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Poetry Dedicated to Santa Anna

Soneto a Santa Anna y Octava a Santa Anna. (Broadside, 17cm x 22cm)

These two poems eulogize one of nineteenth century Mexico’s most influential military and political leaders, General Antonio López de Santa Anna Pérez de Lebrón, more commonly known as Santa Anna. He held the office of president on eleven separate occasions, and he was responsible for Mexico’s loss of Texas, along with the loss of nearly half of Mexico’s territory after his defeat in the Mexican-American War. Although this humiliating defeat ultimately lost him the presidency (for the final time) in 1855, he had been regarded as the savior of Mexico and its traditional Catholic values not twenty years earlier when his popularity was at its height. The poems probably date from his first election to the presidency in 1833 when he was still known as an ardent liberal.

The first poem is an acrostic in the form of an octava, traditionally composed of 8 lines made up of 11 syllables each and a rhyme scheme of ABABABCC. This poem, however, alters the spelling of Santa Anna in order to make it fit the eight line requirement, modifies the rhyme scheme to ABABBACC, and does not strictly follow the 11 syllable requirement per line.

The second poem follows the traditional form of a Spanish sonnet, composed of two quatrains and two tercets in hendecasyllabic meter. Each quatrain has a rhyme scheme of ABBA, while the tercets form a CDC DCD pattern. This sonnet also does not follow the hendecasyllabic meter.

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