“I” a poem by Enrique Magon


1845-1945, Poetry / Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

The following poem was sent in a packet to our post office address, and the sender did not identify themselves. We extend our thanks to all contributors, known and unknown. It was written by Enrique while in jail for distributing his anarcho-communist newspaper Regeneración.

From Wikipedia: Enrique Flores Magón (13 April 1877 – 28 October 1954) was a Mexican journalist and politician, associated with the Mexican Liberal Party and anarchism. His name is most frequently linked with that of his elder brother, Ricardo Flores Magón, and the political philosophy they espoused, magonismo.

From anarkismo.net: The brothers Enrique and Ricardo Flores Magon were at the time in exile, in the USA, conducting revolutionary work. They were arrested several times, [including] in 1916 for distributing “indecent materials” (both were found guilty). Ricardo was again arrested in 1918 for sedition, given 20 years, and died in a US prison in 1922. Enrique was released in 1923 and returned to Mexico.

 

I

Enrique Magon

Conditions would crush me,
Dull dunces would hush me,
If I were not I.
The world would enchain me,
Each fool would restrain me,
If I were not I.

Dear friends would ignore me
And blockheads would bore me
Until I should die;
But I know the rabble,
Their rant and their gabble,
And I am still I.

With punishments gloomy
They’d strive to undo me,
Because I am I.
I test them and try them
Then scorn and defy them,
For I must be I.

I cherish and love thee,
Think nothing above thee,
O glorious I!
Let others despise thee,
I honor and prize thee,
O infinite I!

L. A. Co. Jail, June 1st, 1916.