The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano

4.03 avg rating
( 633 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780312659288: The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano

A lyrical biography of a Cuban slave who escaped to become a celebrated poet.

Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect the beauty of his world, but they also expose its hideous cruelty.

Powerful, haunting poems and breathtaking illustrations create a portrait of a life in which even the pain of slavery could not extinguish the capacity for hope.

The Poet Slave of Cuba is the winner of the 2008 Pura Belpre Medal for Narrative and a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Latino Interest.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Margarita Engle is a Cuban American poet, novelist, and journalist whose work has been published in many countries. She is the author of young adult nonfiction books and novels in verse including The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor Book, Hurricane Dancers, The Firefly Letters, and Tropical Secrets. She lives in northern California.

Sean Qualls is the illustrator of The Baby on the Way and Powerful Words. He lives with his wife and their son in Brooklyn, New York.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Juan

My mind is a brush made of feathers
painting pictures of words
I remember
all that I see
every syllable
each word a twin of itself
telling two stories
at the same time
one of sorrow
the other hope

I love the words
written with my feathery mind
in the air
and with my sharp fingernails
on leaves in the garden

When my owner catches
a whiff
of the fragrance
of words
engraved in the flesh
of succulent geranium leaves
or the perfumed petals of alelí flowers
then she frowns because she knows
that I dream
with my feathers
my wings

Poetry cools me, syllables calm me
I read the verses of others
the free men
and know
that I’m never alone

Poetry sets me aflame
I grow furious
dangerous, a blaze
of soul and heart, a fiery tongue
a lantern at midnight

My first owner was sweet to me
I was her pet, a new kind of poodle
my pretty mother chosen
to be her personal handmaid

My mother
María del Pilar Manzano
a slave

Together we belonged
along with countless others
human beasts of burden
to Doña Beatríz de Justíz, La Marquesa
the proud Marchioness Justíz de Santa Ana
noble wife of Don Juan Manzano
who shares my name
even though
he is not
my father

Don Juan rules El Molino
his plantation
on this island of sugar
and many other
sweet illusions

These were my mother’s duties:
dress La Marquesa
undress her
cool her skin with a palm-leaf fan
answer questions
never ask
collect milk from new mothers
in the huts
near the fields
slave milk, the lotion used for softening
the skin
of noble ladies

This my mother accomplished:
deliver the milk
grind eggshells and rice into powder
for making la cascarada
a pale shell for hiding
the darkness
of Spaniards
who pretend
to be pale
in our presence

When the noble ladies go out in public
milk-soothed, eggshell-crusted
masked and disguised
we no longer look the same
dark owner
and dark slaves

Now my owner is ghostly
inside her skeleton of powder
but I, being only a poodle,
can watch
I am allowed
to know
these truths
about shadow
and bright

So I listen
when the ghost-owner calls me her own baby
she plays with me
and even decides
to set my true mother
free

Free to marry Toribio de Castro
a man also promised
his freedom

My father is winged, like my mother
oh, I envy them
what will happen
to me
little bird
left behind in this haunted nest?

She takes me with her wherever she goes
I become the companion of my owner, noble ghost
no, not a companion, remember?
a poodle, her pet
with my curly dark hair
and small child’s brown skin
suitable
for the theater
and parties

So I bark
on command
I learn to whine and howl
in verse
I’m known as the smart one who never
forgets
I can listen
then recite
every word

Listen, she says to her friends
and the priest
see how little Juanito can sing
see how I’ve trained him
watch him
perform

Back and forth
over and over
country home, city home, palaces, the plantation
only six years old, she says
but listen to his big funny
voice

Back and forth
over and over
I recite strange words in several languages
Spanish, Latin, French
while my sweet ghost-Mamá-owner
and all her friends
listen
they are forgetful
I am rememberful
I remember there is also one more mother
in my song
a bird-mother
caged
but wingedExcerpted from The Poet Slave of Cubaby Margarita Engle.
Copyright © 2006 by Margarita Engle.
Published in 2006 by Henry Holt and Company.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 10.99
US$ 2.99

Convert Currency

Shipping: US$ 6.00
From Canada to U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Engle, Margarita
Published by Square Fish 2011-03-15 (2011)
ISBN 10: 0312659288 ISBN 13: 9780312659288
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
BookOutlet
(Thorold, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Square Fish 2011-03-15, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Bookseller Inventory # 9780312659288B

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 2.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 6.00
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Engle, Margarita
ISBN 10: 0312659288 ISBN 13: 9780312659288
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2011. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VV-9780312659288

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 5.18
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Engle, Margarita
Published by Square Fish (2011)
ISBN 10: 0312659288 ISBN 13: 9780312659288
New Paperback Quantity Available: 16
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Square Fish, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # 0312659288

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.21
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Engle, Margarita
Published by Square Fish (2011)
ISBN 10: 0312659288 ISBN 13: 9780312659288
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Save With Sam
(North Miami, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Square Fish, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # 0312659288

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 6.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

MS Margarita Engle
Published by Square Fish (2011)
ISBN 10: 0312659288 ISBN 13: 9780312659288
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Square Fish, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A lyrical biography of a Cuban slave who escaped to become a celebrated poet. Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect the beauty of his world, but they also expose its hideous cruelty. Powerful, haunting poems and breathtaking illustrations create a portrait of a life in which even the pain of slavery could not extinguish the capacity for hope. The Poet Slave of Cuba is the winner of the 2008 Pura Belpre Medal for Narrative and a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children s Book of the Year. Latino Interest. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780312659288

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.56
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Engle, Margarita
ISBN 10: 0312659288 ISBN 13: 9780312659288
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2011. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780312659288

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 5.62
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

MS Margarita Engle
Published by Square Fish (2011)
ISBN 10: 0312659288 ISBN 13: 9780312659288
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Square Fish, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A lyrical biography of a Cuban slave who escaped to become a celebrated poet. Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect the beauty of his world, but they also expose its hideous cruelty. Powerful, haunting poems and breathtaking illustrations create a portrait of a life in which even the pain of slavery could not extinguish the capacity for hope. The Poet Slave of Cuba is the winner of the 2008 Pura Belpre Medal for Narrative and a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children s Book of the Year. Latino Interest. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780312659288

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.78
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Margarita Engle; Illustrated by Sean Qualls
Published by MacMillan Publishers
ISBN 10: 0312659288 ISBN 13: 9780312659288
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description MacMillan Publishers. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0312659288

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 6.56
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Engle, Margarita
Published by Square Fish 3/15/2011 (2011)
ISBN 10: 0312659288 ISBN 13: 9780312659288
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Square Fish 3/15/2011, 2011. Paperback or Softback. Book Condition: New. The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780312659288

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.21
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Engle, Margarita
Published by Square Fish
ISBN 10: 0312659288 ISBN 13: 9780312659288
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BookShop4U
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Square Fish. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0312659288. Bookseller Inventory # Z0312659288ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.65
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book