And when Joaquin Pasos describes “The Old Indians,” we can easily envision the Native Americans of our own country: The old men take their sins to the countryside, this is their only work. They free them by day, then spend the day forgetting, and in the afternoon they go out and lasso them so they can sleep with them and keep warm. Yet the political content of many of the poems reminds us that these poets are from Central America. Some of the poets openly responded to the volatile political situations in their country, joining the battle against foreign intervention and tyranny. Pasos, who died in 1947, described the American presence in Nicaragua in the 1930s. He wrote the following poem in English instead of Spanish: Intervention Time:. 1 p.m. The hour sings obscenities over a fat man’s belly on good digestion and it belches the words. That is why I throw them in English. Another quality of this after-glut time is to be special for roughness. So, we may spit the druggist’s shop of the sun and say: “What do you want?” and “Go to hell.” The minutes bite like mosquitoes. This is an Intervention time. This is an hour to be said by yankee trumpets just up there in the Campo de Marte. 0! The Houses are groggy under the blows of heaven. You will never get for your hair a ribbon or a star from the North American banner! Pasos’ sentiments are echoed in the 1970s by Ernesto Cardenal, who is now Minister of Culture in the Sandinista government. He uses humor to recognize and ridicule the awful power of Somoza \(“Somoza Unveils the Statue It’s not that I think the people erected this statue because I know better than you that I ordered it myself. Nor do I pretend to pass into posterity with it because I know the people will topple it over someday. Not that I wanted to erect to myself in life the monument you never would erect to me in death: I erected this statue because I knew you would hate it. To gather these poems, White traveled from town to town in Nicaragua seeking poets and manuscripts. He began in 1979 \(shortly before the Sandinistas defeated the Somoza reNicaraguan Spanish, he worked on a coffee plantation during harvest time. White was soon befriended by Cardenal, who introduced him to other poets and to the Nicaragua of the revolution. \(His own book of poetry, Burning the Old Year, White presents both the “literary giants” of Nicaragua as well as the revolutionary poets. “Part of my responsibility as an anthologist is to try to be really open to different styles of work,” White explained. “It’s important to represent what’s going on in a country. . . . You have to realize how people of their own country assess themselves.” SOCIAL CAUSE CALENDAR A MUSICAL LOSS Santiago Jimenez, the San Antonio native who helped create conjunto music, died December 18 in San Antonio. In the 1930s and 1940s, Jimenez and Narciso Martinez developed the distinctive conjunto style of accordion playing based on a combination of German polkas and Mexican rancheras. Santiago Jimenez’s son, Leonardo “Flaco” Jimenez, brought conjunto music to international attention when he recorded and toured with rock musician Ry Cooder. ART NEWS Austin: Mexic -Arte, a service and support organization for artists, will sponsor “Real idades Mexicanas, a mixed media exhibit demonstrating several aspects of Mexico through important Mexican woodcuts and photographs. The historical context of contemporary Mexican-American art will be shown, as well, in the exhibit’s parts, “Realism en Texas,” “Cuatro Decadas de la Grafica,” and “Mexican Photographers.” January 11-February 8, Arts Warehouse, 300 San 9373. Fort Worth: “Charles M. Russell: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture,” a special exhibit portraying the American frontier as Russell knew it, will be shown OBSERVANCES January 15, 1929 Martin Luther King, Jr., was born. January 17, 1970 Chicano activists gathered in Crystal City to found La Raza Unida Party. January 19, 1973 Virginia Musquiz voted Chicana del Ario. January 20, 1925 Miriam Ferguson was inaugurated as the first woman governor of Texas. January 22, 1973 U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion. January 23, 1907 Charles Curtis of Kansas. became the first Native American U.S. Senator. January 26, 1833 Elisabet Ney, Austin resident, feminist, and Texas artist, was born in Germany. January 27, 1973 Vietnam peace treaty signed in Paris. January 11 -March 10, Amon Carter Museum. The artist also wrote of his perception of the changing West: “This country is fenced and settled by ranch men and farmers with nothing but a few deep worn trails where once walked the buffalo . . I am glad . . . I knew it before natures man invaded and marred its beauty.” Joan Stauffer will perform her one-woman program, “A Visit with Nancy Russell,” January 12 and 13, the Museum Theater. Houston: “Faces of Mexico: Masks from the Cordry Collection,” an exhibit of 15 masks selected from the outstanding Cordry Collection of the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas, Austin, will be presented in conjunction with a celebration of the arts and crafts of Mexico, sponsored by Amigos de las Americas, January 9-March 3, Museum of Fine Arts, Lower Brown Corridor. TRINITY LECTURES Trinity University, San Antonio, will host two lectures: “Learning Disabled Children and Remediation of their Difficulties,” presented by Dr. Doris Johnson, Northwestern University, and Dr. Janet Lerner, Northeastern Illinois University, January 19, Chapman Auditorium, 9 a.m.-noon; and Elie Wiesel, holocaust writer and Auschwitz survivor, speaking as part of the distinguished Lecture Series, January 23, Laurie Auditorium, 8 p.m. Both lectures are free. A PLEDGE OF RESISTANCE A new group. Citizens for Self-Determibeen formed in San Antonio to organize a plan for immediate public reaction in the event of a U.S. invasion of Nicaragua. 28 JANUARY 11, 1985
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