La Voz de Amor, released in September 2016, is a book of Spanish poetry written by Servando Cárdenas. The poet looks at love from a romantic, familial, patriotic, cultural and spiritual perspective and provides great insights into Tejano culture.
The book is also a labor of love for co-editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas, son of the poet. His co-editor, Javier Villarreal, Ph.D. is a recently retired professor of Spanish at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Dr. Villarreal writes in his introduction:
“…publicar los poemas de Servando Cárdenas, nos permite, simplemente, abrir un portal temporal para conversar con él. En esa conversación, le damos la oportunidad de compartir aspectos culturales y literarios que hablan de nuestra propia individualidad tejana. Sus vivencias reflejan el sentir de nuestros familiares de quienes poco sabemos y de quienes la historia ha mantenido en silencio.”
The entire book is written in Spanish and the editors resisted calls to translate any of the poems into English for fear of losing the poet’s meaning. Here, however, we provide a translation of Dr. Villarreal’s introductory passage above:
“…to publish Servando Cardenas’ poems, allows us to simply open a time portal to talk with him. In that conversation, we give you the opportunity to share cultural and literary aspects reflected in the poems that speak of our own Tejano identity. The experiences reflect the feelings of our relatives of whom we know little and of whom history has remained silent. “
The book is divided into five chapters:
- Poemas de Amor Romántico
- Poemas de Amor Familiar
- Poemas de Amor Patriótico
- Poemas de Amor Cultural
- Poemas de Amor Espiritual.
Dr. Villarreal adds in his introductory note:
“En conclusión, si conocer nuestra historia significa conocernos a nosotros mismos, hablar de Servando Cárdenas es dialogar con nuestros antepasados. Por ende, la difusión de su obra propone enaltecer el orgullo cultural nuestro en una sociedad empeñada en acotar nuestra presencia histórica y cultural dentro del desarrollo de este país.”
(“In conclusion, if knowing our history means knowing ourselves, a conversation with Servando Cárdenas is a dialogue with our ancestors. Therefore, the dissemination of his work exalts our cultural pride in a society committed to curtailing our historical and cultural presence in the development in this country.”)
In addition, the 162-page book includes a dedication, an introductory note by Dr. Villarreal, acknowledgements and a prologue by Alfredo Cárdenas, which includes a biography of the poet.
The author’s son concludes his prologue, with these words:
“Adelante, amantes de la poesía, cultura e historia. ¡Qué la disfruten tanto como yo!”
(“Read on lovers of poetry, culture and history. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!”)
The book is available from MCM Books for $9.95, plus sales tax and shipping for a total of $14.22. Ordering from MCM Books allows the poet’s son to autograph the book for you. If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber and wish to save the shipping costs, the book is also available at Amazon. For those of you who are partial to Barnes & Noble, they too offer the book online.