Madwomen The Locas mujeres Poems of Gabriela Mistral by Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1945
“for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions,
has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world.””

I finished Madwomen last night and still have this lump in my throat… maybe because I can really related to the pain, the bitterness of life and the bravery of Mistral. I am in owe. This book is perfect. The brief biography in the beginning gave me better sense of the poet and that helped me understand and appreciate her interpretation a lot more. Her poems are mainly portrayed womanhood, children, education, religion, life, love and betrayal as it was the reflection from her own life.
 Gabriela Mistral is one of the most remarkable writer and poet I’ve known. Born in the middle of the mountains in Chile, the father abandoned the family before she’s three, raised by three women, her mother, sister and grandmother. She was dismissed from schools from stealing school supply. Homeschooled by her sister. Started to write and supported her family. Became a teacher. Involved in politics. Left her home country. Being a diplomat and activist, traveled and lived in many countries around. Worked for the UN for the Woman’s Rights. Became the first Latin American who won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Locas mujerres peoms (Madwomen) is a self-portraits and reflection of Mistral’s life, the catastrophe, the wound, perseverance and determination. It is deeply emotional, devastated yet beautifully and powerfully composed. There are three parts in this book, Lagar, Lagar II and Uncollected. My most favourite is Lagar, The Abandoned Woman, The Anxious Woman, The Woman Unburdened, The Happy Woman, She Who Walk, A Woman, The Shaggy Woman.
“The past is falling to pieces
like the beggar with his clown-clothes…
we don’t cry seeing ourselves naked,
not do we shiver at so much waste;
if so much is missing, it’s that we had nothing.”

“Flesh, bones, and fresh fluids
burned away day by day,
it all fell at her feet,
but not her mane of hair.
Those sweet burn-scars
that paint us like zebras.
The fever of summer,
the gilding of our eyes
or the red of our tongue.”
One of my favorite poet of all time.


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