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Ernesto Cardenal: 1925—: Poet Biography - Married Poetry To Politics, Found Inspiration In Religion, Became Spokesman For Sandinistas, Maintained Dream Of Utopia

liberation nicaraguan decade nearly

Ernesto Cardenal: 1925—: Poet.




It is nearly impossible to separate Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal from his country, or his poetry from his politics. He rose to prominence during the dark days of the four-decade-long dictatorship of the Somoza family. Cardenal used his pen as a sword to help undermine the Somoza regime, exposing its atrocities to the world. Some of his most renowned work grew out of that period, including "Zero Hour" and The Psalms of Struggle and Liberation. A Catholic priest as well as a committed activist, Cardenal was also one of the proponents of "liberation theology," a philosophy that worked to integrate spiritual ideals with social practice, namely economic liberation for the poor and oppressed. Following the overthrow of the dictatorship, the left-wing Sandinistas assumed power and appointed Cardenal as Nicaragua's first Minister of Culture, a post he held for nearly a decade. The National Catholic Reporter noted that "Ernesto Cardenal became for many the cultural symbol of the Nicaraguan revolution."

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