Ofrezco mi corazón como una diana
Johanny Vasquez Paz
Paz Prize for Poetry
Translated by Lawrence Schimel.
From the introduction by Rigoberto González:
A regular heartbeat is composed of the two sounds made when the blood flows through the organ as the valves contract. To listen to its rhythm through a stethoscope is to appreciate the slight distinction between two movements that are unequivocally connected—one beat calls, the other responds. Similarly, the two sections of Johanny Vázquez Paz’s stunning book of poems offer the reader distinct tones powered by the same source: perseverance . . .
I Offer My Heart as a Target is a book of victory over silence and the truest testament to what it means to outlive that which has defeated or deflated many. If there’s a spirit guiding the courage embedded in its pages, it must be the phoenix, the miraculous being that rises from the ashes reborn, or rather, pieced together again. The heart beats once more. The woman reclaims the word.