“A devoted fan of American poetry (‘the best in the world right now,’ he says), Cardenal has had a very particular relationship with the U.S. all his life. In his youth, he studied poetry at Columbia University and joined Thomas Merton’s Trappist monastery in Kentucky.
Many of his verses include references to American culture, and one of his most famous poems is ‘Prayer for Marilyn Monroe.’
‘I was studying for the priesthood in a seminary in Colombia and, during a theology class, we got the news of Marilyn Monroe’s death. That’s when I wrote the poem,’ he says.”