AGAPITO by Alvaro Cardona-Hine


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I may be only seven but I recall"" and record sights, insights which are obviously those of the author, a Costa Rican poet whose prose is a close equivalent. All in page length irridiscent insets, addressed by the boy to one Agapito, a poor worker, seen here planting corn, cutting sugarcane, attending the funeral of his little boy, and at the close that of another child. In between others move infrequently across the canvas--a priest, a great aunt, crazy Lola, etc.; but cicadas and crickets are whirringly alive and so are all things that grow and luxuriate. Agapito returns again and again and is lovingly apostrophised: ""I like to think of your life as an embrace that you are too busy to give, as a caress that you are too simple to discover."" It is just this kind of instant lyricism which will extend these paeans to a peon--but not much beyond hand's reach of an attuned readership.

Pub Date: July 18th, 1969
Publisher: Scribners