On August 29, death believed itself the winner, but it was just that, a wrong judgment of reality that led her to imagine that catching a free spirit was possible. Migrating to other sidereal spaces can never condemn our loved ones to absence, silence or inertia, much less when the proportions of the soul are greater than those of the corporeal space. That’s why Carilda Oliver Labra can never be torn from life.
In the mansion of Tirry 81, a sanctuary for Matanzas culture, an altar was erected to honor the poet. After the beautiful urn where the ashes are protected, the heart of Jesus Christ illuminated the roads, beyond life and death.
On both sides stood the offerings of the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Raúl Castro Ruz, and the president of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez. The perfume of the flowers enveloped the place, as if her, the very Carilda, accompanied us in her farewell duel.
It is impossible to talk about Matanzas, without talking about Carilda Oliver.
Honored Matanzas poet Víctor Gaute, member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Party; Teresa Rojas Monzón, first secretary of the provincial Party; Tania León Silveira, president of the Government in the province and the Minister of Culture, Alpidio Alonso.
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«It is a very hard and bitter moment for Cuban poetry. Carilda is an essential figure for the national culture and one of the great poetic voices in the Island and Hispanic America. She is one of those women who was at the forefront and who at the time contributed to widen the limits of poetry, said the Minister of Culture.
«Carilda made a real contribution, along with other great poetesses of our continent, to human emancipation and, fundamentally, to the emancipation of women. She was a poet of a very broad thematic and formal record that sang to love, to Matanzas, to the Motherland.
«You cannot be superficial when evaluating his work and relate it only to erotic themes because she made essential contributions. In it we warn a poet of very deep humanist concerns, patriot, who loved her land intensely. It is impossible to talk about Matanzas, without talking about Carilda Oliver.
«We have been privileged to coincide in time with a poet of her stature, an artist of human value as we know Carilda. It also satisfies to know that we are saying goodbye to someone who leaves us with a great lesson in coherence and ethics.
«Very early, Carilda identified what part was justice , what part was beauty, what part was love, what part was life. That is why she put herself on the side of the Revolution, that is why she wrote Fidel’s tenths and sent them to the Sierra Maestra. That is why she did not make any kind of concession in her work and her work continued to pull the conscience of all of us . She remained an audacious, daring, cheerful poet. All her work is a song to life.
«Carilda, who was never given to give lessons, leaves us the deepest of them: she tells us how a poet should live and die. That’s something that we take and we rejoice to have shared with an artist of this magnitude. I feel depositary of all the pain of the workers of the culture, of the intellectuals and artists of the country because Carilda was not only a poetess from Matanzas. Carilda was loved and will be loved by Cuban people. Her work is deeply rooted in the feelings of her country. »
I will not keep with me anylittle of country: I want it all on my grave
The endearing friendship that was established very early between Carilda Oliver and Nancy Morejón, National Prize of Literature (2001) always was accompanied by a mutual admiration. From the decade of the 70s an affection that lasts until today arose. Nancy did not cry to Carilda because to whom she professes joy, we must give her the gesture without tears.
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«In the greens and in the mature ones I came here with Miguel (Barnet) to be with Carilda. What will I tell you in the midst of this pain? There is an inevitable and tremendous pain that I do not shun. An assessment of Carilda is a risk because it may not reach the extraordinary dimension of his writing. She is one of the great artists of the Spanish language, of Spanish-American poetry.
«I always learned with a professor from the Havana Institute, where I studied, that the sonnet was invented by Apollo for the torture of bad poets and Carilda was a skilled hand in the sonnet. They are lessons of rigor, dedication, simplicity and tenderness.
«All her poems of erotic and amorous themes represent a classic; However, for me Carilda is not only those two aspects, but it also carries a very particular message of humanity that is condensed in the famous poem that is practically an epitaph that adorns Mercaderes street, in the historic center of Old Havana . In it she says that she wants the whole earth on her grave. »
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When my grandmother camebrought a bit of Spanish land,when my mother leftHe took some Cuban land.
I came to take the energy that only true poetry manages to transmitAlex Pausides manifested the many reasons that always make him return to the road of Tirry. «Carilda was the incarnation, not only of poetry, but also of freedom, justice, good and beauty. His house is like a sanctuary of Cuban poetry.
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«Not only is it a duty, I had the need to come, accompany her wherever she is, since she gave us the possibility of being in the same time as she was, maybe even breathing the same oxygen that she breathed.
«I came in the name of writers who cannot be here for many reasons, for my friendship, for my love, for the love that she awoke in those who knew her, in those who admire her poetry.
«I am also here because of the commitment to contribute to the promotion of her work. In order that readers continue to feel Carilda next door, everything we do will be little because she is a woman who deserves all readers.
«I think she is a poet, precisely, with many followers, she is not a loner, she is not a hermit, she is not an artist enclosed in a glass case.
«She is a woman of the breast of the people. That is why being here is as if she were there alive, sitting in a little room watching, capturing. I also come here to take some energy that I lack and that only true poetry manages to transmit. »
She told me things about her life, shocking Seldom
I have seen a man give so much to the sobs, as he did this August 29 Antón Arrufat, National Literature Prize (2000). The writer who rarely lacked words, with breathless breathing, revealed a little known facet of his great friend of several decades.
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«I remember many things about her, many. We were very good friends. I came to see her a Matanzas a lot. We worked together. I valued things that she did not care about, but I insisted and insisted until I valued the stories she had written.
«We passed them in clean and we published them in an editorial in Havana. Actually its dimension is not as big as that of poetry, but it absolutely supports it. There are some, such as Appointment at 9, which are extraordinary at any height of any writer in the world. I tried after her to write stories, but she was not interested in that.
«The conversations we had here in the living room of her home, with friends or just both of us, were really enriching. She told me things about her life, shocking. What else can one aspire to? That people be …
» The author of The Seven Against Thebes (1968) could not finish speaking. Emotions gathered in his throat and, then, it was only possible to give himself up to the memories he shared with the woman who now observes him from another dimension.
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Carilda will be the eternal young
This August 29th was a day of mourning for Cubans and for many people in any part of the world, but also for collective displays of affection and respect for the Bride of Matanzas, said Luis Morlote, first vice president of UNEAC.
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«I believe that there is no other way of expressing ourselves that is not with that deep pain felt by writers and artists, but also by Cubans. Carilda was a person who not only gave herself to love for her exalted work, but for her life itself.
«She was a very special writer with the most important awards. She connected with the people, she managed to say the deepest things with simple language. It represents one of the myths of Cuban culture that will survive for generations.
«With UNEAC she had a very special relationship. She was an active member of its National Council; she participated and, even when she could not attend, she sent her comments in writing or called Barnet (Miguel), who always maintained a close relationship with her. She felt the organization alive.
«Today there have been many examples of pain and affection we have received at UNEAC, hundreds of messages sharing songs or poems inspired by Carilda.
«This is a manifestation of mourning, but also of national affection. It highlights the fact that her house is full of friends of all generations because Carilda was a person who gave herself to be love by people of all ages.
«At the moment when the young people formally made her a Youth Teacher (because she was a teacher of many generations) I remember the humility and simplicity with which she sat among them to talk about poetry, not as a teacher, but as one more from them. These are memories that cannot be erased. Carilda will be the eternal young woman. »
If Carilda gave us almost a century of her life, she will also reward us with an eternity. That is the spirit with which the inhabitants of this Caribbean island will remember the National Prize for Literature (1997) because she is not just a poetess from Matanzas. Carilda is loved by all of Cuba.