Que Deseo Poder Explicar: Spanish Civil War Seminar

Spanish Civil War: Cultural, Rhetoric, and Poetry Seminar

The poem below is a personal response emulation to the Poem “I Explain A Few Things” by Pablo Neruda who happened to be our poet of choice for our seminar regarding the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). This poem revolves especially around the children of the nation who were targeted during the peak of the revolution, and the effects of their bloodshed on the once beautiful España. 

Que Deseo Poder Explicar –  (What I Wish I Could Explain)

“mami, por favour 

cuéntame la historia 

de Espańa”

she said

and how was I supposed

to answer?


I could say

that Spain was 

a country of

rolling fields and

cobblestone streets,

where the lilacs bloomed

and children danced,


 mi niña 

I’d be lying.



was nothing more

than a nation of bandits

hungry for

the blood of those

beneath them.


A nation where

generals marched

on the hands of children,

their hearts

and fingers cracking,

under the weight

of Franco’s rule.


A nation

where our streams,


and oceans

turned to leather

with the tears

of childless mothers,


where alleyways

 ran red

with the blood of

the children

who once danced

on the same

cobblestone streets,


where our hills

were left barren

as the hearts

of parents,

after having plucked

all the lilacs

to decorate Spain’s

smallest graves


mami, por favour 

cuéntame la historia

de España”

my daughter said,


and all

I could do

was cry.


Featured Painting: ¡Guerra! The Spanish Civil War (2009)

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