Ernesto Cardenal

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Ernesto Cardenal (2009)

Ernesto Cardenal Martínez (20 January 1925 – 1 March 2020) was a Catholic priest, poet, and politician who lived in Nicaragua. He was a liberation theologian and the founder of the primitivist art community in the Solentiname Islands, where he lived from 1965 to 1977. A former member of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, he was Nicaragua's minister of culture from 1979 to 1987.


Quotes about[edit]

  • We feel it, long for them, without even knowing what it is that we feel and yearn toward. We try to replace what is lost with possessions, with belief, with false hope. Longing, as poet Ernesto Cardenal said, for something beyond what we want.
  • One of Latin America's most important living poets (perhaps one of the most important poets writing in the Spanish language) is Ernesto Cardenal...Among the living poets, Cardenal has without a doubt exercised the greatest influence. His open, conversational style (which he has called exteriorismo, the voice of the everyday, of the real objects about us) has had an impact upon hundreds to whom his verse has been meaningful, and now-through the poetry workshops conducted by the Ministry of Culture-the influence has become institutionalized to a certain extent.
    • Margaret Randall Introduction in Risking a Somersault in the Air: Conversations with Nicaraguan Writers
  • Ernesto Cardenal, who has often spoken of his dream of retiring to Solentiname where he would "chronicle the revolution," was asked on a recent U.S. tour how he writes poems while attending to his duties as Minister of Culture. He replied, "I write short ones."
    • Margaret Randall Introduction in Risking a Somersault in the Air: Conversations with Nicaraguan Writers
  • The concept of cultural work that Ernesto Cardenal had was holistic, integral, inclusive, and comprehensive; it is clearly expressed in several of his speeches and writings. It would be necessary to read at least some of them, for example For a Culture of Peace, World Peace and the Nicaraguan Revolution, Culture and Sovereignty, etc., and above all, The Democratization of Culture, that I consider a key text to understand the scope of the cultural project that Ernesto wanted to realize in Nicaragua.
  • The Ministry of Culture led by Ernesto Cardenal was essential for the flowering of a true artistic and cultural revolution in the Nicaraguan people through successful and influential programs that were quickly changing the cultural landscape in Nicaragua. The persecution of Ernesto began quite early and was organized and led by Rosario Murillo

External links[edit]

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