Julia de Burgos

Puerto Rican poet

Julia de Burgos (February 17, 1914 – July 6, 1953) was a Puerto Rican poet.

QuotesEdit

  • All the flowers… are open, awaiting my arrival, and they clothe beaches of the most beautiful blue, to receive my life, whole and healthy like before. I want to spend days by the sea, burning myself in the sun like we did in our juvenile days, and to be able to return and see my river, with the same tranquil and yearning eyes as I did when I was its bride.
  • Carry yourself seriously but speak with a sweet voice. Humiliate no one, since, as you know, adolescence is characterized by unbridled self-love, and when a teacher shines light on the good qualities of a child, it does much more than focusing on their vices.

Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos (1982)Edit

  • Yo fui la más callada./La voz casi sin eco./La conciencia tendida en sílaba de angustia,/desparramada y tierna, por todos los silencios...Yo fui la más callada./La que saltó/saltó la tierra sin más arma que un verso./¡Y aquí me veís, estrellas,/desparramada y tierna, con su amor en mi pecho!
    • I was the quietest one./The voice with almost no echo./The conscience spread in a syllable of anguish,/scattered and tender, through all the silences...I was the quietest one./The one who leapt from earth with no more weapon than a verse./And here you see me, stars,/scattered and tender, with his love in my chest!
  • Sólo dejarme, como estoy, soñando/a ser lucero enamorando al sol
    • Only leave me as I am, dreaming/of being a morning star courting the sun
  • ¡Qué inmenso es ser al creerse muerto!
    • How immense is being, when you thought yourself dead!
  • ¡Y aún me piden canciones por palabras,/no conciben mi pulso sin poemas
    • And still they ask me to trade songs for words,/they can't imagine my pulse without poems
  • Cantemos desde ahora, que la vida se va
    • Let's sing now because life is leaving
  • Hacia el alma es muy largo el camino que andar
    • The way to the soul is a very long walk
  • Yo, fatalista,/mirando la vida llegándose y alejándose/de mis semejantes...Yo, dentro de mí misma,/siempre en espera de algo/que no acierta mi mente.
    • Me, fatalist,/watching life coming and going/from my contemporaries...Me, inside myself,/always waiting for something/that my mind can't define.
  • ¡Obreros! Picad el miedo./Vuestra es la tierra desnuda./Saltad el hambre y la muerte/por sobre la honda laguna,/y uníos a los campesinos,/y a los que en caña se anudan./¡Rómpanse un millón de puños/contra moral tan injusta!/¡Alzad, alzad vuestros brazos!
    • Workers! Slash the fear./Yours is the naked earth./Leap hunger and death/over the deep lagoon,/and join the peasants/and those knotted to the cane./Break a million fists/against so unjust a morality!/Raise, raise your arms!
  • Los Hitler, los Mussolini.../¡Balas! ¡Balas! ¡Balas! ¡Balas!/Las dos víboras de Europa/que con la muerte se pactan.
    • The Hitlers, the Mussolinis.../Bullets! Bullets! Bullets! Bullets!/The two vipers of Europe/who pact with death.
  • A cada paso adelantado en mi ruta hacia el frente/rasgaba mis espaldas el aleteo desesperado/de los troncos viejos.
    • At each advancing step on my route forward/back was ripped by the desperate flapping wings of the old guard.
  • Debe ser la caricia de lo inútil,/la tristeza sin fin de ser poeta,/de cantar y cantar, sin que se rompa/la tragedia sin par de la existencia.
    • It must be the caress of the useless,/the endless sadness of being a poet,/of singing and singing, without breaking/the peerless tragedy of existence.
  • La que juzga mi alma por la piel que me arropa/ni siquiera se extiende lo que alcanza su voz.
    • Whoever judges my soul by the skin that blankets me/doesn't even extend herself to what her voice reaches.
  • La sombra del mañana me vigila la vida
    • The shadow of tomorrow stands watch over my life
  • He sabido la inmensidad del cielo alto sobre las rosas
    • I have known the immensity of the sky high above the roses
  • Le diste corazón al universo/que se ocultaba en mí
    • You gave heart to the universe/that hid in me
  • Iba fiel la tormenta sobre mi alma cansada/cuando te apareciste con ternura de estrella.
    • The storm passed faithful over my tired soul/when you appeared with the tenderness of a star.
  • la palabra amor/se alzará de la tierra/en volcán inocente/que renueva universos
    • the word love/will rise from the earth/in an innocent volcano/that renews universes
  • Humanamente, y libre,/y distante, y materia/que allá abajo muy hondo/rimaré una canción.
    • Humanly, and free,/and distant, and matter/that down there, very deep/I will rhyme a song.
  • Ya no es canción./Es grito./Grito de fuerza viva,/de hombres que luchan,/de mentes que se libertan,/de brazos sueltos/prestos a no caer./Las masas rugen./Piensan./Son.
    • It is no longer a song./It is a battlecry./Battlecry of living strength,/of men who struggle,/of minds that free themselves,/of free arms/ready not to fall./The masses roar./They think./They are.
  • Soy tu raíz oculta entre peñas y abrojos
    • I am your root hidden among rocks and thorns
  • yo soy toda soledad/en un corazon rebelde
    • all of me is loneliness/in a rebellious heart
  • Es en ti (los pueblos hispanos de America) donde canta mi canción, donde grita/libre grito mi voz iniciada en montañas.
    • It is in you (the hispanic people of america) where my song sings, where my voice/began in mountainous screams a free scream
  • Altamira del mundo por donde los instantes/ruedan como latidos del mundo de mañana.
    • Towering view of the world where the moments/roll like pulses of the world of tomorrow.
  • ¿Dónde rueda la risa que adornaba mi vida/cuando tu corazón recogía mis tristezas?
    • Where does the laughter wander that decorated life/when your heart gathered my sadnesses?
  • Somos de la voz nueva, alargada, instintiva/que en idioma de avances habrá de estremecerse.
    • We are of the new voice, stretched, instinctive/that will shake the language of progress.
  • ¡Mira que el rico se afianza/donde tu pena se inicia
    • Look, the rich are bankrolled/where your suffering begins
  • tu que sientes los gemidos de la patria que respira esclavitud
    • you who feel the sobs of the homeland that breathes slavery
  • bailaremos la danza de la vida/al ritmo de un incendio de luz/que brotará del sol.
    • we shall dance the dance of life/to the rhythm of a fire of light/that will burst from the sun.
  • tus dos manos ya no vuelvan a alzarme/a recoger del cielo su cosecha de estrellas
    • your two hands no longer lift me/to gather the sky's harvest of stars
  • Sin embargo no has muerto José Martí, sólo duermes;/la tierra te pidió como bandera
    • And yet, you have not died Martí, you only sleep;/the earth requested you like a flag
  • A tu pecho, José Martí, toco entre lágrimas,/en esta hora del hombre y de la guerra,/para que llegues, a la paz, despierto,/sobre el dolor más grande de la América.
    • At your chest Martí, I knock among tears/in this hour of man and of war,/so you may arrive, at peace, awake,/over the greatest pain of America.
  • General Rafael, Trujillo General,/que tu nombre sea un eco eterno de cadáveres...Dictador de ese hermoso pueblo dominicano/masacrado en tus ansias y dormido en sus iras,/¿de qué llevas tu cetro? ¿De qué sol te alimentas?
    • General Rafael, Trujillo General/may your name be an eternal echo of cadavers/Dictator of the splendid Dominican people/massacred in your desires and asleep in its rages,/what is your scepter made of? From what sun are you nourished?
  • la masa explotada despierta.
    • the exploited masses awaken.
  • El Imperialismo de Estados Unidos/tiene una ancha fosa:/allí está tu muerta/allí el pequeñuelo/allí tu vaquita/allí está tu yegua/tu "tala" y tu tierra.
    • The imperialism of the United States/has a wide grave:/there is your dead wife/there your little one/there your cow/there your mare/your field and your land.
  • América Latina,/¡Rebélate/contra el yanqui invasor!
    • America Latin,/rebel/against the yankee invader!
  • ¡Puerto Rico es la espada/que detendrá el avance/del imperio sajón!/Sea su herida la última/que en tu suelo latino/haga el vil opresor.
    • Puerto Rico is the sword/that will delay the advance/of the saxon empire!/Let her wound be the last/that on its latin soil/the vile oppressor makes.
  • el honor echó canas/en el imperio homicida.
    • honor grew white hair/in the homicidal empire.
  • De todos los pueblos/surgirán brazos fuertes,/los brazos de millones de hombres/que pueblan la avanzada de la tierra.
    • From all the towns/strong arms will rise,/the arms of millions of men/who populate the progress of the earth.
  • De mi patria invadida,/es hoy su independencia, el campo de batalla.
    • From my invaded nation,/the battlefield today is independence.
  • No temas la mirada que vaciará mi corazón en ti
    • Do not fear the look that will empty my heart in you
  • No se cuándo ni dónde/pero se que vendrás.
    • I don't know where or when/but I know you will arrive.
  • la verdad respiraba del pulmón de la tierra
    • the truth breathed from the lung of the earth
  • ya que no tuve nunca un mundo entre los vivos,/un mundo entre los muertos ofrecedme, soldados!
    • Since I never had a world among the living/offer me a world among the dead!
  • en la noche callada dejé perder un verso.
    • in the silent night I lost a verse.
  • Que sea nuestra vida presente de todo./Que busque futuro tan sólo en el alma./Que ensaye verdades. Que sienta en idea./Que siempre se extienda cortando distancias
    • Let our life be completely present./Let it search for the future only in the soul./Let it rehearse truths. Let it feel in idea./Let it always extend cutting distances.
  • Fui estrella en tus brazos derramada
    • I was a star spilled in your arms
  • ¡Oh amor entretenido en astros y palomas,/cómo en rocío feliz cruzas mi alma!
    • Oh love entertained in stars and doves,/how like a joyous spray you cross my soul!
  • ¿Cómo podrán callarme/cuando todos los ecos del universo sean/sinfonías en mi frente?
    • How can they silence me/when all the echoes of the universe shall be/symphonies in my forehead?
  • La palabra no puede con mi carga de angustia,/y no cabe en mi verso mi dolor exaltado.
    • The word can't cope with my load of anguish,/and my exalted pain can't fit in my verse.
  • ¿Dónde comienza aquel momento triste/que ahogó la danza de mi espíritu
    • Where does that sad moment begin/that drowned the dance of my spirit
  • Me he sentido llegar allí donde se mueren/las canciones felices
    • I have felt myself arrive where/happy songs die
  • Sigue siendo poema Julia de Burgos;/la burguesa del cosmos, que no es burguesa/como quieren los hombres, pues se sonríe/mucho más que al espejo, al río y la selva
    • She goes on being a poem, Julia de Burgos;/the bourgeois of the cosmos, who is not a bourgeois/the way men want her to be-since she smiles/much more than at the mirror, the river and the jungle
  • ¡Obrero que alzas el mundo!/¡Obrero que todo entintas!/¡Mano que empuja el futuro
    • Worker who lifts the world!/Worker who colors everything!/Hand that pushes the future
  • la gran muerte espera recogerme en sus astros.
    • the great death waits to gather me in its stars.
  • Que nadie me profane la muerte con sollozos
    • Let no one profane my death with sobs

Quotes about Julia de BurgosEdit

  • Julia de Burgos is the eldest of thirteen children, a bottomless spring of emotion, a boundless heart full of desires, a beautiful and eloquent woman who generously spills her spirit onto page after page...Julia de Burgos, the glowing poet of sensual rivers and waves crashing against sea walls, is drowning slowly in despair. I who am also poeta, puertorriqueña, needing both love and art, fighting political battles by day and demons by night, I have stood at the brink of that river of sorrows, tempted by oblivion. I live in a far more generous life, created for me by the labor of countless women, thirty years of collective agitation, thirty years of wrestling with the culture and consciousness of women and men. I do not face her terrible choices, the punishments meted out to passionate creative women of her day.
  • we wander through the streets of our memory/looking for julia de burgos/in the concrete of our tongue
    • Bonafide Rojas, Manteca! an Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets (2017)

External linksEdit

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