A Manual or a Sonnet?

If you have something to say you are already a blogger. Yoani, with her knowledge and experience, guides you in creating your own blog on the web.

Long ago I read that the acid test of a poet was to write a sonnet. The straitjacket of meter and cadence of its composition drew out the worst and best of whomever had already tried their hand in battle with assonant rhymes. I confess that with my irreverent seventeen years it seemed that those hendecasyllables, grouped in two quartets and two triplets, were only for those who had not been able to prove themselves in the freedom of modern poetry. Displays of novelty that I flaunted until I read Francisco de Quevodo, and the theory of rejecting the combination of “cuidado” and “enamorado” blew me away.

Well, I have to tell you that, like a sonnet, there is nothing harder to write than a technical manual. I know, you’ll laugh, and say that anyone can manage to produce a leaflet for a medication or explain how to use a washing machine. Try it and see if you can, experiment and you’ll see how difficult it is to create an instruction booklet that isn’t full of the same boring and graceless prose of so many others. You’ll realize, then, how hard it is to avoid sounding dully didactic or petulantly professorial, to avoid boring your readers to death.

I am telling you this because I just finished a manual about WordPress with the title, “A Blog to Speak to the World.” When reviewing the more than four hundred pages I composed, I wondered how I found–in this unstable Cuba–the time, the peace and the skill to finish this book. Some friends tell me I’ve been sidetracked into a minor genre… and that makes me laugh. I fact–I reveal to them–I have just composed my own delicate sonnet, with twenty chapters that are like fourteen lines and some technical advice instead of declarations of love. My book, in one of life’s coincidences, will be presented in Madrid this coming May 21, the birthday of the poet with the round pince-nez and the aquiline nose. The same insolent who wrote, “my flame can swim frigid water and will flaunt so cruel a law,” as if instead of eternal romance he was relating the act of managing a blog from a country drowning in censorship.


68 thoughts on “A Manual or a Sonnet?

  1. Admiro tu coraje y eres un ejemplo para todos esos Cubanos que no tienen co….. para enfrentarse con la tirania del verdugo.
    En Cuba, Machismo ?????; donde estan los Mambises ???. Te deseo mucha suerte.

  2. Yoani aunque ya hace meses no queria dejar de felicitarte por el galardon que te otorgaron como mujer de coraje entre tantas mujeres en el mundo.Que orgullo para nosotros los cubanos de buen corazon y amantes de la libertad-
    Que Dios te Bendiga a ti y a la familia siempre

  3. @#64
    By the way … do u realize how easy it is to manipulate u?

  4. @#64
    If I remember correctly I asked u first (my challange/request is in this blog’s Archives) for ur verifiable name & address so: when u provide that I’ll SEND U my picture, how’s that?

  5. albert (qui ose gagne)
    Mayo 24th, 2011 at 17:53

    still waiting …

    Why don’t You have picture?

  6. 2359
    I am still waiting for ur answer to my challange … girl.

  7. Albert, where did Your learned Your English? In Miami from other dissidents? I suppose, they are very smart.

  8. @#56
    Ur fixation w/sex & the use of it as allegories to put emphasis in ur statement belays perhaps underlaying problems but, it makes me laugh … tx.
    In ur efforts to “convince” & force others to accept ur opinions as truth u prove the point made here over & over again: the existence of freedom of speech & choice is a right, not an entitlement to be “dispensed as a reward by rebolutionaries”
    Right are not gifts nor entitlements & if u think & believe otherwise, prove it! I challange u.
    Other than that … tx 4 u for ur efforts !!!

  9. Damir, don’t bother with those who want to live in Cuba. Castro let some dissidents out of prison and send them to Spain. Now they don’t talk very much. They like it over there very much. They joined 21% unemployed folks over there and are very happy. Switzerland wasn’t that kind to Yoani, that’s why she come back to Cuba.

  10. Yes, it does hurt all those anti-Castros to read some hard facts.

    Let me mention a few again, to hurt those small poor souls even more:

    One of them quoted an interview of a Cuban lady who had worked 40 years in the usa as a house maid, and when she retired, she returned to Cuba, just like thousands of people from all over the world (if the small, poor souls cared to read the escapeartist.com, they would notice that there are about 40 000 Spaniards in Cuba, of which 15 000 arrived in the last two years ALONE. It is a site made by usanians, not me, so those “white gods” MUST be right, no? says so their jinetera “yoani”.), and the lady said “the life is GOOD in Cuba!!!!”

    Now, that was posted by one of the team “yoani’s” own support groupie, and what they had to do a few days later (when I alerted them to it, mind you) tehy DELETED the incriminating part!!!

    Eviva la democracia teh team “yoani” style (what I say goes, what you say doesn’t exist)

    But, I am not going to stop at that. Look at the post about the DROUGHT in Havana, and Cuba.

    The comment 14, again by one of teh team “yoani’s” OWN supporters goes on to shoot the team and himself right between the balls with his list of rain precipitations and a comparison with many cities around the world.

    That post 14 clearly demonstrated the intellectual inability of the team y”oani” and their supporters to think like normal human beings.

    The poor small soul posting the 14 went on to contradict his/her “idols” by saying: “There is NO drought in Havana!!!!!”

    “There is plenty of water in Havana!!!”

    Well, geniuses, make up your minds.

    Or, better yet, give up polluting the internet with your nonsense, stupidity and ignorance.

    It is a pleasure to debunk you, but when you make being debunked your raison d’etre, it becomes monotonous after a while.

    Yeah, brain is passed on by the genes of our parents.

    No wonder your parents lost the war against Castros.

    : )==)

  11. Yo, by the way Yo setup Yor blog Ay dont want read Yor manual. Kant yven anser on piple kueshtions and must write @ end numero.

  12. @#53
    I think 52 must have a line (in his/her mind) into the inmigration & regugee system & used in cuba to know there is no one from farc eta in town, however I do know there is a cop killer fom the USA living there; please tell me what do Greece Spain & England have to do w/refugees? I belive ur multiple personalities are getting crossed & I can tell because ur “style” changes, the choice of words is different & the order of thought is disorganized … the “tales” give u away hypocrite. I’ll ask u & all of ur “voices”: do u have one positive idea to offer rather than ranting & insulting (I remind u of ur record in this blog) ?

  13. “You see all the anti-Castros in here get really upset when you give them concrete evidence that socialism works” says Cuba Libre

    Keep that concrete evidence coming and keep upsetting us crumbling capitalists who can’t see the fact that Cubans are truly happy. I’m sure I’ll open my eyes eventually.

  14. Amen Damir, at least someone has some common sense in here. You see all the anti-Castros in here get really upset when you give them concrete evidence that socialism works.

  15. Thanks for the link Damir. Looking out from the Malecon I could see a long line of rafts streaming in from countries as far away as Iceland, England, Portugal, Spain and Greece. They come for the simpler life of no running water, no food, and no elections. But they are happier in Cuba knowing that Fidel cares about them.

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