Other literary forms
Part 1 of the autobiography of Ernesto Cardenal (kahr-day-NAHL), Vida perdida (lost life), was published in 1999 by Seix Barral in Barcelona. It is an excellent biographical resource and starting place for exploring the poet’s fascinating life and thought. The chapters devoted to his years as a Trappist monk in Gethsemani, Kentucky, and his correspondence with the Catholic mystic, theologian, and writer Thomas Merton enlighten the reader attempting to comprehend the corpus of Cardenal’s poetry.
Cardenal wrote essays and other prose works as he served as minister of culture in Nicaragua and as a director of Casa de los Tres Mundos, a literary and cultural organization in Granada, Nicaragua. Vida en el amor (1970; To Live Is to Love, 1972; Abide in Love, 1995) is a collection of meditations written after his novitiate years at Gethsemani.