Archives For Ernesto Cardenal

 

Ernesto Cardenal

Today marks the 90th birthday of Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal…

Reviewing Pluriverse, the most through collection of his poems in English translation, Brent Aldrich described Cardenal as “[A] man who has been, at various times, a Catholic priest, a Sandinista revolutionary, Minister of Culture, and a contemplative after living as a novitiate under Thomas Merton.” [ This review is a great intro to Cardenal’s work! ]

In honor of Cardenal’s 90th birthday, we offer three videos that together offer a nice introduction to his poetry. The first video is a PBS interview, the second two videos are of him reading poems.

 

PBS Interview:




 

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Stories hold conflict and contrast, highs and lows, life and death, and the human struggle and all kinds of things.”
– David Lynch, filmmaker,

Born on this day 1946
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The Wake Up Call
 
Poem of the Day:
Two Poems by Ernesto Cardenal
(In Spanish with English translation provided)
*** The Nicaraguan Poet turns 90 today!

 
 

Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day:
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The Classic Novel By David Foster Wallace
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The Wake Up Call – January 20, 2015

 

This list originally appeared in our Eastertide / Summer print issue,
but we thought we’d reprint it here for readers who haven’t seen that issue…

It was a difficult choice, but here are our picks for the best books of the first half of 2011:

[ In order by author’s last name… ]

Caleb’s Crossing
Geraldine Brooks

Hardback: Viking Books
Read an excerpt.  Review coming in next print issue.

The Origin of Species and Other Poems.
Ernesto Cardenal.

Hardback: Texas Tech Univ. Press
Review by Brent Aldrich upcoming in the next print issue.


Migrations of the Holy: God, State and the
Political Meaning of the Church

Bill Cavanaugh

Paperback: Eerdmans
Read our Review by Micah Weedman


Marshall McLuhan:
You Know Nothing of My Work!

Douglas Coupland

Hardback: Atlas Books
Review by Read Mercer Schuhardt in theLent print issue.


The End of Evangelicalism?
David Fitch

Paperback: Cascade Books
Read our Review by Chris Smith


Year of Plenty
Craig Goodwin

Paperback: Sparkhouse
Read our Review by Brent Aldrich


The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction
Alan Jacobs

Hardback: Oxford Univ. Press
Review by Chris Smith in the Eastertide print issue.


The Sacrifice of Africa:
A Political Theology for Africa

Emmanuel Katongole
.

Paperback: Eerdmans
Read our review by Chris Smith


Julian of Norwich, Theologian.
Denys Turner
.
Hardback: Yale Univ. Press.
Review by Alex Joyner
in the Eastertide print issue.


All That We Share
Jay Walljasper
Paperback: The New Press
Read our Review


The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton
Monica Weis
Hardback: University Press of Kentucky.
Read Chris Smith’s Review in THE CHRISTIAN CENTURY.

Our review by Brent Aldrich coming soon.


Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating
Norman Wirzba

Hardback: Cambridge Univ. Press
Interview with Norman in Eastertide print issue.
Review will run online soon…

Caleb’s Crossing

Geraldine Brooks

Hardback: Viking Books

Watch for our upcoming review online.

The Origin of Species and Other Poems

Ernesto Cardenal

Hardback: Texas Tech Univ. Press

Review by Brent Aldrich upcoming online.

Migrations of the Holy: God, State and the

Political Meaning of the Church

Bill Cavanaugh

Paperback: Eerdmans

Review by Micah Weedman

online at bit.ly/ERB-Cavanaugh

Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work!

Douglas Coupland

Hardback: Atlas Books

Review by Read Mercer Schuhardt in the

Lent print issue of the ERB

The End of Evangelicalism?

David Fitch

Paperback: Cascade Books

Review by Chris Smith

online at bit.ly/ERB-Fitch

Year of Plenty

Craig Goodwin

Paperback: Sparkhouse

Review by Brent Aldrich

online at bit.ly/ERB-Goodwin

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction

Alan Jacobs

Hardback: Oxford Univ. Press

Review by Chris Smith on page 10.

The Sacrifice of Africa: A Political Theology for Africa

Emmanuel Katongole

Paperback: Eerdmans

Review by Chris Smith

online at bit.ly/ERB-Katongole

Julian of Norwich, Theologian

Denys Turner

Hardback: Yale Univ. Press

Review by Alex Joyner on page 26.

All That We Share

Jay Walljapser

Paperback: The New Press

Review by Chris Smith

online at bit.ly/ERB-Commons

The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton

Monica Weis

Hardback: University Press of Kentucky

Watch for our upcoming review online.

Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating

Norman Wirzba

Hardback: Cambridge Univ. Press

Conversation with Norman Wirzba on page 4.

   

   

   

 

“The Kingdom Has Come and Is Among Us

A review of
The Gospel in Solentiname.
By Ernesto Cardenal
.

Reviewed by Brent Aldrich.


The Gospel in Solentiname.
By Ernesto Cardenal
.
Paperback: Orbis Books, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

The Gospel of  Solentiname - Ernesto CardenalBecause the word made the world
we can communicate in the world.

(…)

I am yes. I am Yes to a you, to a you for me,
to a you for me.
People are dialogue, I say,
if not their words would touch nothing
like waves in the cosmos picked up by no radio
like messages to uninhabited planets,
or a bellowing in the lunar void
or a telephone call to an empty house.
(A person alone does not exist.)

Ernesto Cardenal,
from “Cosmic Canticle”

Nicaraguan poet, priest, and Sandinista revolutionary Ernesto Cardenal lived for ten years on the archipelago of Solentiname, in Lake Nicaragua; the Sunday gatherings of the campesinos had at its heart a conversation based on the day’s Gospel reading. Cardenal recorded, transcribed, and edited these conversations into The Gospel in Solentiname, just republished all together in a new edition from Orbis Books.

The ongoing conversation, situated in a particular people and place, reflects the sensibilities contained in Cardenal’s poetry; his poetry, likewise, can be instructive as to the context in which the Gospel is shared. The Word of God, as expressed by Cardenal and by those at Solentiname, is at its heart communal, that is to say, without a word, without a sharing of life together, there can be no love, there can be no Kingdom of God. The radicality of the Gospel is that it comes to earth, to the oppressed, in Christ, and then in a people, and that it is predicated on love – as an economy, a politics, a comprehensive ordering of all life. And furthermore, it is particularizing, dwelling in a people and in a place.

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James K.A. Smith Summarizes and Critiques
James Davison Hunter’s TO CHANGE THE WORLD

http://www.theotherjournal.com/article.php?id=1021

Many of us are more indebted to James Davison Hunter than we might realize. His 1991 book, Culture Wars, has been a lens through which many have understood the dynamics of American politics, even if they have never read it. An astute and influential observer of American culture, particularly the role of (and transformation of) religion in the public sphere, Hunter is a sociologist without the usual allergy to normative language. And while he’s never taken sides in the culture wars (indeed, despite the way it is cited by both friends and detractors, Culture Wars was pointing out the futility of conducting such battles), Hunter has not shied away from prescription rooted in description and analysis. Thus, his later book The Death of Character unapologetically laments the loss of a unified moral ethos in American culture that undercuts the possibility of true character formation. Although Hunter’s writing can sometimes tend toward the curmudgeonly end of the jeremiad spectrum, he’s nonetheless an important cultural critic.

His latest offering is a logical trajectory from this earlier work. To Change the World is explicitly addressed to Christians in the United States and is his most unabashedly prescriptive and theological work to date. It is also one of the most important works on Christianity and culture since Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Until Justice and Peace Embrace. One could hope that To Change the World might finally displace the lazy hegemony of Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture, even if I think Hunter’s book might have a couple of similar faults.

Read the full piece:
http://www.theotherjournal.com/article.php?id=1021

To Change the World:
The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World.

James Davison Hunter.
Hardback: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]


Lauren Winner reviews Ernesto Cardenal’s
THE GOSPEL IN SOLENTINAME for
BOOKS AND CULTURE

http://booksandculture.com/articles/webexclusives/2010/september/winner091510.html

In the 1960s and 1970s, Catholic priest and poet Ernesto Cardenal lived and worked among the campesinos of Solentiname, a 36-island archipelago in Lake Nicaragua. On Sundays, the community gathered for worship. In lieu of a sermon, Cardenal led the men and women in a conversation about the gospel passage. Cardenal recorded many of those conversations and published them as The Gospel in Solentiname. In a 1998 essay, Timothy Gorringe points to these dialogues as a good example of a more widespread phenomenon: “Cardenal’s Bible studies are the products of a community,” writes Gorringe, “which believes that Jesus is the incarnate, risen and ascended Lord, who encounters us both in the Eucharist and in the struggle for justice. Whilst recognizing that everything is political, the members of the community do not think politics is everything.”

Read the full piece:
http://booksandculture.com/articles/webexclusives/2010/september/winner091510.html

The Gospel in Solentiname.
Ernesto Cardenal
Paperback (Reissue Edition): Orbis Books, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

 

The Revolution that Started in the Stars

A Review of
Pluriverse: New and Selected Poems.
by Ernesto Cardenal.

By Brent Aldrich.

Pluriverse: New and Selected Poems.
Ernesto Cardenal.

Paperback: New Directions, 2009.
Buy now from:
[ Doulos Christou Books $15] [ Amazon ]

Reading through Ernesto Cardenal’s poems as gathered in the new book Pluriverse has been both wonderful and challenging; wonderful in the complexity of content and lyric form, but challenging as a reader in the United States, to begin to comprehend a history of violent relations with Cardenal’s native Nicaragua. Additionally, this collection spans Cardenal’s nearly 60 years of poetry, making for an expansive body of work to read, from a man who has been, at various times, a Catholic priest, a Sandinista revolutionary, Minister of Culture, and a contemplative after living as a novitiate under Thomas Merton; he has his eyes toward the complexity and diversity of life, but through the form of the poem, a wholeness is achieved.

                Pluriverse is divided into four chronological sections, the earliest beginning in 1949, and the most recent right up to 2005, which is helpful when considering the broad reach and development of these poems. Early on, Cardenal begins with some themes that continue throughout, drawing historical events and characters from Nicaraguan history alongside love poems and astronomy, but always infused with the rhythms of nature and life specific to Nicaragua – the wildlife, geology, weather, stars, people; there is always a strain of natural history running parallel with the history of imperialism, revolution, or daily life. Describing the relations of the US and Nicaragua in light of the Nicaraguan landscape:

 

                “Oak trees in Solentiname bloom in March above the lake with

blossoms rosy as girls’ lips.

And in summer: the chichitote sings the loveliest

                song of any bird in Nicaragua

and the cucurruchí sings its name in summer nest building

while the shellfish are harvested in BluefieldsBay

                in March and April – and

in Ocotal, in April, the quetzal rears its young.

 

But another country found it needed all these riches.

To obtain the 1911 loans Nicaragua had to cede her customs rights

also the running of the National Bank

to lenders who reserved the right

to take it over…”     (126).

 

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