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Jun 30 2017
by Melissa Cordell

This College Student Found A Poem Her Grandmother Wrote About Her

By Melissa Cordell - Jun 30 2017
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Jasmine Dena, a rising sophomore at Wheelock College majoring in political science, recently found out her grandmother was a published poet. She didn't expect to find a poem written about her. 

"My abuela was [an] immigrant from Jerez Zacatecas, Mexico, with an only elementary school education," Dena told Fresh U via Twitter direct message. "She worked till the end to share her art and love."

The English translation of the poem reads: 

"She sowed the seed in Spring, turned it into Winter into a beautiful girl. It was the reward of the sweet waiting, for me, it was  of God, the most precious work. Tersed vanilla skin, brown eyes and cinnamon, eyelashes so immense that they look up to the sky, sweet and melodious voice, like a siren song and the moonlight cast it into her hair. The sweetest smile on his strawberry lips, is drawn on his face when the day dawns and he has in his hands a dawn prey to light my life with rays of joy. She is the princess of the fairy tales, the ambassador of coquetry. The one that turns the stories into ballads and are to my ears like Ava Maria. If you understand one day what my verses say, it would be like touching my soul with your fingers, like wearing the necklace you made with kisses and waking God at dawn. You are a girl enchanted with the magic of the grandmother, you will always be to her sweet Cinderella, her eternal butterfly that blooms in bloom and you will be the reason for her sad existence. For my beautiful granddaughter Jazmine, my beautiful butterfly, my eternal Cinderella."

This is the book that Dena was reading out of, which she believes is no longer being published. Her family may create a book for her grandmother, though. Her grandmother, Elisa Guerrero Dena, is pictured in the top left.

Jasmine Dena

When asked what Dena would say to her grandmother after reading this years after her death caused by cancer in 2011, she said: "I would thank her so much for loving me in such [an] unconditional way; I would tell her I love her just as much, and every day I work to one day protect women like her."

Dena's tweet has over 44,000 retweets and 170,000 likes. Friends of Dena and strangers to her were very supportive of her grandmother's art. 

Though Dena didn't expect her tweet to get this big, she said she hopes people on Twitter "appreciate Mexican art. People of color, especially feminine artists, are often unrepresented."

Lead Image Credit: @pettingpuppies via Twitter

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Melissa Cordell - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Melissa Cordell is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Political Science and Peace, War & Defense, with a Women's Studies minor. She loves working on campaigns, activism and writing. Follow her on Instagram @meldelissacor and Twitter @MM_Cordell!

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