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  • He was from Nicaragua and loved the sadness of poetry.
    He could recite the sonnets of Pablo Neruda
    and poems by Gabriela Mistral and Antonio Machado
    that translated the moonlight and scent of flowers into aching love.

    He also worried about the power of poetry and its intent,
    where it could lead you and where it could leave you.
    He worried that his love of poetry was a dangerous one,
    like his love of the tango, which he had nurtured for years,

    until he could no longer stand the excruciating sadness.
    One day he had finally freed himself of the tango,
    tossing out a shelf of recordings, his tango collection.
    He thought he had averted disaster, was free and clear.

    Now he realized poetry had the same hold on him.
    What happiness could come from it? Could it lead you
    out of your pain and suffering, not deeper into it?
    Could it even be made of the very stuff of happiness?

    For more on the origins of this poem, visit:
    Photo of Pablo Neruda found at:
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