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Nancy Morejon - Essay Example

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Nancy Morejon

There she absorbed and assimilated Afro-Cuban culture until she identified herself with the very essence of her beloved Havana" (Cordones-Cook 2003:33).
Cordones-Cook (2003) asserts that Morejon in her poetry projects "a clearly matrilineal consciousness that establishes connection and filiation," a kind of sympathetic female bonding, with legendary female ancestors. Gonzalez (2005) would understand this as Morejn's poems referring to Yoruba deities, known as orishas, and honoring the "living dead," the eggun or ancestors. She said Morejon dominates these poetic spaces with words of wisdom from both the African ancestors and the orishas, who exercise their eternal influence.
A study of her poems suggests that Morejn is obsessed with her past, and often uses poetry as a way of exploring it. It is in those poems that she revisits Africa, encounters the grandparents she never met, and experiences the hardships of slavery. As a result, she often gives voice to people who don't normally have one. Morejn is a strong believer that ancestors and loved ones who have passed on, continue to affect people's daily lives.
Honoring the living dead or the ancestors may be seen from the perspective of communicating with them because of "Frustrations in personal life" as Xianglong (2007) would see it. Xianglong (2007) looked into filial consciousness into the thinking that intersects the past and future. Accordingly, frustrations in personal life are one occasion for a person to bridge the time and reach out to the dead. Indeed, in Morejon's culture, the spirits of ancestors are spiritual guides (Gonzalez-Wippler 1998:76).
After death, spirits are said to remain around their relatives here on earth, for protection and guidance. Invoked in every religious ritual, they often participate in family decisions, giving their approval or disapproval in family affairs. Morejn's poem, "In Front of a Mirror," refers to the importance of "our dead ones" and how present they are in their daily lives
If the parks blossom
overflowing with fresh tulips
then the boulevard brings in the scents
of your loved ones,
and, above all, of your dead ones.
(Morejn in Looking Within 109)
Morejon is conscious that the dead are ever with them - participating in their present conditions. Maier (2005) asserts that one poem closely identified with Morejon is "Persona." This poem, according to David Frye (2000), is a relatively recent one (1999), but it is also an update of the earlier "Mujer negra" ("Black Woman").
In "Mujer Negra" ("Black Woman)" she moves through various generations discussing immigration, slavery, poverty, rebellion and the independence movement (from Spain), and finally, affirmation of the Afro-Cuban as a human being after 1959. According to Maier (2005), this poem emphasizes the slave's point of view, and demonstrates the influence of ideological freedom found in the Cuban Revolution. She underscores the racial together with the feminist dimensions of Cuban nationalism by making the Black woman the central figure and the protagonist of the contemporary era
"Black Woman," and "Persona," exemplifies well the characteristics for which Morejon and her work are known and admired. These traits include a strong identification with her family, with the ...Show more

Summary

Nancy Morejon is a Cuban revolutionary poet whose poetry springs up from within and includes both her position in history as witness and active participant in the Cuban Revolution, as well as her racial identity as a black Cuban (Gonzalez 2005). In late 2002, "Looking Within," a collection of her poems from 1954 to 2000 was released in bilingual format…
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