You know how to say I love you, now it’s the time to take the next step: Latin American writers about love. Because love can appear in so many ways and one of them is writing. Just keep on reading, you will surprise yourself!
Gabriel García Márquez, the one and only Latin American writer
We’re going to start with one of the greatest Latin American writers about love: Gabriel García Márquez. Born in Aracataca, Colombia, he’s considered one of the best writers of all times. I mean, Gabo (as we called him in a fond way) won the Nobel in 1982. There’s something about him, right?
Here’s a piece of his magnificent 100 years of solitude:
“En cualquier lugar en que estuvieran recordarán siempre que el pasado era mentira, que la memoria no tenía caminos de regreso, que toda primavera antigua era irrecuperable, y que el amor más desatinado y tenaz era de todos modos una verdad efímera”.
“In any place they were they will always remember that the past was a lie, that memory had no turning back, that all ancient spring was irrecoverable, and that the most foolish and tenacious love was anyways an ephemeral truth”.
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the resilient writer
There’s so much to tell you about her, but for me the main thing is that Sor Juana was a brave woman, even for her times. She wanted to badly to write (an activity forbidden for women back in the seventeen century in Mexico) that she decided to become a nun. Yes, a N-U-N! Her technique is impressive and she’s so passionate about her feelings. Actually, there’s a very good film about her life: Yo, la peor de todas.
“Amor empieza por desasosiego,
solicitud, ardores y desvelos;
crece con riesgos, lances y recelos;
susténtase de llantos y de ruego.”
“Love begins with unrest,
request, ardors and sleeplessness;
grows with risks, affairs and suspicions;
it holds together with crying and request.”
Gioconda Belli, hot and intense Latin American poet
Don’t touch it because it’s hot! Every poem by Gioconda is a journey to your body, so intense! This writer from Nicaragua can write about fruits and make that the most erotic metaphor in your life, I mean it. Here’s an excerpt of her poem “Definición” (“Definition”):
“Podríamos tener una discusión sobre el amor.
Yo te diría que amo la curiosa manera
en que tu cuerpo y mi cuerpo se conocen,
exploradores que renuevan
el más antiguo acto del conocimiento.”
“We could have a discussion about love.
I would tell you that I love the curious manner
that your body and my body know each other,
explorers that renew
the most ancient act of knowledge.”
José Sbarra, l’enfant terrible from Argentina
José Sbarra is not as known as he deserves to be, like some of his Argentine colleagues. He carried on living an amazing life, so splendid and terrible at the same time. His work is mainly about unrequited love, however, he wrote children books, too! He described love as a cruel plastic, that is also the name of one of his beautiful books.
No conocí el amor.
el exasperante deseo de que el amor existiese.”
I did not know love.
I just knew
the infuriating desire that love existed.”
Violeta Parra, Chilean warrior and singer
Violeta came from an artistic family. Her brother, Nicanor, was a poet too. She devoted her life to social justice and art in a very compromising way. Some of her poems turned into songs, like this one called “La Jardinera” (The Gardener):
“Para mi tristeza violeta azul,
Clavelina rosa pa´ mi pasión
Y para saber si me corresponde
Deshojo un blanco manzanillón.
Si me quiere mucho, poquito, nada,
Tranquilo queda mi corazón”
“For my sadness, blue violet,
red carnation for my passion
and to know if it’s requited
I defoliate a white chamomile.
If they love me a lot, a little, nothing at all,
Rest my heart”