Julia de Burgos (1914-1953)

Julia de Burgos, the bedrock of Puerto Rican poetry. She was an heir to Walt Whitman, Pablo Neruda (she knew his Twenty Love Poems by heart) and Alfonsina Storni, who, she said, had the “tragic sense of life.” The socially conscious poet published only two books in her lifetime, but left her mark on the streets of El Barrio, NYC, where her words have already impacted a whole new generation of future poets.

She was a pro-feminist, a Puerto Rican independentista and a devoted internationalist. She was painfully well-acquainted with poverty and deeply interested in social and political problems. She also insisted on thinking for herself…

"The madness of my soul/ cannot repose," she declared in the poem "My Soul": "it lives … / in the silence/ of the free thinker, who lives alone… ."

"La locura de mi alma no puede reclinarse. vive en lo inquieto…en el silencio del libre pensador, que vive solo…"