An Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez

Overview

The heroic life of labor and civil rights activist César Chavéz greatly influenced the political and creative thinking of famed Chicano novelist Rudolfo Anaya. After Chavéz’ death in 1992, Anaya wrote this poem eulogizing the man and his life’s work. Echoing Shelley’s elegy on the death of John Keats, the poem expresses the grief of la gente, but closes by calling all peoples together to continue the non-violent struggle for freedom and justice. The book—endorsed by the César Chavéz Foundation—includes an essay ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (16) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $7.99   
  • Used (13) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

The heroic life of labor and civil rights activist César Chavéz greatly influenced the political and creative thinking of famed Chicano novelist Rudolfo Anaya. After Chavéz’ death in 1992, Anaya wrote this poem eulogizing the man and his life’s work. Echoing Shelley’s elegy on the death of John Keats, the poem expresses the grief of la gente, but closes by calling all peoples together to continue the non-violent struggle for freedom and justice. The book—endorsed by the César Chavéz Foundation—includes an essay by Anaya detailing the effect that Chavéz had on his own vision and a chronology of Chavéz’ life. Powerful super realistic illustrations by Gaspar Enriquez bring home the significance of César Chavéz to the American cultural landscape.

"César Chavéz’ accomplishments in fighting for the rights of farm workers, civil rights, environmental justice, and non-violence stand next to two of the 20th century's greatest leaders—Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."—Carlos Santana

Rudolfo Anaya (his classic novel Bless Me, Ultima has 1,000,000-plus in print) has earned international acclaim for his skillful mingling of realism, fantasy and myth while exploring the experiences of Hispanics in the American Southwest. Besides being the author of numerous novels and children’s books, Mr. Anaya has been called "the godfather of Chicano literature" and "un hijo del pueblo" for his work as an activist for the literature of his people and his region. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Artist Gaspar Enriquez is nationally known for his super-realistic, airbrush paintings of young men and women from the barrios of his hometown El Paso. Using the same technique, he collaged images of César Chavéz, farm workers, police, newspaper article, fields of grapes and icons of La Raza and Aztlán to create the ambiance of the life and times of this hero.

A poem eulogizing the Mexican American labor activist Cesar Chavez and his work helping organize migrant farm workers.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Chicano novelist Anaya pens an impassioned poem about the legendary labor leader (1927-1993) that gets bogged down in flowery metaphors. Anaya depicts Ch vez as "a wind of change" whose name is "a soft breeze to cool the campesino's sweat," and describes Ch vez's opponents as "arrogant hounds of hate" living in "a land grown fat with greed." The verses move from grief to hope to a rousing call to action, honoring Ch vez's words in a refrain ("Rise, mi gente, rise!"), and are most effective when rooted in the specific (references to the San Joaqu n Valley and Sacramento where he organized members of the National Farm Workers Assoc., etc.). The abstract imagery unfortunately detracts from the poem's main thrust ("The future opens itself like the blossom/ That is his soul, the fruit of his labor./ He calls for us to share in the fruit"), and most of the facts are relegated to a note from the author and a chronology at the end. Threaded through with Christ imagery and references to Shakespeare and Shelley, this challenging work--despite its picture-book format--may be best suited for middle and high school-age students. Enriquez's surreal collage illustrations, presented as a series of old snapshots, convey interesting details but lack subtlety: Ch vez marches through oversize heads of lettuce, followed by a crowd of boycotters; the tendrils from a cluster of grapes twine around a policeman's gun as well as his handcuffed captive's wrists. A timeline poster on the back of the dust jacket captures key events in Ch vez's life. Ages 9-12. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Cesar Chavez, a Mexican American activist, galvanized farm workers in the sixties. He worked tirelessly for the poor, homeless, and oppressed, organizing the National Farm Worker's Union. Upon hearing of his death, the author eulogizes this incredible man in an emotional poem—"Chavez's name was a soft breeze to cool the campesino's sweat/A scourge on the oppressors of the poor." Beginning as a sad lament, the poem turns into one of hope and challenge. Readers are encouraged to listen to his voice in the wind and to help build the House of Justice. The theme is to build a better society by fighting for injustice and human rights. The elegy is illustrated with stunning photo collages. Black-and-white photographs are set upon vivid airbrush paintings, compelling us to appreciate the legacy of Cesar Chavez, hero of the common man. 2000, Cinco Puntos Press. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Laura Hummel
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-This poetic expression of mourning and hope is a heartfelt commentary on history and greatness. Anaya tells about the life of this crusader for justice and how his ideals shaped his life's work. Chavez's impact on both the Hispanic community and American society is made manifest by repeated expressions of grief and loss, and by the final conclusion that, despite his death, his work goes on. Skillful use of meter and repetition give the text a mesmerizing formality that imparts the gravity of Chavez's labor and magnitude of his loss. It is perfectly matched by Enriquez's accomplished mixed-media collages. Photographs and watercolor paintings are skillfully combined with handmade-paper backgrounds to produce arresting images. A page of text faces each illustration; each of these pages is ornamented with a small insert from the facing collage along with one line of the text in enlarged typeface, creating a poem within a poem. Comparable to Alma Flor Ada's Gathering the Sun (Lothrop, 1997) in poetic and artistic power, this fine example of elegiac verse serves both poetry and biography well, while elucidating the struggles of migrant workers in this country.-Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780938317517
  • Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2000
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 521,347
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

GASPAR ENRIQUEZ, whose super-realistic paintings are exhibited all over the country, was born and grew up on the south side of El Paso, Texas. He illustrated Elegy on the Death of César Chávez by Rudolfo Anaya. He lives in San Elizario, a small village near the border of the United States and Mexico, in a 250-year-old house built by his wife's great-great grandfather. He has a fine arts degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and a master's degree from New Mexico State University. He is an art instructor at Bowie High School in El Paso. In 1994, he received a Mid-America Arts Alliance Fellowship. His work was included in the important and ground-breaking Chicano Art / Resistance and Affirmation show that traveled throughout the United States in the early 90s.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)