Spanish Class Meets, Is Inspired by
Renowned Poet Ernesto Cardenal
by Alisa Giardinelli
Reading poetry in a classroom or other academic setting is one way to learn about and appreciate the art form. But to hear the words spoken by the person who wrote them is a wholly different, and often far richer, experience.
Students in Associate Professor of Spanish Aurora Camacho de Schmidt's Latin American 20th-century poetry class learned this firsthand last week after meeting renowned Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal. Widely considered to be the foremost Latin American poet alive today, Cardenal read his work during the "Second Skin International Poetry Reading," which was held as part of the PEN World Voices Festival.
"To hear his voice in person gave me a completely new and different feel for the material," says psychology major Emily Eder '12, from Lenox, Mass. "After learning about Cardenal's importance as an artistic, religious, and political figure, it was quite the honor to meet him in person.""Traveling to New York to hear Ernesto Cardenal read was a great experience," agrees Aaron Moser '13, a psychology major and Latin American minor from Great Barrington, Mass. "We had a chance to strengthen the bonds we had developed over the semester, and were also able to see how the poetry we studied in class is presented in the real world."