Animals with words

Today is the anniversary of the creation of the canton of Turrialba – which, when you think about it, is an extraordinary place. It’s home not only to Volcán Turrialba but also the epic Cerro Chirripó. It’s home to, well, queso Turrialba, and what Costa Rican diet would be complete without that? And it’s home to some of the country’s most extraordinary poets.

Jorge Debravo joined forces with Marco Aguilar and Laureno Albán to form the Circle of Turrialba Poets in 1959. Debravo would become the most famous of this prolific group, both as a poet and an activist (Wikipedia informs me that “it is well known that Debravo learned about communism at Norberto Contreras’ shoe shop,” which may be one of my favorite sentences ever on Wikipedia).

He wrote words like these:

I demand heat in my roots,
lunch in my belly.
I don’t ask for eternities
full of white stars.
I ask for tenderness, supper,
silence, bread, home…

I’m a man – in other words,
an animal with words.
And I demand, therefore,
that you let me use them.

Boom. Turrialba, ladies and gentlemen. Happy birthday.

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