Final farewell to Cuban poet
BY WILFREDO CANCIO ISLA
El Nuevo Herald
Relatives and friends of Heberto Padilla bade farewell to the
Cuban poet, praising
the social and literary contributions of ``his impatience and his song.''
The words, by Padilla himself, appeared in Out of the Game, the
poems that earned him the wrath of the Cuban government in 1968.
Under a torrential rain, Padilla, who died this week at age 68,
was buried at noon
Thursday at Miami Memorial Park in the presence of about 40 people, including
his children and siblings.
One of the numerous flower arrangements outlined the island of
Cuba in white
roses, a reminder that the exiled poet once wrote that ``I live in Cuba. I've always
lived in Cuba. Those years of wandering throughout the world are my lies, my
``Heberto Padilla always has been the most lucid voice of our
journalist Carlos Verdecia, a close friend of the poet since their days in Cuba, told
Without intending to make history, ``Padilla's talent and voice
foundations of a merciless regime,'' Verdecia said, alluding to the repercussions
of Out of the Game.
The book, which won the 1968 National Award for Poetry, was harshly
by the regime of Fidel Castro. Padilla then became the target of official
harassment and was imprisoned in 1971. He came to the United States in 1980.
``His name entered the universal conscience as the expression
of freedom that
every honest man carries within himself,'' Verdecia said.
Paraphrasing the poem The Hour, which appears in Out of the Game,
said that ``not everything was futile'' in Padilla's challenge to the revolution and
that ``his impatience and his song made sense.''
Before the burial, a Mass was said in Padilla's memory at the
Church of the Little
Flower in Coral Gables.
Thursday in Cuba, the official press published the government's
first reaction to
Padilla's death. ``Although his work as a poet is important, he gained international
notoriety through the propaganda-laden manipulation of his counterrevolutionary
position,'' said the newspaper Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth).