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Nicolas Guillen


Hello! My name is Jiovanni Niz. I have selected Nicolas Guillen to highlight as a great role model for Hispanic Heritage Month. Please read about Nicolas below and don’t forget to take the quiz at the end!

Basic Information: Nicolas Guillen was born July 10, 1902. He was a Afro Cuban poet from Camaguey, Cuba. He died July 16, 1989.

Personal Life: Nicolas was born during pre-revolutionary Cuba. He and his family had to deal with racism for the dark color of their skin. During the 1920’s, he began writing poems about all of his situations. He went to the University of Havana to study law. Soon after, he abandoned his legal career and began to study to become a journalist. He is well known as the “poet” of Cuba. When he got older he sided with Fidel Castro on his Communist movement. After getting a lot of recognition for his work Castro appointed him president of the National Cuban Writers Union in 1961.

Education: He attended school at the University of Havana for law then journalism.

Contribution to Society: It is clear that his writings and poems helped for the world to see the different situations that Cuban people would face in the beginning of the nineteenth century. He was able to bring hope and respect to the people who were having difficult times.

Why I chose Nicolas: I chose Nicolas because I feel a connection to him due to the fact that I am also a Cuban writer. It was also interesting to read some of his poems where he showed the emotions of an early Cuban.

My Sources: Wikipedia

Spanish to English translation


I do not know what you think,
soldier, that I hate you,
if we are the same thing

You are poor, so am I;
I'm down, so are you;
Where did you get you,
soldier, that I hate you?

It hurts me that sometimes you
forget who I am;
heck, if I am you
the same as you are me.

But that's why I
I malquererte, you;
if we are the same thing
I do not know what you think,
soldier, that I hate you.

I'll see you and me,
together in the same street
shoulder to shoulder, you and me
without hate me or you,
but knowing you and I,
where we go me and you ...
I do not know what you think,
soldier, that I hate you!

NO SÉ POR QUÉ PIENSAS TÚ No sé por qué piensas tú, soldado,

que te odio yo, si somos la misma cosa yo, tú.

Tú eres pobre, lo soy yo;

soy de abajo, lo eres tú; ¿de dónde has sacado tú, soldado, que te odio yo?

Me duele que a veces tú te olvides de quién soy yo;

caramba, si yo soy tú, lo mismo que tú eres yo.

Pero no por eso yo he de malquererte, tú;

si somos la misma cosa, yo, tú, no sé por qué piensas tú, soldado, que te odio yo.

Ya nos veremos yo y tú, juntos en la misma calle, hombro con hombro, tú y yo,

sin odios ni yo ni tú, pero sabiendo tú y yo, a dónde vamos yo y tú… ¡no sé por qué piensas tú, soldado, que te odio yo!