Gioconda Belli
b. 1948


So far,
all over the world,
women have survived it.
Perhaps it was that our grandmothers were stoic
or, that back then, they weren’t entitled to complain,
still they reached old age
wilting bodies
but strong souls.
Now, instead,
dissertations are written on the subject.
As early as thirty agony sets in,
Foretelling the catastrophe.

A body is much more than the sum of its hormones.
Menopausal or not
a woman remains a woman,
beyond the production of secretions or eggs.
To miss a period does not imply the loss of syntax
or coherence;
it shouldn’t lead to hiding
as a snail in a shell,
nor provoke endless brooding.
If depression sets in
it won’t be a new occurrence,
each menstrual cycle has come to us with tears
and its load of irrational anger.
There is no reason, then,
to feel devalued:
Get rid of tampons
and sanitary napkins!
Use them to light a bonfire in your garden!
Be naked
Dance the ritual of aging
And survive
Like so many
Before you.

Translation by Charles Castaldi

Manuscript in a Bottle

Pablo Antonio Cuadra
1912 – 2002


I had seen coconut trees and tamarinds
and mangos
the white sails drying in the sun
the smoke of breakfast across the sky
at dawn
and fish jumping in the net
and a girl in red
who would go down to the shore and come up with a jug
and pass behind a grove
and appear and disappear
and for a long time
I could not sail without that image
of the girl in red
and the coconut trees and tamarinds and mangos
that seemed to live only
because she lived
and the white sails were white only
when she lay down
in her red dress and the smoke was blue
and the fish and the reflection of the fish
were happy
and for a long time I wanted to write a poem
about that girl in red
and couldn’t find the way to describe
the strange things that fascinated me
and when I told my friends they laughed
but when I sailed away and returned
I always passed the island of the girl in red
until one day I entered the bay of her island
and cast anchor and leaped to land
and now I write these lines and throw them into the waves in a bottle
because this is my story
because I am gazing at coconut trees and tamarinds
and mangos
the white sails drying in the sun
and the smoke of breakfast across the sky
and time passes
and we wait and wait
and we grunt
and she does not come with ears of corn
the girl in red.

Translation by Grace Schulman and Ann McCarthy de Zavala

Hail to Thee, Nicaragua!

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 135th birthday.

Salomón Ibarra Mayorga
1887 – 1985


Hail to thee, Nicaragua! On thy land
roareth the voice of the cannon no more,
nor doeth the blood of brothers now stain
thy glorious bicolor banner.

Let peace shine beautifully in thy sky,
and nothing dimmeth thine immortal glory,
for labor is thy well-earned laurel
and honor is thy triumphal emblem,
is thy triumphal emblem!

The Flower and the Hummingbird

Esthela Calderón
b. 1970


“I have a hummingbird!”
said the flower.

He wraps me in his fine beak
and his wounding tongue.

Shakes me with the tireless beating of his wings.
I pulse in his rushing heart.
Sleep on the heights
of his forest.

As a flower,
I rest
on the blinding brightness
of his plumage.

My hummingbird
hurls himself against the bell tower of my body.
Rips petals from my flesh.
Invents a song
with the music of his unblinking eyes
and the fierceness of his flight.

He flies through the garden.

Comes and goes
among the flowered paths,
searching for the abyss
of bitter honey.

He dies and is reborn
where frost falls, covering the world
of my pollen.

Mortally Wounded

Claribel Alegria
1924 – 2018


When I woke up
this morning
I knew you were
mortally wounded
that I was too
that our days were numbered
our nights
that someone had counted them
without letting us know
that more than ever
I had to love you
you had to love me.
I inhaled your fragrance
I watched you sleeping
I ran the tips of my fingers
over your skin
remembered the friends
whose quota was filled
and are on the other side:
the one who died
a natural death
the one who fell in combat
the one they tortured
in jail
who kicked aside his death.
I brushed your warmth
with my lips:
mortally wounded
my love
perhaps tomorrow
and I loved you more than ever
and you loved me as well.

Translation by Darwin J. Flakoll

Precious Mahogany

06-23 Watson
Brigitte Zacarías Watson
b. 1961


I tried to defend you,
I thought there might be
Someone else who loved you
As I love you.

Here I am, beneath you
Caressing your precious timber,
Protecting you with my hands
From those who claim to love you.

They see you bleed and they laugh as they stuff their pockets

With dollars, from your suffering.


Translation by Jessica Powell

Geometry of the Woman

03-28-22 Corriols
Marianela Corriols
b. 1965


I am a woman
Round as the universe
A pyramid that ignores its secrets
Triangular in some parts
with perfect and calculable hypotenuses
on any one of its sides.

I am a woman
Square and stubborn
when it’s about you
Pentagonal when I plan
the most secret of my weapons

I am a woman
the shortest distance
between your all and my nothing

I am a woman
perhaps of your references


Translation by Nicolás Suescún

Far Away

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 155th birthday.

01-18 Dario
Rubén Darío
1867 – 1916


Ox that I saw in my childhood, as you steamed
in the burning gold on the Nicaraguan sun,
there on the rich plantation filled with tropical
harmonies; woodland dove, of the woods that sang
with the sound of the wind, of axes, of birds and wild bulls:
I salute you both, because you are both my life.

You, heavy ox, evoke the gentle dawn
that signaled it was time to milk the cow,
when my existence was all white and rose;
and you, sweet mountain dove, cooing and calling,
you signify all that my own springtime, now
so far away, possessed of the Divine Springtime.


Translation by Lysander Kemp