"Julia de Burgos: 100 years" (photos and videos) | The NY Times

Julia de Burgos was a daughter of Puerto Rico ; was also the daughter of El Barrio . Along with the tide of Puerto Rican migrants arriving in New York in the 1940s and 1950s, he found a home in East Harlem. A mural, a cultural center and a street with its name, among other signs of its presence in that part of the city, commemorate its legacy.

Teacher and writer De Burgos made important pronouncements through his poetry. She was a feminist and a promoter of the independence of Puerto Rico. And in an era in which the most brutal racial discrimination was the norm, he celebrated his blackness: "Ay ay ay, I am grifa y pura negra; taps in my hair, sugar in my lips; and my flat nose mozambique ".

Like many of us remember the beauty of our countries, Julia paid tribute to the nature of the Charm Island in verses as memorable as those of her "Rio Grande de Loíza" : "Where did you take the waters that bathed my forms, in the ear of the newly opened sun?"

Julia de Burgos died at the early age of 39, but left a work that made her one of the most influential Puerto Rican and Latin American poets of the 20th century. In the centenary of her birth, a long list of distinguished poets and writers keep alive the admiration for her work. > Born on February 17, 1914 in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Julia De Burgos was raised in the Santa Cruz neighborhood, a humble section of that town. The only one of thirteen high school siblings, she earned her master's degree in the University of Puerto Rico at age 19.

In 1936 he joined "Daughters of Liberty," a feminist branch of the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico , led by Pedro Albizu Campos , which promoted the independence of In 1934 he married journalist Ruben Rodríguez Beauchamp , from whom he divorced in 1937. He later had an intense love affair with Dominican historian, physician and politician Juan.

Isidro Jiménez Grullón, who would inspire many of his poems. The relationship lasted a few years and was followed by another short marriage (1943-1947) with the musician Armando Marin.

After his last love failure, De Burgos remained living alone in NY. Despite having many admirers and having an intense professional life, he fell into a deep depression and into alcoholism. On July 6, 1953, he collapsed on a sidewalk in El Barrio and died of pneumonia in a hospital in Harlem a few hours later. Due to the fact that at the time of her death she had no personal identification with her, De Burgos was buried as Jane Doe , or NN, in the Welfare Island currently Roosevelt Island .

Noticing his absence, his friends began to track her, and even El Diario / La Prensa published a note about it. After several days of intense searching, his body was exhumed and sent to his hometown, Carolina , for a solemn burial.

That sad ending cemented the prophetic fame of his poetry . A few months before he died, De Burgos had written his only poem in English, Farewell in Welfare Island, which reads like this:

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cry into the world. My cry that is no more mine, but hers and his forever, the comrades of my silence,

the phantoms of my grave.

Julia de Burgos had died, but her poetry would continue to inspire the younger generations.

- In 1940 she moved to New York with the great love of her life, Dominican exile Juan Isidro Jiménez Grullón . The following year, the couple moved to Havana . In 1942, after separating from his lover, De Burgos returned to New York, where he would work as a journalist, employed in a chemical laboratory, lamp seller, clerk and seamstress, among other occupations.

- El Friday, April 5, 1940, the Association of Puerto Rican Journalists and Writers pays homage to the Wadleigh High School Auditorium , 215 West 114th Street, Manhattan. p>

- May 10, 1940 gives a poetry recital at Longwood Casino , Longwood Avenue 867, The Bronx.

In 1948 he moved to 538 West 123rd Street, Harlem. In the 1950s, she lived in different places near the 103rd and 104th streets of El Barrio, and also in Brooklyn .

- During 1948 she was hospitalized several times in Mount Sinai Hospital , in Manhattan , because of her continuing health problems.

- On July 6, 1953, she was found unconscious and without identification on the corner from 106th Street to Fifth Avenue; taken to Harlem Hospital , died the same day. In the absence of identification, his body was buried in an anonymous tomb. Later, the body was transferred to Puerto Rico and buried in the cemetery of Carolina , near the Río Grande de Loíza , which inspired its famous poem of 1935. In 2006, the corner where it was found was named Julia de Burgos Boulevard .

  • Adam Floyd