New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fuerzas Irresistibles

Today I became acquainted with José de Diego (April 16, 1866 – July 16, 1918), statesman, lawyer, journalist, and poet. Born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Diego spent time between Spain and Puerto Rico and was an advocate and leader of the movement for Puerto Rico's independence from Spain. An important figure in Puerto Rico's history, many things have been named in his honor - roadways, schools, and his birth date as an official holiday. He was also known as father of the modern Puerto Rican poetry movement. The last six lines of his poem, Fuerzas Irresistibiles, are on the wall of the public community garden:

La idea es el vapor: vapor divino,
que invisible y potente, como el viento,
marcha seguro a su inmortal destino.

¿Quién osa detener su movimiento?
Si se alza una montaña en su camino,
abre un túnel y pasa el pensamiento!

The poem and bas relief speak to community solidarity in this neighborhood, which has a large Hispanic community and Puerto Rican heritage. The community garden, Bello Amanecer Borincano, was started in 1984 by Carmen Pabon (it was later partially bulldozed). Click here for photo. The location is at 119 Avenue C (in Alphabet City) which has the official alternate name - Loisaida Avenue (Loisaida is Spanglish for Lower East Side). The term was originally coined by poet and activist, Bittman "Bimbo" Rivas (1939-1992) in his 1974 poem "Loisaida." The renaming of Avenue C was a token of appreciation for his contributions to the Lower East Side, his home, and for his people...

Photo note: I only noticed on close examination that the illustration's background is a replica of a Certificate of Naturalization of the United States of America. Click here for close-up.


claudine said...

Encore un nouveau quartier, un nouveau personnage et une nouvelle rue à découvrir !

Lucy said...

I tried an auto-translate on the poetry, I get the idea but I am sure it is much more beautiful if you know Spanish...I get the feeling of the romanticism and connection to nature. A nice entry on a side of the LES I was not familiar enough with, even after living there for some time, years ago...

Brian said...

I also found no translation online, but the translators give you a decent idea of the meaning, albeit at a cruder level

maria elisa said...