In moving furniture last week, several rolls of paper were found, having fallen behind a cabinet perhaps ten years ago. No damage was done and we now have three enormous woodcuts back in the collection of the Puerto Rican master printer Lorenzo Homar where they belong.
Each of the prints includes a long quote. The first is a poem by Tomas Blanco (1900-1975) entitled “Unicornio en la Isla.”
Isla de la palmera y la guajana
con cinto de bullentes arrecifes
y corola de soles.
Isla de amor y mar enamorado.
Bajo el viento:
los caballos azules con sus sueltas melenas;
y, con desnuda piel de ascuas doradas,
el torso de las dunas.
Isla de los coquís y los careyes
con afrodisio cinturón de espuma
y diadema de estrellas.
Isla de amor marino y mar embelesado.
Bajo los plenilunios:
Húmedas brisas, mágicas ensenadas, secretos matorrales…
Y el unicornio en la manigua alzado,
listo para la fuga, alerta y tenso.
Lorenzo Homar (1913-2004), El Maestro=The Master, 1972. Woodcut on Japan paper 5/40, 28 x 37” Graphic Arts Collection GAX in process
Thank you to the Susana Torruella Leval, 1993 Acting Director and Chief Curator, El Museo del Barrio, for her translation of the two quotations in this woodcut from speeches given by Pedro Albizu Campos (1891-1965) in 1930:
Nationalism is not merely the restoration of its lands to Puerto Rican hands, nor the salvation of its commerce and its finances; it is the nationality that stands to redeem its sovereignty and to save for its people their superior values of life. Colonization is the nullifying and the absorption of our moral forces that God entrusted to this land. If to one madman a people denies its personality, * also denies its capacity to verify any form of legal transaction. If to one people its personality is denied, also denied is its capacity to rule its own destiny and we are placed at the level of an irresponsible madman.
Ponce, 5 October 1930.
Puerto Rico has the right to its independence because when the agreement of Paris was signed, by which the United States took possession of the island, Puerto Rico had already enjoyed international recognition of its sovereignty and it is for this reason that Spain did not have the right to cede it in as much as the United States did not have the right to acquire it.
28 June 1930