The Best Poem of 2019 has been announced!!!





Dear Poets & Writers:


We are so happy to announce our winner of the 2019 Best Poem Contest as, Yosi Crespo, originally from Cuba, with her poem, 'Hello: What is a Rose? We Wondered!'


A weaver of words and and a thoughtful mind, Crespo uses her talent and skill to illustrate one unique story about the renown rose hard to forget. We appreciate her beautiful passion for poetry and congratulate her for her achievement!


Thank you to everyone who participated in this contest and please don't miss out on our latest 2020 poetry contest for your chance to be recoginized and win a cash reward!


Read the winning poem below:



Hello WHAT IS A ROSE? WE WONDERED


Draw me a rose,” she demanded

and she asked what for.

“So you can see how

you do not draw a rose.”

A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose

Gertrude Stein


This is where the roses were

like birds pinned to the ground

they taught me to escape our prison

to come up from the pavement in little strokes

only to discover the darkest strongholds of life

and from this world, mine

and all that I thought was mine

but never with that utter certainty

who can understand what leaves

without thought for the body like a thread a line a kind of emptiness

bearing down on the spirit when silence disquiets

and there is an easy imitation that softens in the pleasure of fatigue

condemning and passing by amid the racing clamor

and I’ve lost names in the face of one

who manages to go about the day, their significance,

perhaps because loss is a question of attention

given that, to start: a rose is never just a rose

and perhaps victory is casting yourself into the void blindfolded

or the gradual forfeit of innocence

and the ability to leave it all as well

for believing the roses only slumbered as they fell

surrendered to the broken things

would be living with a heart scraped out by fear

suddenly everything was like the abysses I dreamed for myself

I lost count of it all, things about myself only I should have known

sick to death of being always on the brink of life

stranger to my own history

in bound lyrics and tears

it does not shock me in the least to carry on with life.

we wondered, what is a rose? and we knew

it was not a picture of swans hanging in a room

it was not a line a circle a fragment

it was just a cloudy expanse

it was a monster that devours all truth

it was a fire barely sustaining its flame

in voluntary exile above neighboring borders

it was a luxury and to know of love it was a necessity

there were the roses: it was not difficult to recognize them

they burst forth outrageously in the cavern where

the promise of a clear sky is born falling

to where we would hide later

without Dante to explain

how that great shadow we left behind

was nothing more than the secular essence of the senses

and the only thing that separates life

from total nothingness.

now I want to think I am more alive than ever

that something of everything remains and is revealed to me

that in the relative absence of a loved one

I could say I am free and I say it

one who has suffered every lash

believing it eternal, discovers in the miracle of falling

that birth is not the fall

but the opposite

and I do not grow weary

of this stabbing pain that rises up through my fears

this unappeasable thirst that commands it all

this solitary way I catch sight of the road and the return.



Poem originally written in Spanish by author.


QUERÍAMOS SABER QUÉ ERA UNA ROSA


Dibújame una rosa -le exigió

y ella preguntó para qué.

Para que te des cuenta de hace cuánto

no dibujas una rosa.


Una rosa es una rosa es una rosa

Gertrude Stein


Aquí estaban las rosas

como aves atadas al suelo

me enseñaron a escapar del sitio que nos encierra

a salir sobre el pavimento en pequeños trozos

solo para descubrir los reductos más oscuros de la vida

y del mundo lo que tengo

y he creído tener lo que he creído tener

pero nunca con una completa seguridad

quién puede comprender aquello que se va

sin pensar en el cuerpo como un hilo una línea una especie de vacío

que azuza el espíritu cuando el silencio alarma

y hay una leve imitación que suaviza en el placer de la fatiga

que condena y que transcurre en medio del ruido rápido

y he perdido nombres ante la magnitud

de quien logra traspasar el día

porque acaso perder sea cuestión de fijarse

puesto que, para empezar: una rosa nunca es solo una rosa

y acaso ganar sea lanzarse al vacío con los ojos vendados

o abandonar poco a poco la inocencia

y sea también poder dejarlo todo

porque creer que ellas solo se acostaban al caer

rendidas ante lo roto

sería lo mismo que vivir con el corazón raído por el miedo

de pronto estaba todo como en los abismos que soñaba para mí

perdí la cuenta cosas de mí que tal vez era yo quien habría de saber

harta de estar siempre en el tope de la vida

extranjera de mi propia historia

en letras encuadernadas y en lágrimas

no me extraña en lo absoluto seguir con vida.

queríamos saber qué era una rosa y lo supimos

no era un cuadro de cisnes colgados en una sala

no era una línea ni un círculo no era un fragmento

era apenas un tramo impreciso

era un monstruo que se come todas las verdades

era un fuego apenas sosteniendo su llama

en un exilio voluntario sobre bandas paralelas

era un objeto de lujo y para saber del amor era necesario

allí estaban las rosas: no era difícil reconocerlas

irrumpían desaforadamente en la gruta en la que nace

la promesa de un cielo claro que caía

donde más tarde íbamos a escondernos

sin Dante para explicarnos

que esa gran sombra que dejábamos

no era más que la esencia secular de los sentidos

y lo único que separa la vida

de la nada absoluta.

ahora quiero pensar que estoy más viva que nunca

que algo de todo perdura y se revela ante mí

que en la ausencia relativa de un afecto

podría decir soy libre y lo digo

quien siempre ha padecido de todo látigo

creyéndolo eterno descubre en el milagro de caer

que el nacimiento no es la caída

sino todo lo contrario y no me canso

de esta punzada que brota a través de los miedos

de esta sed inextinguible que lo dispone todo

de esta manera solitaria de avistar el camino y el regreso.


Learn More About the Poet


Yosie Crespo (Cuba/United States, 1979). Born in Cuba, she is a poet and writer who thinks in English and writes in Spanish. In her texts, Cuban and Anglo-Saxon cultures meet in a landscape where nothing is neutral. She is interested in the interaction of those elements within the poem, forcing an I to speak—an I that is distinct from the writer of the text.


Since the age of ten, she has lived in different cities across the United States, has learned and written of its ways, and now resides in the city of Miami. She considers herself a Cuban-American writer with both deep Anglo-Saxon and Iberian roots. Born to a Spanish father and grandparents and to Jewish heritage, her literary obsession is the theme of identity.


For her collection, Solárium, she won the First Prize “New Values of Hispanic Poetry” in 2011, awarded by Ediciones Baquiana and the Centro Cultural Español of Miami. That same year, she received First Prize in the Fourth Federico García Lorca Youth Poetry Contest and the International Prize for Short Stories at the Buenos Aires Book Fair. Another collection, Como si fueran grullas fugitivas (As if They Were Fugitive Cranes) was a finalist for the Paz Prize for Poetry in 2016, given by the National Poetry Series in New York City. The 2019 Victoria Urbano Prize for Best Creative Work was awarded to her book of poems, Estrella de ocho puntas (Eight-Pointed Star), by the Asociación de Estudios de Género y Sexualidades (AEGS).


She has published three books of poetry: Solárium (Ediciones Baquiana, Miama, 2011), La ruta del pájaro sobre mi cabeza (The Bird’s Path Above My Head) (Ediciones Torremozas, Spain, 2013), and Caravana (Editorial Letras Cubanas, Cuba, 2018 and El Quirófano Ediciones, Ecuador, 2015). Her latest collection, Queríamos saber qué era una rosa (What is a Rose? We Wondered), is forthcoming in a bilingual edition in 2020.

Please, help us in congratulating our latest award-winning poet, Yosie Crespo! Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on the poem!

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