strums upon the axe’s whistle,
to Rosario, and to Rosario’s shadow,
to the Erynnies and to the Furies
who, locked in amorous strife,
mourned and sang by her cradle,
to all those who agreed to condescend
I address the completion of these verses
Because I sing,
because I sew and shine and ache and rearrange
the ever changing order of my bones
because I cry and trace
o’er my goblet’s vanished breath
the humors of my human borne experience,
I name myself my own hand’s irate foe
as I avenge destiny’s misfortune.
Because I still live,
and am,
and hesitate to silence
my obstinately crimsoned lips,
because I still laugh
and keep my promises
and love
to iron
amongst all of us
the tiniest creases of my chaos
I ring out today in praise of joy and glory.

Translated by Rosario Ferre

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