Príncipe is the place of birth not
only of Cuban independence martyr Ignacio Agramonte, but also of
the first epic poem of Cuban literature.
Written in 1608 by Silvestre de Balboa, who hailed from Canary Islands,
the poem reflects and actual event: the abduction of a Bishop by
a French privateer. "Espejo de Paciencia" (Patience Mirror)
is at the same time expression of the naïveté and imagination
of the poet and the revelation in blossom of the eventual mestizo
character of the Cuban. In the
imagery of the poem, there are naiads, surrounded by the exuberant
Cuban nature and wearing aboriginal outfits; fruit; and fauna of
the land together with Spaniards, natives, and African slaves, who
where the population of the time.
Literature, science, and philosophy had notable representatives
in this city: Esteban Borrero Echevarría (1849-1906), Gaspar
Betancourt Cisneros (1803-1866), José de Armas y Céspedes
(1834-1900), Enrique José Varona (1849-1933). They were,
at the same time, founders
in the field of Cuban literature and progenitors of new figures
that would fill Cuban culture with glory. Together with literature,
they did research, gave prominence to the customs of the region,
and in many cases promoted technical advantages. A notable poetess,
Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda (1814-1873), who made incursions
in theater and narrative, became an outstanding figure of all Hispanic
literature. Modern science owes to Carlos Juan Finlay, born in Camagüey,
the discovery of the transmitting agent of yellow fever.
the 20th century, Camagüey culture enriches with relevant figures
of Cuban poetry: Nicolás Guillén (1902-1989) y Emilio
Ballagas (1908-1954). Considered National Poet, Nicolás Guillén
expresses with authenticity and artistic quality the essence of
the Cuban and the problems of the exploited. The rhythm of his poetry
evokes the Cuban Son, which rhythmic scheme is present in the best
of the popular music of the Cuban.