Mercedes Matamoros was considered one of Cuba’s leading poets in late nineteenth century. She was also an outstanding representative of the modernist movement. However, very little have been written about her, the reason being the uneasiness some of her poems caused among her male readers. In this article I would like to explore the polemic that followed the publication of “El último amor de Safo” in Cuba’s journal El Fígaro, and the anonymous reviews that appeared in the Diario de la Marina. I would like to highlight how these poems were read at the time for their transgressive implications that provoked the figure of Sappho in Cuba, and how a contemporary reading of these poems can help us identify zones of rebellions. For this purpose, I will base my reading on a feminist perspective that will highlight Matamoros’ transgressive use of sexuality vis-a-vis western androcentric literature, and misogynistic representations of women (Dijkstra 1988, Porteous, 1990, McIntosh 1997).
Jorge Camacho is a Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at USC-Columbia. He has published more than 70 articles, notes, and book chapters in top refereed journals and scholarly collections. His latest books are Etnografía, política y poder: José Martí y la cuestión indígena (UNCP, 2013), and Miedo negro, poder blanco en la Cuba colonial (Iberoamericana-Verveut, 2015)
Camacho, Jorge L.
"Una polémica en La Habana: La poesía erótica de Mercedes Matamoros,"
The Coastal Review: An Online Peer-reviewed Journal: Vol. 0
, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/thecoastalreview/vol0/iss1/5