The Poetic Development of Panamanian Nationalism

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Jose Antonio Fabres


I explored the relationship between poetry and politics in Panama. Panama is a Western Hemisphere anomaly in that no other nation in the Americas has been so dominated by another as has Panama by the United States. As a result of this hegemonous relationship, Panamanians have developed an intense mistrust and hatred for the United States. This is clearly seen in their poetry. Ant-Americanism is such a pervasive element in Latin America that we can go so far as to say that it is the defining factor of their national identity. Seeing a clear link between poetry and politics in this isthmian nation, I traced the growth of Panamanian national identity through their poetry since 1821. I found that, indeed, anti-Americanism is an inseparable part of Panamanian life and that Panama's national conscious continues to be reflected in the poetry produced by this nation.

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