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Wonder-Makers We Are, by Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes

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In 1992, writer, publisher and teacher, Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes, left Chile for the UK. She is an academic specialising in Sociology and Women’s Studies. BristoLatino Editor-in-Chief, Rebecca Wilson, heard Rivera-Fuentes read her poem, ‘Maravilladoras Somos’ at the Latin America Conference 2017 in London.

 

“Escribo poesía porque es vida y está en mi sangre. Pienso y siento que es importante lo que tengo que decir como mujer que vive entre culturas: una cultura en la que nací y una que adopté y me adoptó.
Escribo poesía porque me enamoré de Gabriela Mistral, la poeta chilena que no hizo ni “patria” ni “matria” en su país de origen, nuestro Chile terremoteado y volcánico. Ese Chile que la llevó al auto-exilio, como a mí, por diferentes razones  – o a lo mejor por las mismas. Escribo poesía, porque me gusta jugar con el lenguaje.”

“I write poetry because it is life and it is in my blood. I think and I feel that what I have to say is important, as a woman who lives between cultures: one culture within which I was born and another which I adopted as it adopted me.
I write poetry because I fell in love with Gabriela Mistral, the Chilean poet who was neither a patriarch nor a matriarch in her native country, our volcanic and earth-rumbling Chile. This same Chile brought her to exile herself, as I did myself, for different reasons- or perhaps for the same. I write poetry because I like to play with language.”

Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes

 

This poem, ‘Wonder-Makers We Are’ is taken from Wonder-Makers: Navigators of the Thames, a collaborative book of poetry by the Taller Hispano-Americano de Mujeres de la Memoria. The group write poetry and create visual and performance art. They describe their collection as “a hymn to diversity and to the free spirit of individual and collective memory”, affirming that these poems “rescue and empathise with ‘the other’ and share what it is to be an immigrant and a woman who identifies with the suffering of others.” This poetry book is followed by a co-authored collection of short stories of the same title. Consuelo has also published single-authored academic articles and poetry books available at Victorina Press and on Amazon.

 

Wonder-Makers We Are

 

Travellers of the world,

imagined and real

we are.

We don’t care for fatherlands or patriarchs,

all those women who feel and live like us

inhabit the Motherland we create.

We are deep thinkers,

in love with life,

Strong as oak, soft and fresh as a morning breeze in autumn,

creative goddesses

we are.

Furious and generous as Pachamama

passionate fighters,

Cuzqueñas and Peruvian Indians,

warriors and witches,

we are.

Mapuche  Chilean,

ancient and wise,

Aztec and Mexican,

crazy and wonderful,

rebellious Spanish witches,

chasing chimeras and utopias.

 

Creators of our final destiny

we turn the word to song

we sing in colour or in black and white

we sketch on paper and on our bodies

we paint on walls and mountains

we dance in Castilian and Spanish

we remember in Quechua and Mapudungun

we laugh in Nahuatl and Zapotec

we protest in Euskera and Galician

we murmur in English.

We hold memory since immemorial times

language and dis-language

we are. 

Waves of women

we are,

planetary, Terran and terrestrial

poets and prehistoric painters

medieval and modern

writers and singers of the people and for the people.

Wonder makers

we are …

 


 

Maravilladoras somos

 

Viajeras del mundo imaginado y real

somos,

no nos gustan ni la patria ni los patriarcas

habitamos la Matria que creamos todas quienes sienten y viven como nosotras.

 

Somos profundas pensadoras,

enamoradas de la vida

fuertes como el roble, suaves y frescas como brisa mañanera en otoño.

 

Diosas creativas

somos

furiosas y generosas como Pachamama,

apasionadas luchadoras

somos,

indígenas cuzqueñas y peruanas,

guerreras y brujas

somos.

 

Chilenas mapuche,

ancestrales y sabias,

somos,

aztecas y mexicanas,

locas maravillosas

somos.

 

Rebeldes brujas españolas,

perseguidoras de quimeras y utopías,

somos,

creadoras de nuestro destino final,

hacemos de la palabra una canción

cantamos en colores o en blanco y negro,

dibujamos en papel y en nuestros cuerpos,

pintamos en muros y en montañas,

bailamos en castellano y español

recordamos en quechua y mapudungun

nos reímos en náhuatl y zapoteco

protestamos en euskera y en gallego

murmuramos en inglés.

 

Memoriamos desde tiempos inmemoriales,

lenguas y deslenguas

somos.

 

Marejadas de mujeres

somos,

planetarias, terráqueas y terrenales

poetas y dibujantes prehistóricas,

somos

medievales y modernas,

escritoras y cantantes de los pueblos y para los pueblos.

 

Maravilladoras

somos…

 

N.B. Penultimate stanza of English translation has been modified from the original for ease of understanding. For the original please see Consuelo’s blog.

Header image- Literary South, illustration Gaia sister connection by Molly Astley