Contributions to a Rudimentary Concept of Nation

By Omar Pérez b. 1964 Omar Perez

Translated By Roberto Tejada

On the volatile nights of a winter
nature corroborates with magnanimity
a Cuban is in training for amusement or amnesia,
so often and unfairly assumed as the same,
he brings candy to God, he cultivates the vernacular, he fights off
cirrhosis with fruit poached in syrup, he conducts business;
thus research has shown that The Cuban is resourceful.
In the weighty choreographies of a summer
nature authorizes already with suspicion
a Cuban meets the ocean with offerings and harpoons,
so often and unfairly assumed as the same,
he finger-counts the casualties, he commits an infraction
he slides his hands into his pockets, he avows and commits;
thus analysis has shown that The Cuban is inspired.
Let’s attend the improbable territory
where with pasty mouths a Cuban and The Cuban engage in virile
conversation
we will learn there by what voyage, by what strange condition
by what exchange
we fall prey to so much ingenuity.

Omar Perez, "Contributions to a Rudimentary Concept of Nation" from Something of the Sacred. Copyright © 2007 by Omar Perez. Reprinted by permission of Roberto Tejada.

Source: Something of the Sacred (Factory School, 2007)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Omar Pérez b. 1964

POET’S REGION Caribbean

Subjects Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Money & Economics, Race & Ethnicity

Biography

The son of revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, poet, editor, and translator Omar Pérez was born and raised in Havana. He earned a degree in English at the University of Havana and studied Italian at the Universitá per Straniere di Siena. He has worked as a journalist for El Caimán Barbudo, and as an editor for the magazine La naranja dulce. A former member of the Cuban intellectual group Paideia, he edited the poetry magazine . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Money & Economics, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION Caribbean

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.