Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Memory: A Poem of the 15 year-old Frida Kahlo


I had smiled. Nothing else. But suddenly I knew
In the depth of my silence
He was following me. Like my shadow, blameless and light
In the night, a song sobbed…
The Indians lengthened, winding, through the alleys of the town.
A harp and a jarana were the music, and the smiling dark-skinned girls
were the happiness
In the background, behind the “Zócalo,” the river shined
and darkened, like
the moments of my life.
He followed me.
I ended up crying, isolated in the porch of the
parish church,
protected by my bolita shawl, drenched with my tears.


— Frida Kahlo


Before she was an artist Frida Kahlo was a published poet. Where most young girls look forward to their quinceañera, Frida Kahlo was already looking back on moments and recording them poetically for posterity. Poetry was the first brush stroke of her art.

Written when she was 15 years of age, Memory was published in Spanish as Recuerdo on November 30, 1922 in the literary weekly, El Universal Ilustrado.


Recuerdo

Yo había sonreido. Nada más. Pero la claridad fue en mi y
en lo hondo de mi silencio
El me seguía. Como mi sombra, irreprochable y ligera
En la noche, sollozó un canto
Los indios se alargaban, sinuosos, por las callejas del pueblo
Iban envueltos en sarapes, a la danza, después de beber mezcal
Un arpa y una jarana eran la música y la alegria eran las morenas sonrientes
fueron la felicidad
En el fondo, tras del "Zocalo", brillaba el río.
y se iba como
los momentos de mi vida
El, me seguia
Yo terminé por llorar, arrinconada en el atrio de la
parroquia amparada
por mi rebozo de bolita, que se empapo de lagrimas


— Frida Kahlo