The Cuban Poet, Heberto Padilla

I have been working with one of my college students on a paper on Cuban poets from the 1960s.  The one who we’ve researched today is Heberto Padilla.  He was initially pro-Castro then became a counterrevolutionary after Castro started demanding that poets write poetry that supported the Revolution.

Here is a portion of one of his poems:


Here is another:


He was a very brave man to write those poems at that time in Cuba.  He was imprisoned for a period of time and then the authorities demanded that he write a confession if he wanted to be released.  He wrote one that communicated between the lines that he was being forced to say what he said.  Poets and other literary figures from all over the world came together and tried to get him out of Cuba. It took 8 years, during which time none of his poetry could be published there.

He came to the United States and taught at several prestigious universities.  However, he missed Cuba and would have preferred to live there rather than in exile. He died in 2000 at the age of 68.

Here is a link to learn more about him:




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