Che Guevara’s favourite poems discovered

This is a video of a Pablo Neruda poem.

From British daily The Independent:

Rediscovering Che Guevara, the romantic revolutionary

By David Usborne in New York

Published: 13 September 2007

Romanticising the memory of Che Guevara, Fidel Castro’s brother-in-arms during the Cuban uprising, has long been a worldwide industry. But the Argentinian revolutionary remained in touch with his own romantic side to the end, even as he battled to foment a second revolution in the jungles of Bolivia, a new book reveals.

Guevara was executed by Bolivian troops near the town of La Higuera on 9 October 1967, after an ambush backed by the CIA and US special forces. Now, as the 40th anniversary of his death approaches, a Mexican publisher has printed what it claims are the contents of a dog-eared notebook which was found on his body and kept locked away for years in a Bolivian army vault. But the secrets offered up in the new book, The Green Notebook Of Che, are neither codes nor battle plans. Instead, the pages – densely filled with Guevara’s handwriting – contain a collection of his favourite poetry. Many of the entries are love poems.

Planeta, the publisher, first showed the manuscript to Paco Ignacio, a popular Mexican novelist and biographer of Guevara, who has written the preface to the compendium. Yesterday, Ignacio recalled the moment when his editor first handed him pages photocopied from Guevara’s old spiral notebook. “He asked, ‘What is it?’ and I said, ‘Well, let me see’,” Ignacio told the BBC World Service. “And I said, ‘This is Guevara’s handwriting. This is the green notebook’.”

The existence of the book was already widely known but no biographer had seen it before. After Guevara was shot, according to Ignacio, CIA agents “looked at it and tried to find some code but they said, ‘They are just poems’.” More precisely, there were verses from 69 poems by four writers – Pablo Neruda from Chile, Nicolás Guillén of Cuba, César Vallejo of Peru and the Spaniard, León Felipe.


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