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Carlos Ramirez (1938~2013)

Carlitos

By Jorge Argueta

In Memory of my good friend Carlos Ramirez

Here comes Carlitos Ramirez
Around 24 street
He comes flying
He comes singing

Here comes Carlitos
With clouds
Clouds around his cheeks
Clouds on his head

Here comes Carlitos
Happy like the birds
Wonderful like the flowers
Ayyyy such a cute and mischievous boy

Here comes Carlitos
Singing the A B C
Singing de Colores
Singing cielito lindo

Here comes Carlitos
A teacher to all boys and girls
*Cipitio to the Salvadorans
Far from El Salvador

Here comes Carlitos
Reciting his poetry
We all can hear it
In the wind

Carlitos Ramirez left us yesterday
He went away his friends the birds
That is why there is a party in the mountains and gardens
Carlitos has turned into spring

*Cipitio: Personaje mitológico de El Salvador.
*Cipitio: Mythological character from El Salvador.

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Carlos Ramirez

 

Carlos Ramirez, teacher, poet, and songwriter, passed away the night of March 10, 2013 at San Francisco General Hospital after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Carlos Ramirez was a San Francisco native born to El Salvadoran parents. He moved to El Salvador as a three year old with his parents and two siblings in 1941. They returned to the U.S. four years later when a revolution forced them to flee the country.

He grew up in San Francisco’s Richmond District for the next 10 years and moved with his family in 1955 to the Los Altos-Sunnyvale area of Santa Clara County, where he finished his last year of high school in 1956.

He first delved into poetry at New College of California in San Francisco in 1983. There, his teacher, the passionate artist and activist Nina Serrano, emboldened him to create poetic statements about the vibrant murals residing in San Francisco’s Mission District.

He later took a course in poetry at City College of San Francisco with Michael Calvello in 1994. He won a prize in The Academy of American Poets CCSF poetry competition.

He attended weekly Tuesday afternoon writers’ workshop gatherings at the Hospitality House from 2006 to 2011, where he learned from teachers Don Brennan, Kathy Taylor and Jim Le Cuyer.

He was member of Talleres de Poesía, an organization with which he traveled to El Salvador in November 2012 to take part in the third annual International Festival of Children’s Poetry, Manyula.

Carlos’ poems have been published in various Bay Area poetry anthologies.

Talleres de Poesía will honor him with a poetry evening at Cafe la Boheme, 3318 24th St. on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m. “En Memoria: ¡Adios Carlitos!” will feature Francisco X. Alarcón, Neeli Cherkovski, Miguel Robles, Magda Cordova, Mamacoatl, Jorge Argueta, and Adrián Arias among others.

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