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San Antonio, the stars inspire inaugural poem

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UTSA President Taylor Eighmy received a very special gift this week. To commemorate his inauguration as the university's sixth president, Carmen Tafolla, the 2015-2016 Texas Poet Laureate and a professor in the UTSA Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, presented him with "Estrellas of Possibility", the Inaugural Poem. Tafolla's poem celebrates Eighmy's vision to make UTSA a flourishing community that drives prosperity. 

"I was intrigued and enthused that we had a new President who, although academically trained in the sciences, showed great appreciation of the humanities, and stated as a high priority the involvement of our beautiful, multicultural, but often-neglected community," Tafolla said. "When I heard the stories about he and his wife courting each other via the poetry of Pablo Neruda, the idea was born for "Estrellas of Possibility."

Estrellas of Possibility
By Carmen Tafolla 

He comes to this city,

to this young dreamer of a university,

sees in its First-Generation face

the University of El Futuro.

His Vision draws on blueprints which sing

that Possibilities surround us

like exploding stars

sparkling with creative power,

con fuerza creativa.

Who is this Poet-Engine-Ear,


saying - We must reach with all our dawns

with the muscle of hope

with the eyes of possibility

until we have become una comunidad

unida y floreciendo, blooming spaces

of vibrant growth, of undiminished dreams

A Neruda of the sciences

heart of a poet, mind of an engineer

his focus is on building

bridges, bonds, pathways

El futuro es nuestro.

Juntos. Unidos. Todos.

Our river flows,

a billion stubborn drops bonded

to each other, unstoppable.

A resilient pueblo canta su conección:

Reciba nuestro abrazo, Presidente,

y bienvenidos to our sabroso skyline

sparkling with hope

and with the now visible

genesis-inspiring exploding stars.

Tafolla adds President Eighmy's interest in reaching both the English-speaking and the Spanish-speaking communities freed her to write the inaugural poem in her native code-switching Tex-Mex, to solidify his connection with both language communities. 

With UTSA advancing as San Antonio's university of the future, Tafolla also wrote about the connection between the city and the stars. 

"The images of exploding stars, filled with energy and possibility drove me, and the distinct image of a billion drops of water bonded together and unstoppable touched both on his love of rivers, and of our city's millennia-old heart, the San Antonio River," said Tafolla.

View the original on UTSA Today: 

Photo courtesy of University Communications


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