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Multicultural Resources for High School Students  

Poem for Frida

I’ve seen you inside mirrors
and bathtubs
in lukewarm water
with bleeding feet.

You’re a black & white photograph
taken in 1924
a 17 year old woman
wearing a man’s suit.

You’re sitting on yellow chair
in empty room,
scissors and paint brush
in hand.
Lo qu se pela
y se pinta.
La traviesa who cuts
her own artery
and shows us her head
coming out
between opened legs,
who gives birth
to herself.  In jungles 

you play with black spider
monkeys and green-feathered
parrots.  Among giant leaves
and roots, you become
flower in tangled braids,
become seed, become
woman in thorn necklace
with hummingbird hanging.

Frida, there are white
translucent butterflies
in your hair
and a single hand claps
near your ear,
your eyebrows become wings
and you stand like a queen
on a platform between borders
holding small Mexican flag
and cigarette,
your body between falling pyramids and smoking factories,
your dress hanging
like a piñata in New York.

You are mother cradling Diego
and daughter to the desert,
a cactus fruit bleeding burgundy.
Eres hija del cielo nublado
and the earth splits open
for you

The other Frida
is a broken column,
a polio-stricken poem
with one leg skinnier
than the other.
That Frida is bleeding
babies onto white hospital
beds, is the sound
of bone crushing,
is a raised fist.
A hammer and sickle
carved into chest,
a woman living inside plaster
corsets.  Is Demerol
and alcohol trapped
in blue house.  A wounded deer.

And despite it all
una voz gritando:
Árbol de la esperanza
mantente firma.
Un corazón, red
as ripe sandía, cantando:
¡Viva la vida!
¡Viva la vida!
























Self Portraits by Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo














This website was created and is maintained for use in classrooms dedicated to multicultural understanding. 
Material from and links to other sources have been chosen because of their relevance to this goal. 
For questions or comments, or to report problems with links, please contact:
Ann Ramsey