April 27, 2010

Tú me quieres Blanca. I love this poem

In the name of Allah, compassionate & merciful بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Peace be with you السلام عليكم

I read this poem in my AP Spanish Literature classes and it just spoke to my inner feminist.  I lived in a heavily Hispanic community and I was tired of the blatant double standard that now with my vast 24 years of life, lol, I know is not unique to any one community.  At the time my male cousins were sleeping with anything that walked and wore a skirt but my female cousins got the living day lights beaten out of them if they smiled at a boy. I felt that if the punishment was served on one person but not on the other for the same or lesser act was unfair.  When I read this poem written decades ago it spoke directly to me.  Because the message that I was receiving at the time was that males SHOULD be promiscuous but women BETTER be virgins. Didn't seem right to me.  Now that I am Muslim I realized that a believer for a believer and an adulterer for an adulterer.

Me quieres de espumas,
Me quieres de nácar.
Que sea azucena
Sobre todas, casta.
De perfume tenue.
Corola cerrada

Ni un rayo de luna
Filtrado me haya.
Ni una margarita
Se diga mi hermana.
Tú me quieres nívea,
Tú me quieres blanca,
Tú me quieres alba.

Tú que hubiste todas
Las copas a mano,
De frutos y mieles
Los labios morados.
Tú que en el banquete
Cubierto de pámpanos
Dejaste las carnes
Festejando a Baco.
Tú que en los jardines
Negros del Engaño
Vestido de rojo
Corriste al Estrago.

Tú que el esqueleto
Conservas intacto
No sé todavía
Por cuáles milagros,
Me pretendes blanca
(Dios te lo perdone),
Me pretendes casta
(Dios te lo perdone),
¡Me pretendes alba!

Huye hacia los bosques,
Vete a la montaña;
Límpiate la boca;
Vive en las cabañas;
Toca con las manos
La tierra mojada;
Alimenta el cuerpo
Con raíz amarga;
Bebe de las rocas;
Duerme sobre escarcha;
Renueva tejidos
Con salitre y agua;
Habla con los pájaros
Y lévate al alba.
Y cuando las carnes
Te sean tornadas,
Y cuando hayas puesto
En ellas el alma
Que por las alcobas
Se quedó enredada,
Entonces, buen hombre,
Preténdeme blanca,
Preténdeme nívea,
Preténdeme casta. 
You want me to be the dawn
You want me made of seaspray
Made of mother-of-pearl
That I be a lily
Chaste above all others
Of tenuous perfume
A blossom closed

That not even a moonbeam
Might have touched me
Nor a daisy
Call herself my sister
You want me like snow
You want me white
You want me to be the dawn

You who had all
The cups before you
Of fruit and honey
Lips dyed purple
You who in the banquet
Covered in grapevines
Let go of your flesh
Celebrating Bacchus
You who in the dark
Gardens of Deceit
Dressed in red
Ran towards Destruction

You who maintain
Your bones intact
Only by some miracle
Of which I know not
You ask that I be white
(May God forgive you)
You ask that I be chaste
(May God forgive you)
You ask that I be the dawn!

Flee towards the forest
Go to the mountains
Clean your mouth
Live in a hut
Touch with your hands
The damp earth
Feed yourself
With bitter roots
Drink from the rocks
Sleep on the frost
Clean your clothes
With saltpeter and water
Talk with the birds
And set sail at dawn
And when your flesh
Has returned to you
And when you have put
Into it the soul
That through the bedrooms
Became entangled
Then, good man,
Ask that I be white
Ask that I be like snow
Ask that I be chaste

Must have been EARTH SHATTERING when first published. SubhanaAllah what I would have given to meet such a brave woman. 

What do you think? 


Gabby Hijabi said...

I don't think i have ever read something so real. I say keep on with the poetry. Who would have thought i would actually learn something new and interesting withing the lines of poetry (other than romance, or blood and gore) I used to eat it up, as if i would never get enough. But i have never read anything like this. I must be ignorant and also stop ranting lest the people think me a nit wit (too late). I am half tempted to google poetry just as this so i can read it all. Thanks so very much!!!

.::Tuttie::. said...

@Gabby. Alhamdulillah! I remember reading and analyzing this with the most amazing teacher ever and being empowered by reading such prose. Speaking the truth to tyrants that is what these women poets were doing. subhanaAllah.

I have a lot more poems to share so I guess I'll keep on posting.

Irendi said...

Me gusta mucho y gracias!!!