Poet in the Shadows
Juan Felipe Herrera, December 27, 1948-present, Fowler, CA
"Words Never Spoken"
Juan Felipe Herrera is a poet that spoke about his struggles during the Chicano Movement. He is said to be one of the first Mexican-American writers of the 20th century. He spoke about what he had to go through in school in the 60s & 70s. People of today call his works, "Unique" and "Original", since no one really spoke about the time of the Chicano Movement.
187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border
A mix of writings on the road, from Mexico City to San Francisco, from Central America to Central California, illustrated throughout with photos and artwork. Rants, manifestos, newspaper cutups, street theater, anti-lectures and love poems tell the story of what it’s like to live outlaw and brown in the United States while going through the tough period of the Chicano Movement. This is for sure one of his best works.
Well Knowned Poem- Half-Mexican
Odd to be a half-Mexican, let me put it this way
I am Mexican + Mexican, then there’s the question of the half
To say Mexican without the half, well it means another thing
One could say only Mexican
Then think of pyramids – obsidian flaw, flame etchings, goddesses with
Flayed visages claw feet & skulls as belts – these are not Mexican
They are existences, that is to say
Slavery, sinew, hearts shredded sacrifices for the continuum
Quarks & galaxies, the cosmic milk that flows into trees
What is the other – yes
It is Mexican too, yet it is formless, it is speckled with particles
European pieces? To say colony or power is incorrect
Better to think of Kant in his tiny room
Shuffling in his black socks seeking out the notion of time
Or Einstein re-working the erroneous equation
Concerning the way light bends – all this has to do with
The half, the half-thing when you are a half-being
How they stalk you & how you beseech them
All this becomes your life-long project, that is
You are Mexican. One half Mexican the other half
Mexican, then the half against itself.
P: How Being Mexican Reflects to the world.
C: Sinew, Obsidian Flaw, Flayed Visages.
A: Aware, Modest,
S: When he realizes and thinks that being Mexican is what makes him whole
T: How being Mexican changes his views in life.
T: Never think less or yourself; especially of your race.
3 Pieces of Art That Relate to Him-
He wanted change by how they got treated.
2 Songs that Juan can Relate to-
"Yo Soy Chicano" (English Translation)
"I am Chicano, of color,
Pure Chicano, a brother with honor.
When they tell me there is revolution,
I defend my people with great valor.
I have all my people
For the revolution.
I am going to fight alongside the poor
To end this oppression."
This song was a great representation how Chicano's stood up with each other with the unfairness they were going through.
"YO NO LE TENGO MIEDO A NADA" ( English Translation)
"I am not afraid of anything,
I fear nothing.
Some lose and others win,
But I don’t like to lose.
And for this reason I tell my friends
To stop selling themselves out,
For the one who is a sellout
Always will be a loser."
This song shows how they didn't want to be looked at as less. They wanted to feel freedom and feel like a winner.