Home Her Life Historical Context Literary Significance Her Poems The Project
Over View
  Page [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
Time Lines
Childhood and maturity

With her sister and brothers, she and her husband maintained a very select social circle focussed on the arts. Several of her friends remember attending salons in her home when they were teenagers; they say that she created a special world. Although still not famous in Cuba among the general population, her work was prized by “those in the know” in Cuban literary circles before the Communist Revolution.

Dulce María felt that she and her family created a magical world, beginning when she was a small child.

{Video Link: Special World}

Marriage to Pablo
Silent Years

Pedro Simón also spoke of Dulce María's adult cultural world as a special universe.

{Audio Link: Simón - her marriage to Pablo}

Playwright Miguel Barnet, another very old friend, was part of that special world.

{Audio Link: Barnet - her salons}

The social eminence of Dulce María and her family affected her literary work in unusual ways. For instance, she mischievously recounted for Havana television the story of the approval of the great poem, “The Bride of Lazarus” by her confessor.

{Video Link: Lazarus}

The poem was finally published in one of her last collections. In the poem, when Lazarus returns from the dead, his “novia,” his sweetheart or fiancee, expresses powerful anger which clearly grows from her bereavement and her physical love for him. The new widow is suddenly no longer a widow, and must painfully enter a new emotional world for the second time. Unlike the more exotic emotion of the “Love Letter to King Tut-Ankh-Amen,” written earlier in her life, this poem deals with losses that are all too familiar, with death and abandonment. But they are applied to sacred story from Dulce María’s own Catholic heritage. Evidently she felt this might be unacceptable. Yet, as a Cuban friend said to me, Dulce María was a Cuban Catholic, not just a Catholic. This mixture of traditions freed her to explore such difficult material with her characteristic emotional honesty and erotic intensity.

Page [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]