April 7

Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg (born April 7, 1931) U.S. decision theorist, military analyst – Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (2002)

Read the Wikipedia entry for Daniel Ellsberg

Watch Daniel Ellsberg talk about the Pentagon Papers
 here


Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral (Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga) (born April 7, 1889) Chilean poet, first Latin American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1945) – Desolación (1922)

Read the Wikipedia article about Gabriela Mistral

Read about Mistral's poetry in translation here

Listen to Dani Villanueva read La Tierra (in Spanish)

La Tierra

Niño indio, si estás cansado,
Indian boy, if you are tired,
tú te acuestas sobre la Tierra,
lay yourself down on the Earth,
y lo mismo si estás alegre,
and do the same if you are happy,
hijo mío, juega con ella…
my son, play with her…
Se oyen cosas maravillosas
One hears wondrous things
al tambor indio de la Tierra:
through the Indian drum of Earth:
se oye el fuego que sube y baja
One hears the fire that leaps and falls
buscando el cielo, y no sosiega.
searching for the sky, never to be soothed.
Rueda y rueda, se oyen los ríos
Round and round, the rivers sound
en cascadas que no se cuentan. /
in countless cascades.
Se oyen mugir los animales;
The sound of animals lowing;
se oye el hacha comer la selva.
The sound of an ax consuming the forest.
Se oyen sonar telares indios.
The sound of Indian cloth looms.
Se oyen trillas, se oyen fiestas.
The sound of harvesting, the sound of fiestas.
Donde el indio lo está llamando,
When the Indian calls,
el tambor indio le contesta,
his drum answers,
y tañe cerca y tañe lejos,
Drumming near and drumming far,
como el que huye y que regresa…
as it flees and then returns…
Todo lo toma, todo lo carga
All is taken, all is carried
el lomo santo de la Tierra:
on the Earth’s blessed back:
lo que camina, lo que duerme,
All that walks, all that sleeps,
lo que retoza y lo que pena;
All that frolics, all that suffers;
y lleva vivos y lleva muertos
It bears the living and it bears the dead
el tambor indio de la Tierra.
This Indian drum of the Earth.
Cuando muera, no llores, hijo:
When I die, do not cry, son:
pecho a pecho ponte con ella,
Put your breast against hers,
y si sujetas los alientos
And if you hold your breath
como que todo o nada fueras,
As if it were all or nothing,
tú escucharás subir su brazo
You will hear her raise the arm
que me tenía y que me entrega,
which held me and delivers me,
y la madre que estaba rota
And the mother who was broken
tú la verás volver entera.
You will see returned whole.

Read excerpts from the Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral

Watch a biographical video about
 Gabriela Mistral