Capturing the Word — Carmen Tafolla   Leave a comment

Images by kenne

It has been over three years since Carmen Tafolla did a reading at the Lone Star College – Montgomery, Writers In Performance Series.  To see Carmen do a reading is to witness more than a poetry reading; it is to witness a performance.  Carman’s poems reflect her Chicano identity through her ancestors, and often in her readings she portrays the strong, self-empowered women who are a common theme in her works.

La Miss Low didn’t talk much
tried to raise her chin like a noble figure,
to let her Silence
(Guardian of the Princess)
speak for her,
speak complex, sensitive things,
to hold her face expressionless,
revealing the nobility of her soul.
To model a high example
for these
uncultured children.

From the poem,  La Miss Low

In Carmen Tafolla’ poetry, I listen and hear the voices of the common people, the wisdom of their experience revealed in their views.

“This hand?’
This hand?
It was an accident.
You do not understand –
Poquito aqu
í, poquito allá –
that’s how Dios meant it, yes, to be.
It doesn’t bother me too much.
In fact, it gives me less to work about.
Less people who will trust their broken chairs to me.
Yet I can still these roses plant,
Like that one, standing by your feet –
‘Las Siete Hermanas,’ for they always bloom together,
like sweet sisters – seven in each bunch.
And I can still make chocolate, stirring strong,
The fingers do not slow me down –
These two, cut off, nor this one, sews back on.

From the poem Poquito allá

Now that we live in Tucson, I am experiencing her poetry in let another perspective – so inspirational, so real!


Poem selections from: Sonnets and Salsa

Posted December 9, 2010 by kenneturner in Books, Capturing the Word, Poetry

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