Essay on I Have

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Economic opportunity, social equality and personal freedom are societal ideals desired by nearly every individual, and such is no different for those who lived the Cuban Revolution. Poet and political activist Nicolás Guillén well documents these widely sought after ideals in Cuban society by expressing the newfound liberties of post-revolutionary Cuba in his 1964 poem “I Have.” Through anaphoric repetition of the poem’s titular phrase, Guillén emphatically depicts a vibrant Cuban nation teeming with natural beauty, societal peace and equality, and individual liberties by poetically listing the newfound personal freedoms and opportunities of post-revolutionary Cuban society. Guillén illustrates the dissipation of racial and class …show more content…
Guillén further imagines revolutionary modernity by poetically illustrating a pristine Cuban society free from domestic and foreign forms of violence and domination. Guillén directly depicts the riches of Cuba as luxuries he “did not or could not have before,” suggesting that he is in deep appreciation of the newfound freedom and peace that was lacking during pre-revolutionary Cuba. Guillén then expounds upon the individual and collective struggles endured by Cuban society during its revolutionary era by specifically referencing “rural police” that “seized [him] and locked [him] in a precinct jail,” a depiction which is immediately juxtaposed with the idea that these struggles are no longer (36-37). By specifically referencing the previous societal struggles that no longer have to be endured following the Cuban revolution, Guillén emphatically evidences his assertion of the restoration of peace to Cuban society and simultaneously enriches his imagination of a future Cuban nation unencumbered by domestic and foreign forms of corrupt domination. The conceptual crux of Guillén’s “I Have” lies in the idea that Guillén had “nothing only yesterday” and “everything today,” an idea that wholeheartedly captures Guillén’s celebration of the newfound liberty and racial tolerance in post-revolutionary Cuban society (2-3). Guillén builds upon his personal appreciation of societal liberation by establishing a collectivist

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