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For My Lady Going To War

July 18, 2008
tags: ,

It is true

man and all his stories

fill our speaking mouths with words,

sand so dry we can never spit it all out.

Our dreaming skulls cannot keep out

the constant pricking of old tales

but crack and break instead.

Our shadows are black

and thicken because so many

others have crossed this way before.

This is all too true.

But I swear

when our two bodies touch,

when my flesh and your flesh

wage the dance making life, the

gasp and grab like death,

there in the light of what we two do,

I am

one man

and I imagine you

one woman.

Berkeley, 1991

Alfred Arteaga


San José: Chusma House Publications 1991

“Arteaga was a pioneer in post-colonial and ethnic minority literature studies and an important early Chicano movement poet. He was an expert on the works of Shakespeare and the Mexican poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Arteaga originally joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1990 as an assistant professor of English and was tenured in the Department of Ethnic Studies in 1998.

Arteaga was interested in the collisions of different cultures and the resulting mixtures. His early focus on the Renaissance eventually merged with his later work on Chicano literature, particularly the merging of Western and indigenous influences in the Americas after European colonization as reflected in language and literature. His studies and teaching focused on the contributions of contemporary Chicano literature and music to American culture. He drew attention to the hybrid culture of Chicano writers by focusing on their hybrid use of language…”

Professor Arteaga died of a heart attack on July 4, 2008 in Santa Clara.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2008 9:41 am

    Awesome! Much food for thought… It really made my day. Thank you.

  2. anisa permalink*
    July 18, 2008 6:11 pm

    thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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