Like the one who inspired him the most, Fidel was an inspirer. It happened unintentionally. He did not have to make an effort to stand out. It was enough that he was him.
Whether on the rostrum -in front of the great crowds here and around the world- or on the narrowest stage, the peculiar trait, the one that warns that we are in front of an uncommon being, was a sign for others.
If he was an inspiration among the common people, who followed him and joined him to make a titanic Revolution, what can we say about what his singular proportions meant for those who have art as a means of expression.
Fidel was, is and will be, invariably, subject and motive of study, central figure in essays, images, documentaries, songs, paintings. However, there is an intangible space in which the Commander in Chief is trapped and then renewed. It is the lyrical text, the one constructed by the poet.
An instant of immense joy, the one of the confirmation that the young rebel was alive, moved Carilda to write her Canto a Fidel, in which she drew him with beautiful details and thanked him for “being true,” for having made us men and for having taken care of “the names of freedom.”
Poet Pura del Prado saw him as “pure and clear as burning water” in some verses that were read in Patria, a publication of the 26th of July Movement in New York in October 1957. Heaven knows you in love / has seen you father like so many others, / and knows the leap into the fire that you have taken / to sacrifice yourself for us.
Fidel goes, in that triumphal march of the Rebel Army, of the Indio Naborí, after having defeated the beast “for the good of man,” leading a victorious caravan, which has overcome the nettle and the ices. He is, in the words of the National Poet Nicolás Guillén, the one who would fulfill Martí’s promise to achieve the dreamed independence for the Homeland.
In another poem titled Fidel… Fidel…, Navarro Luna gives the already known answer to the question evoked by several generations so many times: What does Fidel have / that the Americans / cannot with him? (…) He raises his head, and his head is a bud / of freedom that illuminates the slave path / He can give lessons to Homer’s heroes / and he can also give them to Don Quixote!
The pen of Angel Augier sees him go ahead, Fidel of tempest and tenderness, / who dominated the sea and the mountain, / the lead, the wind, the hate with his feat / and gave back its stature to the homeland.
The gift of ubiquity, only close to those who do not rest, was described by Mirta Aguirre: So in the East / or in Vueltabajo, / in good times or in bad times / Everywhere, Fidel is present: / at work / or among the bullets / As if his combatant shoes / were made of wings.
A poem by Alberto Rocasolano concludes: And the hero, / is he not the substance of his own decisions? / Time, speak of the integrity and example of Fidel: / his clear thinking, the primordial line of his ideas / for he said man, freedom and world / realizing that a man is not a man / without the right to bread and joy.
In heartfelt verses, Jesus Cos Cause states: I write Fidel and the eagle no longer takes flight / and if it does, I have it in the sights of my rifle. I write Fidel and I write / I already know the paths. And Raúl Hernández Novás: like children we climb up his arms, you have a homeland, you, / raised brothers who walk his path / where he tells us / where our eyes tell us / cautious, forever open, clinging to the tremor that foams his word. Virgilio López Lemus maintains that no one can sum him up (…) that No one dedicates anything directly to him / But every man of the people would die for him / In any circumstance.
It is true that poets / catch moments of life / and fix them in history, wrote Miguel Barnet in a poem entitled Fidel, and concluded: But how difficult it is to catch the future / and place it forever / in the life of all poets, of all men.
In one of the most shocking lyrical portraits of the Commander in Chief, Juan Gelman assured, with a casual and stern tone, that of Fidel one could say “I am people” or “great driver, the one who set history on fire, among other things,” however, his people called him the Horse. “And it is true / Fidel rode on Fidel one day / he threw himself headlong against pain against death / but even more against the dust of the soul.”
Neruda, singing to him, told him: and if Cuba fell we would fall, and we would come to raise it up, (…) And if they dare to touch the forehead / of Cuba by your liberated hands / they will find the fists of the people, / we will take out the buried weapons: / blood and pride will come / to defend well -loved a Cuba.
His farewell was, undoubtedly, a milestone that shook not only his people, but the whole world. Poet Nancy Morejón wrote moving lines about the event: Oh, Commander, where are you / Or are you the face of us asking for you? Oh, Commander, friend, owner of hope, / The planets, under the arc of the stars / and a rising sun in the cities, / become, right now, your escort forever.
Alexis Díaz Pimienta, in his Crónica rota ante la muerte de Fidel wrote: I feel without words, I who had them all, / I who boasted so much of loquacity / I see myself very small, half of the half. / All my non-words are elegies, odes, / praises and panegyrics… We are all rhapsodies / sunk in the limbo of hard skepticism / I am also a militant of the best fidelismo / I am also Fidel, I always was, without boasting / To remain silent is not even the option of cowards. To remain silent is to bury oneself in oneself.
In the effervescence of his life, Fidel touched sensitive souls that gave him back the ways to eternalize him from their respective visions with the most beautiful words they were capable of. Although these lines collect the voices of only some of the poets who were shaken by his personality, it is known that among the people abound, as also happens with Martí, countless moments of emotion before Fidel, which have been taken to writing.
Among s many other perceptions, Fidel is also art. He modestly dismissed the glory from which he could not escape; he did not expect anything in return but the happiness of his people; he did not want monuments in his honor. However, singing to him every day of life is inevitable. For ever and ever he will enlighten the creators. It is too late to stop it, Commander.
Translated by ESTI