Aire Durando by Manuel del Cabral

Written and Edited by Efrain Nieves & Victoria Cepeda

Manuel del Cabral was born on March 7th 1907 in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. Manuel was first  recognized when he wrote  Compadre Mon in 1943 which spoke of injustice. Most of Cabral’s work focused on love, politics, society and culture and the hardships of Afro-Caribbeans.

Here is one of Cabral’s poems I am compelled to share. I cannot describe how I felt upon reading it. This poem reminds me of a man whose voice has been silenced by physical death but its deeds in life have turned him into an immortal.  The original poem is in Spanish but  we’ve translated into English to the best of our capabilities.  Hope you like it.

 Aire Durando by Manuel del Cabral

¿Quién ha matado este hombre
que su voz no está enterrada?

Hay muertos que van subiendo
cuanto su ataúd más baja…

Este sudor… ¿por quién muere?
¿Por qué cosa muere un pobre?

¿Quién ha matado estas manos?
¡No cabe en la muerte un hombre!

Hay muertos que van subiendo
cuanto su ataúd más baja…

¿Quién acostó su estatura
que su voz está parada?

Hay muertos como raíces
que hundidas… dan fruto al ala.

¿Quién ha matado estas manos,
este sudor, esta cara?

Hay muertos que van subiendo
cuanto más su ataúd baja…


Who has killed this man whose voice is yet to be burried?

There are the dead that ascend as their coffens descend

This sweat…for whom to die? For which cause does the poor die?

Who has killed these hands? There is no room for a man in death!

There are the dead that ascend as their coffens descend

Who laid down his estature that his voice came to a halt?

There are dead like roots that while deep rooted still give birth to wings

Who has killed these hands, this sweat and this face?

There are the dead that ascend as their coffens descend

Poemas de: Manuel del Cabral

Página para honrar al gran poeta Dominicano Manuel del Cabral
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About Efrain Nieves

Efrain Nieves is a freelance writer, blogger and poet. He is an advocate of the Latino-American experience. His writings, at, combine poetry, politics, education and history with the objective to create awareness while informing the Latino and non-Latino community of our relevance and contribution to the U.S. We strive to reach a diverse audience.

2 Responses to “Aire Durando by Manuel del Cabral”

  1. Great post Efrain. I will share this with some friends, Dominican and otherwise.

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