And in front of the door that I hadn’t crossed in so many years,
I remembered the small key, short and round, and how to turn it to open; the tiny hand of the door knocker, the mail box, the wood, the cord to open the door without knocking. At the end of the street, the perfect triangle of Volcán de Agua, enormous, serene and blue. —Luis Cardoza y Aragón
Luis Cardoza y Aragón was born in La Antigua Guatemala in June 21st, 1901. He was one of the best writers of Latin America and the World. He’s considered to be as good as Miguel Ángel Asturias (1967 Nobel Prize in literature) if not better. He is quite possibly the greatest mind of the last century born in La Antigua Guatemala. He was a brilliant essayist, novelist and poet. His essays in art rival those written by Octavio Paz, and some considered them better. He’s even listed as a philosopher by some professors. Luis Cardoza y Aragón bibliography is quite extensive (browse it if you want to get an overall idea of his works). You can also browse the page dedicated to him in the website literaturaguatemalteca.org and read some of his poems and works, if you can understand Spanish.
So, how come I only show you a plaque pointing to Luis Cardoza y Aragón’s birthplace and home in La Antigua Guatemala. Why don’t I go and photograph the monument, or park, or building named after him? After all, it doesn’t take much to get a road name after a person like Walter Williams who got a monument and road named after him just because he was present at the moment they inaugurated the road.
To commemorate and to honor Luis Cardoza y Aragón as one of the brightest minds of La Antigua Guatemala there are only two pieces: today’s plaque placed in the façade of his former house by his own family and another plaque in the Colegio Santo Tomás building which was posted here as Why do We Love Our Land?! For sure, La Antigua Guatemala is malinchista and ungrateful.
I leave you with another fragment of one his poems about Guatemala:
We don’t love our land because of its great size and power,
because of its weakness or tiny size,
because of its snow and white nights or its solar rain,
We love it, simply because is ours.
— Luis Cardoza y Aragón
Translation side note: Please forgive the rough translations which I do on the fly and very freely and to the best of my abilities. For sure, a better translation exists or if one of you can do a better job, please leave that in the comments. Thanks.
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