Economic Brief

I'm surprised that I now read
pppppppppppppp with great interest
things like
ppp the cotton harvest up 25%
from last year's crop
pppppp U.S. $124.2 million worth of coffee exported
ppppp up 17.5% from last year
a 13.6% jump in sugar is expected
ppppppp corn production dropped 5.9%
ppppp gold dropped 10% because
of attacks by the contras in that region
likewise, the shellfish . . .
When did these facts ever interest me before?
ppppp It's because now our wealth,
pppppppppppppppppp meager as it may be,
pppppppp is intended
p for everyone.
pppppppppppp This interest of mine
ppp is for the people, well,
pppppppppppp out of love
pppppp for the people. The thing is
now these numbers amount to love.
The gold coming out of the earth, solid sun
cut into blocks, will become electric light,
drinking water
ppppppppp for the poor. The translucent
mollusks, recalling to mind women, the smell of a woman
coming out of the sea, from their underwater caves
and colorful coral gardens, in order to become
pills, school desks.
ppppppppppp The holiness of matter.
ppp Momma, you know the value of a glass of milk.
The cotton, soft bit of clouds,
pppppppp - we've gone to pick cotton singing
we've held clouds in our fingers -
will become tin roofs, highways, and
the thing is now what's economic is poetic,
pppppp or rather, with the Revolution
the economy amounts to love.

Translated from the Spanish by Jonathan Cohen From FROM NICARAGUA WITH LOVE (City Lights, 1986)

Poems by Ernesto Cardenal

Questions by the Lake

Economic Brief

Excerpt from CANTIGA 2: The Word