The Birth of a Poet: Zenea

For one month we will enjoy the power of poetry. The month of February is special: it commemorates the birth of Juan Clemente Zenea Fornaris

By Ana Margarita Sánchez Soler  asanchez@enet.cu

For one month we will enjoy the power of poetry. The month of February is special because it commemorates the birth of Juan Clemente Zenea Fornaris. It seems that  all poets would have bowed their head the day he was born on February 24th. It would be an early reverence for all the glory that he was going to become. He was born in 1832, and although the child was born in Bayamo, it would soon be in the whole nation.

Zenea embraced romanticism. With the sensitivity of those who shaped his poetry little by little, he portrayed a woman’s face. Fidelia is one of his most famous and reread poems. It is the living proof of his talent.

A poet needs to know about rhymes, metrics and structures, but mainly it requires a halo of light to awake the sensitivity of readers.

Juan Clemente Zenea was a journalist, poet, a literary man of wide possibilities. The exile put him in the arms of Adah Menken, an American actress with whom he will fall in love later. There he had the necessary source of inspiration to ignite his fertile and abundant inspiration. Zenea gave a touch of offered in her poems and for the nuances she reserved for herself.

La pirogue, Floresta cubana y El regañón are some examples of his several works. Others belonging to Spain also assumed their texts as the federal republican and America illustration.

His poetry, perhaps crestfallen, still roams in the Fortaleza de la Cabaña located in Havana. There he lived isolated the last days. The scaffold took his life when it was already printed in the Cuban poetic memory.

The good interpreter knew and knows how to understand and comprehend Zenea’s work. Today we discover the talants of a perfect word-maker.

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