Alfonsina Storni: Worth Rereading and Remembering

Alfonsina Storni monument

The study and work on Diversity demands constant review because it is ever morphing. The “work” is always in progress being refined and amplified with new knowledge, high definition socio-cultural critical lenses and invaluable unearthed counterstories. Rereading and remembering is part of that process. Knowledge requires updating, going back to those watershed books, articles and illuminating poems that linger hovering over meaning – calling to be reread – rethought.  One word – one phrase written long ago can unleash new meaning in the 21st Century. I was in my 20s when I first read Storni’s poems. At the time they spoke in a limited voice – the only one I could hear.
Now, some 50 years later, Storni continues to teach awareness with an honesty and audacity that exposes modern day paternalism, sexism and toxic masculinity.
There is no ambiguity in the verses she wrote on gender equity during a time of emerging “strong men” and authoritarianism. Among such forces and often standing alone among her peers, she had the courage to oppose machoism, chauvinism and the double standards suppressed on women. 
“Tú Me Quieres Blanca” (“You Who Want Me White”) is one of those poems that transcends time, reminding of the connections and intersectionalities of Diversity – then and now. That is what stellar writing should do . . . as Martin Espada reminds, “Poetry records a time like this for future generations who want to know about a time like this in terms of the five senses, and in terms of the soul.”

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