Pedro Pietri


Pedro Pietri (1944-2004) was a Nuyorican poet and playwright born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and raised in New York. Pietri was drafted and served in the Vietnam War. He authored seven poetry collections, including perhaps his most famous Puerto Rican Obituary. Source

El Spanglish National Athem

En my Viejo San Juan

They raise the price of pan

So I fly to Manhattan.

It was there that I swear

Everyone took welfare

Especially the Latins!


 To El Barrio I went

In pursuit of low rent

In a five room apartment

Where by neighbors will be

Puerto Ricans like me

Dressed in tropical garments.


 I know

I know, I know

I'll miss Puerto Rico

(Land of de Palm trees)

And so, And so and so

I'll live in El Barrio's

(Latin Community)


 And whennnnn

I hit the numbers

I'll return to San Juan

Afford the price of pan

Until my life is done

(Island blessed by the sun

Here I come Here I come

Donde my roots are from)


 Many years came and went

Fell behind on my rent

Cursed Christopher Columbus.

Worked as hard as I could

But my luck was no good

Never once hit the numbers


I know

I know I know

I'll always play dominoes

(Wherever I may be)

And go

And go And go

To local bodegas

(For Bustelo coffee)



I'm still in Puerto Rico

Only my body came

My strong spirit remains

Everything's still de same

(I truly do believe

You can leave and still be

Where Mami met Papi)


Some did assimilate

In de United States

They got rid of de accent

Tho whenever they spoke

That will always unmask them!


 But de majority

Kept their identity

Never did lose their accent!

They were proud not ashamed

Of their Boricua names

If you don't believe ask them.


 I know

I know I know

I am being followed

(By my destiny)

And so

And so And so

I will never be swallowed

(By inferiority)

And whennnnn

De plane takes off again

I know that there will be

No return trips for me

Back to New York City


(Island blessed by the sun

Here I come Here I come

Donde my roots are from)

And with my family

We'll struggle and believe

That one day we'll be free.





Literary Movements:

Nuyorican Movement

Anthology Years:





Poems of Place

Racial Injustice

Literary Devices:


an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference


a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times


correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words, especially when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry