April is National Poetry Month in the United States. To celebrate we asked sponsored friends if they had any poems they’d like to share. Ines, 66, is a sponsored elder in El Salvador. Despite leaving school after the sixth grade, she has an amazing talent for poetry.
Ines often performs poetry for awareness trip travelers and was glad to share her poetry, and its inspiration, with us.
Q. What inspired you to write your poems?
A. I feel inspired to see all the good things that I have in the elderly group, and the benefits that I have here in Unbound. I share my feelings with them [elderly group] and sometimes I share them with Mirna [Unbound social worker for the elderly]. She listens to me, pays attention to my issues, worries about me.
She is special for us, and we are special for her. That’s why I said in my poem [Butterfly Wings] that we are a treasure for her. I see her love for us.
Q. How did you learn to write poems?
A. In my childhood, I had an auntie, she was old and blind. She went to a park and recited poems. People gave her a few coins. Since that time, I like [poetry]. I said, “Maybe when I get old I could earn some coins reciting poems too,” because you get old and there are a lot of things that you won’t do anymore.
My favorite poem from her was “El brindis del bohemia” [A Bohemian’s Toast]. … I could never memorize the entire poem, but I remember how people started crying with her poems. She said it with passion.
Q. What affect does writing poetry have on you?
A. It helps me remember my childhood. It helps me as a distraction. Sometimes I feel sad. Instead of thinking on my problems, I write. For that reason I like to write.
Poetry is beautiful.
The following is Ines’ poem “Alas de Mariposa” in its original Spanish with an English translation.
Ráfagas de luz y grama.
Se mostraba en el horizonte
el crepúsculo pendiente,
precursor de la mañana.
En sus cálidos silvestres,
de recién nacidas flores.
Lucían sus mil colores,
las mariposas campestres.
La niña Mirna las persigue,
tomándolas de sus alas.
Todas sus brillantes galas,
en una mano ella las encondía.
Mostró el sol sus rayos de oro
para mostrar su tesoro.
¿Qué es esto?
Exclamó en el momento.
El encanto simplecillo,
que de un ligero polvillo
se disipa en el viento.
De qué se asombra niña Mirnita.
Exclama la niña Inesita.
Si es polvo la flor marchita,
polvo que nacen en las maripositas.
Light and meadow gust.
The awaiting twilight,
Precursor of the morning
Was seen in the horizon.
In its warm and wild
the country butterflies
showed off their thousand colors.
Mrs. Mirna follows them,
And takes them by their wings.
They all wear their brightest elegance,
In one hand, she hid them.
The sun showed his golden light
To show its treasure.
What is this?
She exclaimed in the moment.
It is the simple charming
Of a light dust
That is dispelled in the wind.
Why are you surprised Mrs. Mirnita?
Mrs. Inesita exclaimed,
It’s just the dust of a wither flower,
Dust that rises in the butterflies.
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