Obituary Note: Claribel Alegría

Poet Claribel Alegría, "who wrote of the harsh realities of Central American life and the search for identity and hope--work informed by her own uprooting, first from Nicaragua and then from El Salvador," died January 25, the New York Times reported. She was 93. "El Salvador is the fatherland because it's where I grew up," she said in 1999. "But my motherland, Nicaragua, has welcomed me with open arms."

Tumult in those two countries "was reflected in the dozens of books she wrote, not only poetry but also novels and histories, some written with her husband, Darwin J. Flakoll," the Times noted, adding that "hers was sometimes a blunt vision, as in 'Documentary,' a poem about El Salvador that includes these lines":

Besides the coffee
They plant angels
In my country.
A chorus of children
And women
With the small white coffin
Move politely aside
As the harvest passes by.

Her books include Thresholds/Umbrales: Bilingual Poems; Fugues; Halting Steps: Collected and New Poems; Sorrow; and Woman of the River; Flowers From the Volcano; and Saudade/Sorrow.

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