Love, archived: new collection showcases Cuba’s National Poet, Agustín Acosta

Guest post by Amanda Moreno, CHC Processing Assistant

Agustín Acosta and his wife Consuelo.

Agustín Acosta and his wife Consuelo.

Agustín Acosta (1886-1979) was a Cuban post-modernist poet and statesman active in the 20th century. Named Cuba’s National Poet in 1955, Acosta’s early literary work exemplifies the characteristic pessimism of Cuba’s turn-of-the-century lyrical poetry, melding the postmodern with modernist and Romantic sensibilities in an expression of love for his country.

His greatest love, however, was Consuelo Acosta, his wife of over thirty years.  Acosta wrote extensively to Consuelo from the 1930s to the 1950s during periods of physical separation due to work and illness during their courtship and early marriage.

This Valentine’s Day, we share an excerpt from a letter to Consuelo for you to share in the beauty of a poet’s love.

Matanzas. 4-8-49-

Nena de mi vida:

“Por qué si estás en mí no estás conmigo?” Las horas transcurren, pero el día no acaba de irse. Y yo sin verte, alma mía; y tú sin verme… Tú alla; yo aquí: “Como dos remos: toda la vida bogando juntos… y separados toda la vida?” Eso sí que no. Si algo nos detiene ahora, es saber que vamos a estar, al fin, juntos.

Todo esto, mi pequeña, para decirte que te extraño mucho; y que a este ancho fresco del mar, prefiero el calor de tu salita; que más que este verde movedizo y terrible, me gusta el verde inmóvil, pero no menos terrible, de tus ojos.

En una palabra, mala entraña, que tengo ganas de verte. Eso de no fumarse un cigarrito sino a tu lado, atenaza mi doble deseo: el de fumarlo y el de estar contigo, si bien del primero puedo prescindir, no así del último, pues tú eres cigarrillo de opio que embriaga, lleva al éxtasis, y, a la postre, hace daño.

The finding aid for the Agustín Acosta Papers will soon be available online.

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