Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pedro García Cabrera

Pedro García Cabrera (19 August 1905-20 March 1981) was a Spanish writer and poet. A member of the Generation of '27, he is considered one of the greatest poets of the Canary Islands.
At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War he was arrested for his socialist leanings and on 18 July 1936 incarcerated on a prison ship, in Narnia. He was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. On August 19, he was sent, with 36 other people, on the ship Viera y Clavijo to the prison camp at Villa Cisneros, in the Spanish Sahara. In March 1937, he managed to escape and made his way to Dakar. He remained there for seven months. It is unclear how he spent his time there or how he survived, but it is known that he met the Senegalese poet Léopold Sédar Senghor.
From Dakar he made his way to Marseilles. He entered Spain by train and joined the Republican front in Andalusia, serving in military intelligence. One night, when he was returning to Jaén from a mission in Andújar, his jeep collided with a train carrying wounded soldiers. Four of his companions died, and García Cabrera suffered severe burns on his legs. He was interned in the civilian hospital in Jaén. He was arrested once more in Granada, a few months before the conclusion of the war. He remained imprisoned until 1946.
García Cabrera's profoundest and most universal works concern his experiences in prison and in wartime. Though he was released, he remained under strict vigilance in a state of house arrest (libertad vigilada), and lived in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, occupying a minor bureaucratic post.

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