Zitate von José Martí

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José Martí

Geburtstag: 28. Januar 1853
Todesdatum: 19. Mai 1895

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José Julián Martí y Pérez war ein kubanischer Poet und Schriftsteller und gilt als kubanischer Nationalheld sowie Symbol für den Unabhängigkeitskampf des Landes. Als Schriftsteller war er zusammen mit dem Nicaraguaner Rubén Darío Mitbegründer der ersten voll eigenständigen lateinamerikanischen Literaturbewegung, dem Modernismo.

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Zitate José Martí

„A grain of poetry suffices to season a century.“

—  José Martí, Versos Sencillos: Simple Verses
Dedication of the Statue of Liberty (1887)

„Day and night I always dream with open eyes.“

—  José Martí
"I dream awake" ["Ismaelillo"] As quoted in Great Hispanic-Americans (2005) by Nicolás Kanellos, Robert Rodriguez and Tamra Orr, p. 72

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„It is a sin not to do what one is capable of doing.“

—  José Martí
Context: To busy oneself with what is futile when one can do something useful, to attend to what is simple when one has the mettle to attempt what is difficult, is to strip talent of its dignity. It is a sin not to do what one is capable of doing.

„Action is the dignity of greatness.“

—  José Martí
Context: Men of action, above all those whose actions are guided by love, live forever. Other famous men, those of much talk and few deeds, soon evaporate. Action is the dignity of greatness.

„Happiness exists on earth, and it is won through prudent exercise of reason, knowledge of the harmony of the universe, and constant practice of generosity.“

—  José Martí
Context: Happiness exists on earth, and it is won through prudent exercise of reason, knowledge of the harmony of the universe, and constant practice of generosity. He who seeks it elsewhere will not find it for, having drunk from all the glasses of life, he will find satisfaction only in those.

„Barricades of ideas are worth more than barricades of stones.“

—  José Martí
Context: Barricades of ideas are worth more than barricades of stones. There is no prow that can cut through a cloudbank of ideas. A powerful idea, waved before the world at the proper time, can stop a squadron of iron-clad ships, like the mystical flag of the Last judgement.

„In night's darkness I've seen
raining down on my head
pure flames, flashing rays
of beauty divine.“

—  José Martí
Context: I come from all places and to all places I go: I am art among the arts and mountain among mountains. I know the strange names of flowers and herbs and of fatal deceptions and magnificent griefs. In night's darkness I've seen raining down on my head pure flames, flashing rays of beauty divine. I (Yo soy un hombre sincero) as translated by Esther Allen in José Martí : Selected Writings (2002), p. 273

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„A nation that neglects either of these forces perishes. They must be steered together, like a pair of carriage horses.“

—  José Martí
Context: Fortunately, there is a sane equilibrium in the character of nations, as there is in that of men. The force of passion is balanced by the force of interest. An insatiable appetite for glory leads to sacrifice and death, but innate instinct leads to self-preservation and life. A nation that neglects either of these forces perishes. They must be steered together, like a pair of carriage horses.

„There must be a certain amount of decorum in the world, just as there must be a certain amount of light.“

—  José Martí
Context: There are men who live contented though they live without decorum. Others suffer as if in agony when they see around them people living without decorum. There must be a certain amount of decorum in the world, just as there must be a certain amount of light. When there are many men without decorum, there are always others who themselves possess the decorum of many men. These are the ones who rebel with terrible strength against those who rob nations of their liberty, which is to rob men of their decorum. Embodied in those men are thousands of men, a whole people, human dignity.

„The conceited villager believes the entire world to be his village.“

—  José Martí
Context: The conceited villager believes the entire world to be his village. Provided that he can be mayor, humiliate the rival who stole his sweetheart, or add to the savings in his strongbox, he considers the universal order good, unaware of those giants with seven-league boots who can crush him underfoot, or of the strife in the heavens between comets that go through the air asleep, gulping down worlds.

„It is the duty of man to raise up man.“

—  José Martí
Context: It is the duty of man to raise up man. One is guilty of all abjection that one does not help to relieve. Only those who spread treachery, fire, and death out of hatred for the prosperity of others are undeserving of pity.

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„The spirit of a government must be that of the country. The form of a government must come from the makeup of the country.“

—  José Martí
Context: The spirit of a government must be that of the country. The form of a government must come from the makeup of the country. Government is nothing but the balance of the natural elements of a country. Our America (1891)

„There can be no racial animosity, because there are no races.“

—  José Martí
Context: There can be no racial animosity, because there are no races. The theorist and feeble thinkers string together and warm over the bookshelf races which the well-disposed observer and the fair-minded traveller vainly seek in the justice of Nature where man's universal identity springs forth from triumphant love and the turbulent hunger for life. The soul, equal and eternal, emanates from bodies of different shapes and colors. Whoever foments and spreads antagonism and hate between the races, sins against humanity.

„Absolute ideas must take relative forms if they are not to fail because of an error in form.“

—  José Martí
Context: The youth of America are rolling up their sleeves, digging their hands in the dough, and making it rise with the sweat of their brows. They realize that there is too much imitation, and that creation holds the key to salvation. "Create" is the password of this generation. The wine is made from plantain, but even if it turns sour, it is our own wine! That a country's form of government must be in keeping with its natural elements is a foregone conclusion. Absolute ideas must take relative forms if they are not to fail because of an error in form. Freedom, to be viable, has to be sincere and complete. If a republic refuses to open its arms to all, and move ahead with all, it dies.

„My poems are like a dagger
Sprouting flowers from the hilt;“

—  José Martí
Context: My poems are like a dagger Sprouting flowers from the hilt; My poetry is like a fountain Sprinkling streams of coral water. V

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