Yoruba from Cuba: Selected Poems

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Peepal Tree, 2005 - Poetry - 208 pages
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This dual-language book features selections from Nicolas Guillen, one of Cuba's most outstanding poets. The range of his work, from "Poemas de Transicion through "La Rueda Dentata and "El Diario que a Diario, is covered. Notes on the poems, a chronology, and a reading list add to the lively English translations. Both the colloquial vigor of Guillen's language and the Cuban dance-inspired rhythms are captured. The selection highlights Guillen's references to the Yoruba Orisha religion, themes of racial injustice, and the historical legacies of slavery. Also emphasized is Guillen's anticipation of the creolite movement in stressing the heterogeneity of Cuban culture in drawing on African, European, and other immigrant traditions.

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About the author (2005)

Nicolas Guillen was born in the provincial city of Camaguey, Cuba, on July 10, 1902. His distinguished career included editor of the literary page of Las dos republicas. He founded and edited Lis, a literary biweekly. He also wrote for the newspaper El Camagueyano. Guillen's invocation and reliance on the vernacular musical form emerged from the creolization of African and European aesthetics. Not only was Guillen one of Cuba's foremost poets who wrote in many styles, he is regarded as one of the foremost Caribbean poets of the 20th Century.

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