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3 Bonafide Rojas Poems for Hispanic Heritage Month

 

 

As one of the most active members of the new generation of Nuyorican poets, Bonafide Rojas has published four books of poetry in Pelo Bueno: A Day in the Life of a Nuyorican Poet, When the City Sleeps, Renovatio, and Notes on the Return to the Island. In addition to writing, Rojas is also one of the founders of the progressive rock band The Mona Passage. Throughout his work, Rojas is unapologetically a product of his environment incorporating elements of rock n roll, hip hop, the streets of New York, and more to create a voice that is undoubtedly unique. However, in his last book, part of his mission was to make the reader reflect on Puerto Rico and its current relationship with the United States. The following listicle presents three poems which achieve the aforementioned goal.

(cover for the book)

“At the Top of El Morro

The first poem found in the book serves as a perfect introduction into a book that shows Rojas telling stories of his adventures in Puerto Rico while also exploring the connection between the island and the United States. “At the Top of El Morro” shows Rojas presenting a variety of images one can experience by merely spending time alongside the Puerto Rican citadel.

(Rojas performing in the Homage to Juan Flores held in the UPRM)

“Thirty Ways of Looking at a Nuyorican”

The second poem in this listicle serves not only as a reflection by Rojas about his identity as a Nuyorican, but it also presents a variety of ways in which the Mainland Puerto Rican is raised.

“In the Mourning of Our Independence”

Finally, “In the Mourning of Our Independence” takes a deep look at Puerto Rico’s connection with the United States and how understanding this history can help to create a successful independent movement in the island.

(Rojas performing in the Homage to Juan Flores held in the UPRM)

In sum, while Bonafide Rojas’s previous work heavily touched on the Nuyorican experience, Notes on the Return to the Island does that and more by exploring the connection between the island and the U.S. by looking at the history, cultures and the people who have had a big impact in said relationship.

Find Notes on the Return to the Island on Amazon

All of the performance pictures found in this article belong to Fernando E. E. Correa González