This is an Afro-Caribbean poem. It celebrates the African identity. The poem presents African language, rhythm as religious chants of Voodoo. Its theme deals with Man overcoming Evil. The individual distances himself from evil, represented in the serpent. The evil creeps in and has disgraceful traits of a snake, it causes fear. The individual then repeatedly and with a rhythmic chant strikes the snake with a machete as if is punishing it for its traits in a violent climax with the rhythm and repetition. It is a victory the snake cannot do any harm. The chant continues in the end with power. The poetic form of repetition and rhythm are very important for the interpretation of the poem. (The students need to infer this through the activity).
Nicolás Guillén, de Cuba
culebra tiene los ojos de vidrio;
le das con el hacha, y se muere:
culebra muerta no puede comer;
||Before focusing on the
meaning, look first at the form.
What do you notice at first glance? What element do you
hear when you read the poem out loud?
Now, check this segment recording. Did you sound similar to this?
1) Identifica el tema principal en cada verso.
¿Cómo describe la culebra?
qué es la forma importante para el
||You will notice on
YouTube that there are several interpretations on reciting
the poem with rhythm and stress. With small group (2-4
people), create a video similar to the recording above,
but recite the entire poem with
your own interpretation of the
use of form. Be sure to connect the poetic form
with the meaning. Consider what words to stress
and use of rhythm. You may enhance it with
expressions and sounds throughout, be creative. You will
share your recording with the class for comparisons.
This is an Afro-Caribbean poem. It celebrates the African identity. Can you find support for this on YouTube postings? Also, use the final (optional) Paso from the previous lesson. Can you find any expression of African identity on native postings (or anything on the web) as you research Caribbean music genera? Share what you find with your classmates on the Blog, provide the references and your analysis.