Poems by Gabriel de la Concepción Valdés

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Illustrated paperback ISBN: 9788490075104
Hardcover ISBN: 9788411260640

The poems of Gabriel de la Concepción Valdés (Placido) reflect his ethnicity and his cult miscegenation. Born from the clandestine loves of a Burgos dancer and a mestizo hairdresser. Recognized by Heredia, he collaborated in the Aurora de Matanzas, El Pasatiempo, El Eco de Villaclara, among others. Plácido is one of the most important romantic poets of Cuba.
Placido’s poetry took an unexpected turn in Afro-Cuban literature. He was what José Lezama Lima described as a repentista poet. However, Lezama himself saw in him glimpses of a broader vision and a depth that surpassed his vital circumstance.
Placido died young, suffered persecution and imprisonment. He was accused of participating in the so-called Ladder Conspiracy and was shot in 1844, at thirty-five years of age.

The coffee flower

I am captivated by a beautiful
For whom life will give
If you welcome me affectionately:
Because it’s candid and beautiful
“Like the flower of coffee.”

They are his effulgent eyes,
Grana on his lips looks,
And they are his little teeth,
White, even, shiny,
“Like the flower of coffee.”

I only spoke to her once
And I said to her, “You love me, Flora,
And more songs I will do you
That pearls rains the aurora
About the coffee flower.”

To be fine and constant I swear,
To fulfill it I am sure,
Until I die I will love you
Because my chest is so pure
“Like the flower of coffee.”

She replied on the spot:
“—From a poet the oath
In my life I will believe,
Because it goes with the wind
“Like the flower of coffee.”

When their fiery souls
They offer eternal faith,
They call us nymphs and goddesses,
More fragrant than roses
“And the flowers in coffee.”

“But when they have already achieved,
Like a zephyr that embedded,
In the Tempé Valley,
Fold your wings asleep
“On the Coffee Flower.”

“Then, abandoned
In unhappy solitude
They leave the lover who was,
As in exhausted dust
“The flower of coffee lies.”

I replied, “So much complaining.
Suspend, Flora, because
Also the woman is left
Sting from any bee,
“Like the flower of coffee.”

“Love me, my trigueña,
And until the last day
Do not doubt that I will be faithful;
You will be my poetry
“And I your coffee flower.”

“In your sight I will sing,
And the arrebol will look
That to my sweet trovas give,
Like the sun’s rays
“The coffee flower shines.”

He sighed with emotion,
He looked at me, fell silent and left;
And from that occasion
Always above the heart
“I bring the coffee flower.”

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