Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Cuba es ...

We are grateful to Jewbana for providing us this quotation from Juan Cueto Roig, who pretty much feels and speaks for all of us when he writes:

"Cuba es un recuerdo que se niega a ser olvido. Una distancia que desgarra y enajena. Cuba es el paradójico Edén por el que mueren: los que en volverla a ver mueren soñando y los que en escapar sueñan muriendo. Cuba es la última ilusión de mi vida".

Which I have translated as:

Cuba is a fresh memory that refuses to grow old. It is a distance in time and place which breaks our hearts and alienates us from the world we inhabit. Cuba is the paradoxical Eden of those who died still dreaming of seeing her again as well as of those who escaped death only to live in its shadow without her. Cuba is the last illusion of my life."


Anonymous said...

very touchy poem indeed. As usual, I couldn’t shed a tear cause somehow my tear glands are not perfectly wired in my body system.

Agustin Farinas said...

as an avid motorcyclist while attending a rally I once saw there a teeshirt that read: "I breathe, dream,think and talk motorcycles. Always"
Our teeshirt (my wife's and mine) should read:
"We talk,eat,think and dream about Cuba. Always" That is the subject of our breakfast chat, and during lunch and dinner. The events of the day, the news and commentaries. Our friends in Argentina seem to think we are obsessed with the subject. And our usual answer is: "You will never even come close to understand because you are not Cuban". We even travel about 100 km every 3 or 4 weeks in order to do our shopping in the capitol city markets because where we live, we cannot find Cuban food products. Nothing like coming back from that hazardous trip (lots of curves and hills in the sierras) and making some "tostones" or boil some "yuca con mojo" to sooth the soul.

Vana said...

Beautiful words those of Roig, that Jewbana very kindly cited for us, I swear this blog is very hard on me, I often cry when I come here, but tears do cleanse the heart and soul, I feel so close to all you guys, and love your words of encouragment, but mostly because like me you are all Cuban Patriots, who fiercly love that Prison Island.
Any one of you familiar with Guillermo Portabales? to listen to his mournful Guajiro songs is to cry, and long for Cuba

Agustin Farinas said...

I have a CD with most of Portabales' guajiras songs which we listen often when we have our gatherings with our Cuban friends here in Argentina. Great music. I also have many CD's of old Cuban music from the countryside since I am a guajiro at heart. I was raised in the countryside in Las Villas and attended many "guateques" during my childhood. Is always amazing to hear our Argentinians friends listen to this music and say they never heard Cuban music like that before. You see down here all they know about Cuban music is what is known here by the incorrect name of Salsa. I always chime in with my well worn remark: "salsa is what you put on the spaguettis and macarronis" this music is called son, guarachas, son montunos or whatever else you want to call it, but please don't call it salsa. I never fail to get some very strange looks from them.

Vana said...

I get so damn angry when I hear people call SON, salsa, during the disco era the Newyoricans came up with their own version of it, which was nothing more than our SON and they renamed it salsa, it took off like a rocket, now everyone calls our SON CUBANO salsa, and I HATE IT! (I point this out to anyone who will listen)of course is not Son at all what they play, it's missing something that only Cubans can give it, I wont buy it, I refuse to listen to it, don't want it around me, when I listen to music in spanish, is my very own Cuban Son, sung by Cubans, the old standards,(that my mom taught me) Aragon, Fajardo y sus Estrellas, love to laugh to the tirades and wit of Pototo y Filomeno, with the Melodias del Cuarenta behind them (I know all the songs by hard, and still laugh) when I'm in that mood of longing and mourning for Cuba I listen to Portabales, though I was born in Centro Habana, and seldom while in Cuba ventured to the country side (I left at 11) I still enjoy the Guajiro music, I envy you the fact of being among them enjoying a Guateque, like my husband, but I never had it.(see I have missed so much)
In the words of Portabales:
Oh Cuba hermosa, primorosa, porque, sufres hoy tantos quebrantos
Oh Patria mia, quien diria que tu cielo azul, nublara el llanto. sad indeed.

Jewbana said...

this is how I translate it.

Cuba is a memory that refuses to be forgotten. It is a distance that tears and alienates you. It is the paradoxical Eden for those who die while dreaming of seeing her again and those who dream while dying, escaping her. Cuba is my last illusion.