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YAB Memories: The words of Rafael Cadenas

Poetry Rafael Cadenas

Cadenas found his love for writing at a young age; his firsts poems were published in Barquisimeto.

“Let’s come to an agreement, poem.”


Yes, perhaps we should start with an agreement, as Cadenas did. Let’s agree to celebrate others’ triumphs, let’s agree to make peace with what’s ours, let’s agree to celebrate the art of writing, and not to hide the power that words have. October 23rd was a simple reminder of the magical talent that was born in Nueva Segovia in 1930, a talent that years later would make his hometown pause for 40 minutes to watch from the distance how Rafael Cadenas received the Premio Reina Sofía. But I think we don’t need a prize to enjoy this art, and that’s why today I’m writing about this fantastic poet.


“Let’s come to an agreement, poem.

I won’t force you to say what you don’t want anymore

nor will you resist to my desire.

We have wrestled so much.

Why the insistence on making you in my image

when you know things I don’t suspect?”


People often forget the focus of what writing is about. I don’t mean we all must see it in the same way, but I believe we can agree on seeing it as healing art; as comforting as a warm embrace when it’s needed. A scape, a break, or a breath from every day, call it what you want; in the end, we all feel it the same way. Writing is not meant to do wrong, because why would something so beautiful be used to hurt, when you can make magic with it? Let yourself genuinely feel the text you’re writing, to be humble and sensible when you’re in front of the blank page, to change something out there with your words.


“Free yourself from me.

Run away and don’t look back.

Save yourself before it’s too late.

Well, you always surpass me,

you know how to say what inspires you

and I don’t,

because you’re more than yourself

and I’m just trying to recognize myself in you.”


Venezuelan Poetry

In his poems, he leaves all the sensibility and rebelliousness that characterizes him.


From Cadenas’ poetry, we can take its genuineness. He may not be the same as he was when he wrote this lines, but it’s a moment forever frozen in pages; a representation of what he went through, from his struggles, his quietness, to everything that made him be who he was, who he is, and who will be. That’s exactly why his works leave a mark in us, thanks to the way he expresses himself in such a simple and yet captivating way; how he presents his feelings in the purest form.






“I have the extension of my desire

and you have none,

you just  press on regardless

without looking at the hand you move

and which thinks it owns you when it feels you sprout from it.

as a substance

that stands.”


In the end, is love what makes you move, write, sing, and so on. It was the passion for expressing his ideas that made Cadenas win his “Failure,” that made him face his poem; his words were real to him, to us, and everyone that read him. It’s not easy to leave yourself so vulnerable to the world; it’s intimidating and scary, it really is. But all kind words should be heard; all good art should be shown, and all good poems should always be reminded. Art makes my life better, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way.


“Impose your course on the one who writes, he

only knows how to hide,

cover the novelty,

to impoverish oneself.

What it shows is a tired



Everybody has felt intimidated at some point, in some way; and for writers and poets, it can be threatening to be alone with their own words. The process is tricky, but man it feels good to let out our thoughts! And it’s even more significant to think how a guaro reached so many wonderful things through his poetry books, essays, and more works. I can only thank Rafael Cadenas and everyone that takes a moment to face the blank page; I thank for discovering the world of writing, and to the people that read someone else’s ideas to write their own. That’s the way to maintain this art alive while we are here: to not let the struggles win and to make peace with our art.



Stay away from me.”


Poem: Las Paces (Make Peace), by Rafael Cadenas.


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