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Monday, November 06, 2006

Rigoberto González: Poetry Foundation Blog

I am Chicano. Such a simple sentence, such a complex statement. The phrase is an act of empowerment, a recognition of cultural lineage, an affirmation of identity. I can make Chicano relevant to this blog and the Poetry Foundation’s invitation to speak to issues of poetry and poetics by declaring that I am a Chicano poet. That I write Chicano poetry. I can already feel people cringe at the language I’m using. But the truth is that I’m not interested in speaking to those who scoff at poetry that dares to call itself political or that dares to engage ethnicity, history, and the personal narrative. A much healthier and more constructive exercise is to address those who don’t know what Chicano poetry is (and who want to learn) and those who are uncertain about committing to a word that is more than a word—it is a declaration of activism.

2 comments:

Tony said...

I'm cringing.

Eduardo C. Corral said...

Tony R.??

Cringe away. I'm with Rigoberto: this speech is not for your ears. You've made your mind up. Fine. I wish you well on your journey.

We all need and take different things from poetry. The poems I need to read and write are very different from what you want and need. And poetry is richer for it. How boring would it be if all of us agreed with Ronny Silliman or Rigoberto Gonzalez? Very boring.

But I do hope we can pause and talk to each other as we walk down our divergent paths.