Jose Marti

(1853-1895 / Cuba)

Quotations

  • ''Let those who desire a secure homeland conquer it. Let those who do not conquer it live under the whip and in exile, watched over like wild animals, cast from one country to another, concealing the death of their souls with a beggar's smile from the scorn of free men.''
    José Martí (1853-1895), Cuban poet, patriot. "April 1894," vol. 3, pt. 1, p. 109, Obras Completas, trans. by Carlos Ripoll in José Martí: Thoughts/Pensamientos (1980).
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  • ''It is my duty to prevent, through the independence of Cuba, the U.S.A. from spreading over the West Indies and falling with added weight upon other lands of Our America. All I have done up to now and shall do hereafter is to that end.... I know the Monster, because I have lived in its lair—and my weapon is only the slingshot of David.''
    José Martí (1853-1895), Cuban poet, patriot. Letter, May 1895. "May 1895," vol. 4, Obras Completas (1963).

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Isla Famosa

Aquí estoy, solo estoy, despedazado.
Ruge el cielo: las nubes se aglomeran,
Y aprietan, y ennegrecen, y desgajan:
Los vapores del mar la roca ciñen:
Sacra angustia y horror mis ojos comen:
A qué, Naturaleza embravecida,
A qué la estéril soledad en torno
¿De quién de ansia de amor rebosa y muere?
¿Dónde, Cristo sin cruz, los ojos pones?

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