Manuel Acuña Narro (27 August 1849 – 6 December 1873) was a 19th-century Mexican writer. He focused on poetry, but also wrote some novels and plays. Even though he was famous at an early time of his life, he decided to commit suicide. It is not certain why he killed himself, but it is thought that he did so because of a woman. It was in 1868 when Acuña initiated his brief literary career. He first became known with a poem he wrote for the death of one of his close friends Eduardo Alzúa. In the same year, encouraged by the cultural renaissance that followed the triumph of the Republic, he participated, along with Agustín F. Cuenca and Gerardo Silva, among others, in the founding the Nezahualcóyotl Literary Society, in which he presented his first verses. The works presented in the society were published in the magazine El Anáhuac (Mexico 1869) and in a pamphlet of the newspaper La Iberia named “Literary Essays of the Nezahualcóyotl Society”. This pamphlet is considered as one of the works of Acuña, since it contains, in addition to works of other writers, eleven poems and an article in prose of his own. He was only 24 years old when he had made a name for himself. On May 9, 1871, a dramatic work that he wrote called “El pasado” (The Past) was released. This work was well received by the public and critics recognized him as an outstanding poet. Rosario de la Peña was the woman that was the most intimately related to Acuñas’s last years. She was the great love of his life. In fact, most of Acuña's friend were in love with this woman although she never had a formal relationship with any of them. Her house was frequently turned in a social gathering place for these poets where each one exposed his new verses and debated philosophy.)
A Una Flor (To A Flower)
Cuando tu broche apenas se entreabría
para aspirar la dicha y el contento
¿te doblas ya y cansada y sin aliento,
te entregas al dolor y a la agonía?
¿No ves, acaso, que esa sombra impía
que ennegrece el azul del firmamento
nube es tan sólo que al soplar el viento,
te dejará de nuevo ver el día?...
¡Resucita y levántate!... Aún no llega
la hora de que en el fondo de tu broche
des cabida al pesar que te doblega.
Injusto para el sol es tu reproche,
que esa sombra que pasa y que te ciega,
es una sombra, pero aún no es la noche.
To a Flower
When your bud barely half-opened
Aspires to good fortune and happiness,
Do you already bend tired and breathless,
Giving yourself over to pain and despair?
Do you not see that the vile shadow
Which blackens the firmament's blue,
Is only a cloud which will at the blow
Of the wind, again let you see the day? ...
Wake up and rise! ... The time is not yet here
When deep within your heart,
You yield to the pain that humbles you.
Unjust to the sun is your accusation
That the shadow which passes and blinds you
Is darkness, for night hasn't arrived yet.