Nancy Hanks sent us two poems by Roque Dalton, the Salvadoran poet and revolutionary.
I love our struggle. The struggle of people — of all of us — for fairness and democracy, for bread and roses, for the power of the people. I love poetry. I love Roque Dalton’s poetry and appreciate him for bringing these human values together for us, and for putting his activity where his poetry was. I also love Roque Dalton because he was the progeny of American outlaws.”
Ars Poetica 1974
pardon me for having helped you to understand
that you are not made of words alone.
And this second poem for all of the young people living through this awful and hopeful transition:”
You’ve Beaten Me
You’ve beaten me badly
your brutal fist in my face
(naked and chaste
as a flower where spring
You’ve locked me up even more
with your furious eyes
my heart dying of cold
under the avalanche of hate
You’ve scorned my love
laughing at its small, bashful gift
not wanting to understand the labyrinths
of my tenderness
Now it’s my turn
turn of the offended after years of silence
in spite of the screams
Nancy Hanks has been a longstanding builder of the independent movement. She is the founder of the Queens Independence Club.