19---> perry & ferlinghetti


Name: Perry Guevara
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
Current City: Atlanta, GA
Occupation: PhD Candidate
Age: 30

What does poetry mean to you? 

Poetry is language in extremis, reaching for the edges of legibility as it attempts to speak the ineffable.

Favorite Poets: 

Since the age of 16, I’ve loved the poems of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I’ve read A Coney Island of the Mind more times than I can count. I also love Edna St. Vincent Millay, Frank O'Hara, and John Donne, especially his holy sonnets.

Favorite Poem

Nanas de la Cebolla” by Miguel Hernandez

Why do you like this poem? 

“Nanas de la Cebolla,” or “Lullaby of the Onion,” demonstrates language under duress. It refuses to surrender its lyricism and remembers that tenderness is possible even in desperation. Robert Bly beautifully translated this poem to English, but Joan Manuel Serrat’s 1972 musical version is simply stunning. Here’s my favorite verse:

En la cuna del hambre
mi niño estaba.
Con sangre de cebolla
se amamantaba.
Pero tu sangre,
escarchada de azúcar,
cebolla y hambre.