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Featured Literature: I Am From Here

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Poetry Title

This week’s poem is going to be a little different than the others.  Manuel Iris, the official Poet Laureate of Cincinnati, will be a featured speaker at UC Blue Ash’s Poetry Cafe this March. In preparation for that, we are featuring one of his poems from his latest book ” Traducir el silencio / Translating Silence.” The poem we are showcasing is titled “I Am From Here.”

Manuel Iris writes his poems in Spanish first, and then translates them to English later. His book presents his poetry in both languages, so that is exactly what we are going to do here.


.

English

I Am From Here by Manuel Iris

One is from the places

that he has arrived,

.

from the language

in which he can’t dream

and one day it happens

and he wakes up wondering

which one is now his house

when there is always a heart

elsewhere.

.

One comes from the streets

that never are the same when he returns.

.

One comes from the moment

in which he decided to leave

and from the other one

in which he realizes

that everything departs.

.

That it is impossible to stay, even if you stay.

.

That it is impossible, even if you come back, to be back.

.

I write a verse

that is like a farewell

and I point at it:

.

I am from here.

.

.

Spanish

Soy De Aquí

Uno es de los sitios

a los que ha llegado,

.

del idioma

en el que no puede sonar

y un día sucede

y se despierta preguntándose

cuál es su casa ahora,

cuando siempre hay corazón

en otra parte.

.

Uno proviene de las calles

que ya nunca sin las mismas al volver.

.

Proviene del momento

en el que decidió partir

y de ese otro en el que entiende

que todo se aleja.

.

Que es imposible quedarse, aunque te quedes.

.

Que es imposible, aunque regreses, regresar.

.

Escribo un verso

que es como una despedida

y lo señalo:

.

soy de aquí.


The Author

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3In addition to being Cincinnati’s current Poet Laureate, Manuel Iris is an English teacher at DePaul Cristo Rey High School. At that same high school, he also serves as a coach for their Slam Poetry Team, and a coordinator for both the Poetry Club and Hispanic Outreach. He has a PhD in Romance Languages from the University of Cincinnati, a Masters Degree in Latin American Literature from the Autonomous University of the Yucatan, and a Masters Degree in Spanish from New Mexico State University.


If you want to see all of the Featured Literature publications, click here. Are you interested in writing your own creative literature or seeing the written works of others? The UCBA Creative Writing Club welcomes any and all UC Blue Ash students who are interested in pursuing artistic writing in many genres. Meetings are held every Tuesday in Muntz 322 from 4-5 pm and are open to all students.

About Sayyidah Winbush

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