I came to know him,
like an h imprisoned in the honey of his bees,
but the bars of honey were bittersweet,
he lost himself
in love with liberation,
and because he did not abandon
his love nor she her lover,
the earth for him
is a hurricane of persecuted stars,
since liberation cannot
except whoever loves
the earth, its sun, its sky.
Clemente Soto Vélez (1905–1993) was an influential Puerto Rican poet and activist. He is well known in Puerto Rico for both his poetry and his advocacy for independence.
Martín Espada is the author of three poetry collections: The Immigrant Iceboy’s Bolero (Waterfront Press), Trumpets from the Islands of Their Eviction (Bilingual Press), and Rebellion Is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (Curbstone Press). His awards include a Massachusetts Artists Fellowship and the PEN/Revson Foundation Fellowship. He lives in Boston, where he works as a lawyer and teaches at Suffolk University Law School. (1990)