Ramírez, Reading & Responsibility

The presenter introduced Sergio Ramírez with all the formal flourish that the Spanish language provides for; a laudatory salute that seems unique to places where poets serve as public servants.  The presenter mentioned the publications Ramírez has contributed to; the number of his essays, short stories, and novels; told of his political history and his creation of Nicaraguan publications and organizations of reform. The presenter was obviously very proud of having such an influential man in the room, and finally said, “I give you, author, poet, thinker, ex-president Sergio Ramírez!”

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The man who has given talks at over forty academic institutions around the world (including Cornell University) took the podium. “Thank you for the very generous introduction,” he started.  And what he said next illustrates the difference between poets and politicians. Continue reading