Saturday, August 11, 2007

Beyond the Babalunian Pale!


Ah, the ecstasy of one who discovers the Review of Cuban-American Blogs for the first time! I will never know that experience myself but I can well imagine what a life-altering one it is for those fortunate enough to make the discovery. How their hearts must leap to know that there is a constellation in the Cuban-American blogosphere brighter than Babalú and its satellites, and one with fresh water and clean air fit for humans and inhabited by such stars as Killcastro and the RCAB.

Well, we have been entertaining a lot of such Christopher Columbii since the Oscar Corral story broke. No blog has covered it more exhaustively than ours and it is here that everybody who googles "Oscar Corral" seems to come. One visitor this morning stayed for 97 minutes and another for 110 yesterday. Of course, this trend was already underway. Before the Corral Affaire, the all-time record at the RCAB had already been set by a reader who remained online, viewing 53 pages, for a total of 363 minutes and 8 seconds, or six hours, 3 minutes and 8 seconds continuously, starting at 9:29:34 pm on July 29 and concluding at 3:32:42 am on July 30.

Welcome, new readers! There is rational life beyond the Babalunian pale!


UPDATE:

So far just today (Sunday, Aug. 12 @ 5:30) 40 visitors to this blog have stayed for 1 hour or longer. I don't know what's happening, but I like it.

26 comments:

Vana said...

Beyond the pale...lol...Manuel yes thanks for opening this blog, you bring us the bitter herb of Babalunia, and rub it all over our faces, I love it!

bbl said...

Manuel,
I'm posting this here, but you can move to a different post.
Would you please help me with this? I found this poem and I believe that it is only part of a longer poem. What can you tell me about it and where can I find a complete copy?
Thank you in advance.

"Por la encantadora orilla
que riega el Cubanacay,
donde lindas flores hay
y el sol más hermoso brilla,
donde la tierna avecilla
corta el aire en blando giro,
y vegeta el caguajiro
a orillas de la sabana,
sobre una jaca alazana
iba un rústico guajiro.

Perfecto tipo de aquellos
habitantes primitivos,
con sus ojos expresivos
y con sus negros cabellos,
tostados como eran ellos,
este rústico guajiro
la cumbre azul del Capiro
contemplaba con despecho,
y ahogar no pudo en su pecho
un doloroso suspiro.
(Nápoles Fajardo 1856)

Charlie Bravo said...

Manuel, thanks for the greatly unmerited compliments. We hope to be stars one day, but I think that fate is scaping us in our lifetime, thanks a million, again.

Vana said...

bbl:
Hope Manuel can help you with your quest, by the way, it's a beautiful poem

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

[A most unusual love poem, in which the jealous suitor plots to kill his beloved in order to avenge himself on his rival. A less imaginative poet than "El Cucalambé" would have been content just to kill the rival. Very rich in local color and memorable diction. — MAT]


EL AMANTE CELOSO

Por la encantadora orilla
Que riega el Cubanacay,
Donde lindas flores hay
Y el sol más hermoso brilla,
Donde la tierna avecilla
Corta el aire en blando giro,
Y vegeta el caguajiro
A orillas de la sabana,
Sobre una jaca alazana
Iba un rústico guajiro.

Perfecto tipo de aquellos
Habitantes primitivos,
Con sus ojos expresivos
Y con sus negros cabellos,
Tostados como eran ellos,
Este rústico guajiro
La cumbre azul del Capíro
Contemplaba con despecho,
Y ahogar no pudo en su pecho
Un doloroso suspiro.

Herido en su corazón
Por el dardo de los celos,
Dejaba de sus abuelos
La rústica habitación.
La que amaba en su ilusión
Como el ave a la colina,
La que él juzgó dulce fina
La que cantaba incesante,
No fue tierna ni constante
Cual mi adorada Rufina.

La que su afán bendecía
En noches de Mayo y Junio,
Fue causa de su infortunio
Y de su amor se reía;
Pero él, que ya conocía
De su amada el abandono,
Con ese implacable encono
De los celos más violentos,
Al son de agua y los vientos
Cantaba con brusco tono:

"Alienta corazón mío,
Y desecha tus enojos,
No permitas que mis ojos
Lloren como llora el río;
Pagar con igual desvío
Sirva a tu mal de remedio,
Disipa tu amargo tedio,
Calma tu pesar profundo,
Pues dicen que medio mundo
Se burla del otro medio.

Si la hermosa que adoré
Está por otro rendida,
Si me desprecia y me olvida,
Yo también la olvidaré:
Con ella no bailaré
Al son de tiples y guiros,
Y de mi saña los tiros
Pronto le harán conocer
Que es peligroso ofender
A nosotros los guajiros.

Tú entenderás que hay en mi
Firmeza y resolución,
Y que tengo un corazón
Más fuerte que un coyují;
Cuando sepas ¡hay de ti!
La cólera que reprimo,
Verás que mi honor estimo
Como hombre de buena ley,
Y no soy como el copey
Que necesita de arrimo.

Tu querido y mi rival
Ha de pasar mas congojas,
Más amarguras que hojas
Se ven en su guayabal;
¡Ay, desdichado de tal
Si yo lo encuentro en el sao!
Más negra que el cucubao
Su estrella contemplara,
Porque ella perdiz será
Y yo seré el guaraguao.

Si denudo mi machete,
Si le enseño mi cuchillo,
Se pondrá más amarillo
Que el corazón del fustete:
Si embisto con un tolete
Al que en amar te recreas,
Mejor es que no lo veas
Si yo mis biles exhalo
Porque nací en Pelo Malo
Y pengo malas ideas.

¡Adios, pues!...Tu inicua acción
Y tus injustos desdenes
Me hacen saber que no tienes
Virtud en el corazón:
Suspira con tu ilusión,
Gózate con tu esperanza,
Busca en el tiempo que avanza
Un regocijo infinito,
Mientras que yo premedito
Los golpes de mi venganza.

Así dijo, y de repente
El pobre amante celoso,
Se enjugó el sudor copioso
Que humedecía su frente.
Alzó la vista impaciente
Donde tantas flores hay,
Oyó de Cubanacay
El murmullo dulce y blando,
Y se alejó contemplando
La cumbre del Escambray.

Juan Cristobal Napolés Fajardo
(El "Cucalambé")

bbl said...

Manuel,
A big thank you, I don't know what else to say. I found the beginning of this beautiful poem while researching about Siboneys in Cuba. I have listened to my father recite parts of poems by "El Cucalambe" and I have always been curious about him. But I had forgetten about it until I stumbled upon this poem. Now I want to know more of his poems and him. So far, google has helped me with his birth and short life. But I can't find any more of his poems. Any ideas?

Again, thank you kindly for your help.

BBL

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
since you seem to have an amazing ability to find these long forgotten poems and post them here, here is one I learned in grammar school but have not been able to remember the whole thing from memory.

El carretero Juan Prado

En un pantano atascado
a orillas del Yumuri
hecho estaba un renegado
el carretero Juan Prado
bravo como un cayari

Cual carretero de ley
juro como un condenado
al gritar desesperado
Perla Fina, Tiesa Buey
oyo que del otro lado
una voz le dijo
Ey

Mal rayos de Dios bendito
quien demonios me llamo
ya ves no lo ves maldito
un eje se me torcio
Sio

A callar a su gallinas
si las tiene o las robo
Tiesa bueyes perla fina
a mi naiden me callo
Yo

Que salga salga el ladino
si es tan cheche y es tan curro
que tengo bien afilado
un chuchillo que he comprado
Prado

Me conoces?, no respondes
habrase visto un aquel
vamos sal donde te escondes
vive Dios a que es Manuel
El

Muchacho de mil legiones
ven aca por un momento
que con estos canjilones
estoy casi que reviento
Viento

Que viento ni que marica
(falta esta estrofa)
dijo Juan pico su yunta
y logro salir del lodo

Esto yo mismo lo vi
le sucedio a un carretero
a orillas del Yumuri.

No esta completo porque no recuerdo mas. Son muchos años desde que lo lei en segundo grado en Cuba. Pero era el eco quien en el Valle del Yumuri le respondia.
If you can find anything about it or know who wrote please post it. I have been trying to find it but have been unable to do so for a few months now.
Thanks.

Agustin Farinas said...

Well Manuel, I did a search in Google and found it.
So for everyone who loves poems and especially Cuban poems from the folklore of the countryside , here it is.

EL CARRETERO Y EL ECO

En un pantano atascado
a orillas del Yumurí (*)
Hecho estaba un renegado
El carretero Juan Prado,
Bravo como un cayarí.

Cual carretero de ley (*)

juró como un condenado
al gritar desesperado
Perla Fina, tesia buey (*)

Y allá del otro lado una voz le dijo : ¡ey !

Mal rayo del Dios bendito
Quien demonios me llamó
Que quieres ?,
lo ves maldito
ya el eje se me torció!

Sio ! (*)

A callar a sus gallinas
Si las tiene o las robó.
Perla Fina !, Tesia Buey
A mi nadien me callo!

Yo!

Pues salga, salga al camino
Si es tan cheche o tan curro
Salga, salga al endino
Y vera como lo aburro

Burro!

Burro será usted,
Atrevido, insolente, deslenguado,
¡ ven acá que se me ha partido
el cuchillo que he comprado!

Prado!

¿Me conoces ?
No respondes
Abrase visto un aquél
Vamos, ¡sal de ahí!
Dónde te escondes,
Vive Dios a que es Manuel?

El !

Muchacho por mil legiones
Ven acá por un momento
Es que en estos cangilones
Estoy casi que reviento

Viento !

¿Qué viento dices ?
¿Qué vientos ni que marica?
Manuel, Manuel, anda listo
Que estoy como picapica (*)

Pica !

Y no ves que estoy picando
pero es que el lodo está muy seco,
no es Manuel cuando me deja
en el pantano atascado
¡A paisano que está apurado
se ayuda y noi se aconseja!

Ceja !

Gran demonios
Quién te entiende, ¿ y te escondes en la zaranda?
¿ O serás acaso algún duende
que vives en la otra banda ?

Anda !

Ya quisiera por lo cierto
venga acá y agarre la vara
es que en estos cangilones
estoy casi medio muerto
¿no repara ?

Para !

Y no ves que estoy parado
Pero es que el lodo esta muy seco.
Venga acá señor tapado
y verá como lo desfleco

Eco !

Es verdad, el eco es todo
y yo pregunta y pregunta
dijo Juan, picó su yunta
y logró salir del lodo

Esto mismo yo vi
en un hecho verdadero
que le sucedió a un carretero
a orillas del Yumurí




Gerardo Cabrera

(de la tradición oral de los isleños de Cuba)

bbl said...

Agustin,
another great poem: It reminds of my father struggling with his bulls. It goes like this: En Cuba, en Oriente, monte adentro my dad, a guajiro(like me), campesino as he is had two bulls for plowing the fields next to our house.
Se llamaban "Coliblanco" y "Telafina"
Now, "Coliblanco" was one lazy bull, he did not like pulling the plow ("el arao"). My father, in his infinite patience with animals(not with men) would call out their names: "Coliblanco!" "Telafiiina!" "Coliblanco" would just stand there stubbornly, moving a little bit more like swaying in place. "Telafina" would try to pull his weight and more to no avail. Until "Coliblanco" was good a ready no work was done.

Memories of what once was.

Vana said...

Manuel:
Cucalambe is the same man they mention in El Madrugador? wow he was a real man? I thought it was a made up name, wonders never cease, nevertheless that's a beautiful poem, thanks bbl for bringing it to our attention

Vana said...

Agustin:
Funny poem, el guajiro did not realize it was his own echo, thanks for posting it

Agustin Farinas said...

Bbl,
that scene you have described was part of my daily life in Cuba during the vacations from school in Havana. I lived in a sugar mill in las Villas and the population was no more than a few hundred people and everyone knew each other. In front of my house there was a place to shoe the oxen that pulled the carts that brought the cane to the mill so I witnessed many of those stories with my own eyes. I listened with amazement at the carreteros drive their oxen with their well rehearsed shouts laced with flowery names for their oxen. Our house had many mariposa flower beds in front so the zum-zum hummingbirds delighted us with their frequent visits while we smelled those typical Cuban beautiful flowers.
Those are some of the most wonderful memories I treasure from Cuba. The pungent smell of the cane being processed and the sugar being produced and eaten by us in the raw inside the mill, while our neighbour the chemist prepared tall glasses of guarapo in his laboratory for all of our school mate friends who were visiting the countryside from Havana. Morning rides on horse back, preparaing traps for the small pigeons with branches of "galan" with unmilled rice for bait. Then a dip in the river in the afternoon and while swimming there, brush and wash the horses. I have never known a life like that again. A simple life but full of wonderful things to do and enjoy. I live now in the country too but is not the same. But you know what they say: Tu puedes sacar al guajiro del campo, pero no le puedes sacar de adentro el campo al guajiro. Boy how I miss those times.

bbl said...

Agustin,

what a lovely place you describe. A blessed childhood you had.


Words cannot describe my feelings for what we left behind although I have not searched much I believe that even if I did I could never find what we had in Cuba.
The closest sugar mill to us was el central America en Contramaestre. My father had a small cattle and coffee farm. Of course, that did not stop my father from planting sugar cane so that we could have gurapo and sugar cane at home.

Trampas para las tojosas, smaller that doves, how mournful their call.

You certainly cannot take el guajiro out. Here is a funny one:
I have papaya trees in my yard. The other day I picked two papayas and and I proceed to score the fruit with a small knife as I had learned from my Dad. My husban who is not Cuban (yes, it is a handicap)looks over and with a puzzled look asks me what I'm doing. "Scoring the fruit so that the milky sap can seep out and the fruit ripens faster and sweeter." He just looks at me and shakes his head, "Cubans..." he says.
I always tell him that we Cubans have all the knowledge of those that came before us and all those that mixed with us. It is in our genes.

Agustin Farinas said...

Bbl,
it is exactly as you said. Those were traps for tojosas made with galans branches that bend but do not break. ( I called the tojosas pigeons for lack of a better word). We had also cañas cristalinas in our front yard because those were the ones that grew thicker and juicier for eating. My cousinas and I cut them into little pieces and put the full bowl in the refrigerator to eat later on watching TV. We also had a big vegetable garden where we grew radishes, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, and peppers of many different kinds, sweet and hot. Since my folks had come from Spain ( I am first generation Cuban) they also grew peaches, apricots,appples, prunes, and lots of grapes believe it or not. Of course they were small size compared to the ones in Spain but it made my father and uncles feel like they were at home. I rode everyday on a horse with lots of friends from the zone (guajiritos) who knew every trick on the book about animals and the general fauna of the region. It was not strange to be sitting at home watching TV at night and seeing frogs inside the house since in Cuba all doors were opened at all times. We had a pretty big pig sty in the back and every Christmas my father and my uncles killed a big pig and made morcillas and lard for the whole year, besides the traditional Christmas dinner. Near the back porch there was a hen house full with hens, roosters, ducks and guinea hens including a pair of yaguasas ( a variant of the duck family). It was not unusual sometimes to see the hens entering the house through the back door followed by all the chicks behind her. My father once decided to raise rabbits and pheasants so we had some of those also. I used to pick the guins from the top of the canes to make the frame for the kites made with paper mache . It was like living in paradise but we took everything for granted until one day the world collapsed around us we lost it all. Now in South America where I currently live, we reside in a small town in the sierras with about 600 folks that aslo know each other and everyday when I go shopping for our lunch and dinner, everyone says hello and chat.I am known as the "cubano and my wife as the "cubana". By the way my wife is from Holguin so she is from the same province as you and practically nearby. Thanks for sharing the story with us.

Vana said...

Agustin:
Beautiful indeed the life you had in Cuba, my husband was born in Matanzas, though he lived in Havana, he would go al campo and spend his summer vacations there, much of what he tells me sounds like your stories, I have always envied him those vacations, for I was born in Havana and never had those encounters, we seldom ventured out of the city, to me Cuba is playing in the streets, parks and the beaches we often frequented, ah the beaches, I've never seen any so beautiful, how I miss them, but soon very soon, we will all go back, and enjoy that life again, hope is something we cannot afford to lose

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

I remember visiting my great-uncle's house in Campo Florido when I was a boy. It was a wooden house and huge; attached to it was my uncle's carpentry workshop, which was almost as big as the house. My great-uncle Angel lived there with his wife and two maiden sisters; they were in their mid 70s to early 80s when I knew them.

I called my great-uncle "Tío Viejo" to distinguish him from my other Tío Angel, my father's brother. None of the elderly inhabitants of that house had ever had children of their own, so you can well imagine what their nephews meant to them. They were simple and carefree people, with no troubles of their own, who gladly took upon themselves the troubles of others and helped them to bear them.

They lived in the house that their brother, my grandfather, had given them. Grandfather, who was president of the Havana Cattleman's Association, had seen more of the world than they had, of course, but he shared the same simple tastes with them and was never happier than in their company.

As no one in my family ever learned how to drive, every Saturday afternoon our chauffeur, who lived over the garage in our house in La Vívora, would take us to visit them. It was a long drive spent absorbing the serene beauty of the Cuban countryside. How I wish I could take that drive one last time if only to visit the cemetery where they are buried!

Our visit was the highlight of my uncle and aunts' week. They would all be waiting for us in the porch of the house on their rocking chairs. The aunts had been cooking all day and Tío Angel in his workshop repairing the leather straps on the kitchen chairs or building cribs for the family's new progeny or his neighbors'. As a boy I wanted to be a carpenter like Tío Viejo, which pleased both my great-uncle and grandfather.

My aunts, and my eyes water even thinking of them, had dedicated their entire lives to raising other people's children.

They belonged to that unique Cuban confraternity known as maiden aunts. I don't think their like exists in any other culture. They had usually never married or if married were childless and pass the age of childbearing. Yet they still possessed all the maternal love of the most devoted and selfless mother, which they lavished on their sisters' and especially their brothers' children. Their entire lives revolved around other women's children and the mothers were not only happy to have their help but expected it. Our Cuban maiden aunts were usually a bit childlike themselves and a lot more fun than one's own parents, and even more inclined to indulge their nieces and nephews.

Once upon a time, there were legions of these saintly women (for they exemplified saintliness more than any wooden statues in churches). I don't know if their like still exists in Cuba. I should certainly like to think so because Cuban children need them now more than ever.

Charlie Bravo said...

Ah Manuel, these are the same women that suddenly becomes our non-families, by (the dubious) "virtue" of American law regulating trips and family reunification for Cubans: out of sudden, your family gets reduced to your parents, single siblings, and children. That's what's called "family reunification", and there are people who say it with a straight face. So those members of the family are left in Cuba.... when one gets here, guess what... American law doesn't even allow one to assist them in their needs at their last days. Very humanitarian, indeed. Then they cannot be visited in a period of three years.... and they most likely will die of sadness and material deprivations during that period of time.
To cap it all, there are Cubans who defend this, because.... as we all "know" those five dollars to the spinsters of the family (who were like a bunch of extra mothers for us) "help castro"....
So, we both are from La Vibora. Good fresh air and rich water in that place that bred people like us!

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

Although Castro has done everything that a perverse mind could do to rend apart the Cuban family, this battle, at least, he has not won. Inspite of him, Cubans have not lost and never will lose their devotion to family, which means not just love but the willingness to embrace the duties which love imposes.

It is impossible to love merely in theory; it is the practice of love which validates it. Consequently, it is impossible to say: "I love my grandmother but I think that in the long term all Cubans will benefit if I let her starve." Love necessarily imposes the obligation not to let her starve.

If we embrace the enemy's nihilism then we would be able to fight Castro to the last grandmother, even the last mother. But if we did that, what would be the point of fighting him at all when we have become the very thing he is?

I have no family left in Cuba. It would be very easy for me to endorse restrictions on cash remittances or other assistance, whether imposed by Castro or the U.S. Still, I would never endorse any artificial (and unnatural) limitations on the definition of family, precisely because the Cuban concept of family ingrained in me as a child still lives in me even if my family no longer does.

curt9954 said...

Hey Manuel, I also strongly disagree with the postings on Babulu. What I don't understand is that your blog and Babalu have exactly the same ideology towards Cuba. You right wing fascists will never control Cuba because there is too much infighting between your factions. Only a unified movement can ever create change and that is why us Socialists will prevail!

Vana said...

Manuel:
Your story reminds me of my own great aunt, my mother's aunt, who was a widow, she had no children of her own, yet she watched over my sister and I with as much love as if we were hers, she watched us after my parents divorce, while my mom worked, I remember her very fondly, and lovingly, she spoiled us rotten, as you say that was a way of life we shall never see again, for I have never seen it here

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Curt:

Yes, I remember you from Miami's Cuban Connection [R.I.P]. I see you are still what you were then — an unconditional supporter of Castro's fascist-corporate state. As a Communist (or "Marxist," or "socialist," or whatever you choose to call yourself now), I do not understand how you can possibly support Castro's personal capitalism, which has enabled him to amass the largest fortune in Cuba by turning the entire island into his own private factory and its inhabitants into wageless slaves. Castro's brand of capitalism is akin to that of the 19th century robber barons except that he has accomplished what they only dreamt about — a complete monololy on the every aspect of a nation's commerce and the enslavement of its labor force.

If this is what Marxism represents to you, then there is no practical difference between Marxism and fascism in your mind, and fascism is the same to you as Marxism.

Both, of course, are on the same totalitarian continuum and at one time were even allied, so your sympathy for both is not in the least odd.

bbl said...

Agustin and Manuel thank you for sharing your memories, your wonderful stories. It is amazing how many things we share.

Agustin, Holguin is just north of where we lived. Please give your wife my regards.

Manuel you put it so well and I agree: Who in their right mind would not help their family regardless of the circumstances? If we did this then we would have become the beast.

I found another poem by El Cucalambe´, with Manuel’s permission I’m going to post it here. I love the simplicity of the things he writes about. I remember walking with my Mom to visit my aunt and along the road these mounds of blancas campanillas would spring. The fragrance was unforgettable; running here and there I would stop and pick long strands to make garlands. I would watch the bees busily harvesting the nectar. The honey our local colmenero had was as fragrant as the flowers.

A RUFINA. INVITACIÓN SEGUNDA

JUAN CRISTÓBAL NÁPOLES FAJARDO,
EL CUCALAMBÉ
(1829-1862?)

Con sus aguas fecundantes
Tenemos aquí el octubre
Y ya la tierra se cubre
De bellas flores fragantes.
Los jobos se ven boyantes
En las corrientes del río;
El guajiro en su bohío
Canta con dúlcido afán,
Y pronto se acabarán,
Los calores del estío.

Tengo, Rufina, en mi estancia,
Paridas matas de anones,
Cuyos frutos ya pintones
Esparcen dulce fragancia:
Hay piñas en abundancia
Dulces así como tú;
Hay guayabas del Perú
Y mameyes colorados,
Que comeremos sentados
Bajo el alto sabicú.

Tú en mi caballo alazán
Y yo en la yegua tordilla
De la estancia por la orilla
Correremos con afán.
Verás qué verdes están
Los palmares inmediatos,
Contemplarás los boniatos,
Y las cañas bulliciosas
Y en éstas y en otras cosas
Pasaremos bellos ratos.

Pronto verás las orillas
Del arroyo y las barrancas,
Cómo se cubren de blancas
Y fragantes campanillas.
Las ciruelas amarillas
Están madurando ya,
Muy pronto sazonará
La fresca y sabrosa caña,
Y el mijo allá en la montaña
También madurando está.
De tarde recogerás
Los huevos del gallinero
Y mi ordinario sombrero
Lleno a la casa traerás:
Un gallo giro verás
Que pienso poner en traba.
Porque los pollos me acaba
Con su maldita fiereza;
Ven, chinita, que ya empieza
A madurar la guayaba.

Te llevaré a un colmenar
Con cuyos productos medro,
Y que está bajo de un cedro
Al fondo del platanal;
La miel te daré a probar
Si miedosa no te alejas,
Y sobre unas palmas viejas
Alterosas por demás,
A los pitirres verás
Asechando a las abejas.

Si a caminar te sonsaco
Por las riberas del río,
Contemplarás, ángel mío,
Lindas vegas de tabaco.
Allí oyendo el chinchiguaco
Por entre una y otra calle
Tu pulidísimo talle
Sin rival te lucirá,
Y esbelto se mecerá
Como la palma en el valle.

De un ingenio que hay vecino
Te enseñaré los primores,
Los negros trabajadores
Y las pailas y el molino.
De blanco azúcar refino
Verás al sol los tendales,
Y allá en los cañaverales
Has de oír aunque te inquietes,
Fuertes golpes de machete,
Voces de los mayorales.



De un cafetal inmediato
Entre mil bellos objetos,
Los florecidos cafetos
También de enseñarte trato:
Allí descansando un rato
A la fresca sombra de ellos,
Cantaré tus ojos bellos,
Tus encantos soberanos,
Y te estrecharé las manos
Y besaré tus cabellos.

Y en fin, cuando nos cansemos
De tanto correr ufanos,
Cantando versos cubanos
A mi estancia volveremos.
Allí mil cosas haremos
Que quedarán inter-nos
Y descansando los dos
Sobre rústicos asientos,
Bendeciremos contentos
A nuestra Patria y a Dios.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

bbl:

It is quite common to find a question mark after a noted person's year of birth. Many historical personages were uncertain about their age or else lied about it. It is far rarer, however, when a question mark follows someone's year of death, especially if that person was well-known as El Cucalambé was in his lifetime.

Napolés Fajardo did quite literally fall off the face of the earth at age 32 and was never heard of again. At the time of his disappearance, he was employed as a tax collector and an audit found some 3000 pesos missing from his accounts. He maintained that he had been set up and there is some evidence to back his contention in the archives. Some believe that he was murdered by whomever stole the money. Still, he may himself have been guilty of the theft and absconded with the money. The fact is that he was never spotted again. Many legends have evolved around his disappearance, which no one has yet to explain. His body was never found.

bbl said...

Manuel,
hmmm.. to just fall off the face of the earth, that is some mystery.
Perhaps he just became part of the scenery that he was so familial with and loved so much. His poems are so vivid.

BBL

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