June 3, 2010

Thinking About "Abuelo"..... and Jose Marti

I've been thinking about my grandfather lately. He was, is and will forever be the greatest man I've ever known. To call him my grandfather was an honor. To have memories of him in my heart is a gift beyond measure.

My "abuelo's" favorite poem was written by the great Cuban poet, José Martí. If you've never heard of him or of his work, I highly recommend you do so. He was a poet, a patriot and an extraordinary man who was, by and large, as simple a man as his poetry. I suppose that is the reason why my grandfather was drawn to his work. He too was an extraordinary man in his simplicity.

I'd like to share with you abuelo's favorite verses from Martí. Some of the beauty is lost in translation, but the idealistic sentiments remain intact.

Para ti abuelito. Hasta que nos encontremos otra ves en el cielo...

Cultivo una rosa blanca
En julio como en enero,
Para el amigo sincero
Que me da su mano franca.

Y para el cruel que me arranca
El corazon con que vivo,
Cardo ni ortiga cultivo,
Cultivo una rosa blanca.


I cultivate a white rose
In July as in January
For the sincere friend
Who gives me his hand frankly.

And for the cruel person who tears out
the heart with which I live,
I cultivate neither nettles nor thorns:
I cultivate a white rose.

Verses and translation from fiu.edu


  1. That truly is beautiful ... and something I needed to read and need to remember after a recent break-up. I do wish him well, because he's not himself right now after some significant medical issues and needing space to recuperate. Gracias, Dania ... :)


Por favor, throw this crazy Cuban mama a bone and comment on her stuff. Gracias :-)