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.

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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„In truth, men speak too much of danger.“

— José Martí
Context: In truth, men speak too much of danger. Let others be terrified by the natural and healthy risks of life! We shall not be frightened! Poison sumac grows in a hard-working man's field, the serpent hisses from its hidden den, and the owl's eye shines in the belfry, but the sun goes on lighting the sky, and truth continues marching across the earth unscathed.

„Man is a living duty, a depository of powers that he must not leave in a brute state.“

— José Martí
Context: Man is not an image engraved on a silver dollar, with covetous eyes, licking lips and a diamond pin on a silver dickey. Man is a living duty, a depository of powers that he must not leave in a brute state. Man is a wing.

„I come from all places
and to all places I go“

— 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

„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.

„Peace demands of Nature the recognition of human rights“

— José Martí
Context: What right do white racist, who believe their race is superior, have for complaining about black racists, who see something special in their own race? What right do black racists, who see a special character in their race, have for complaining about white racists? White men who think their race makes them superior to black men admit the idea of racial difference and authorize and initiate black racists. Black men who proclaim their race — when what they are really proclaiming is the spiritual identity that distinguishes one ethnic group from another — authorize and incite white racists. Peace demands of Nature the recognition of human rights; discrimination is contrary to Nature and to the enemy of peace. Whites who isolate themselves also isolate Negroes. Negroes who isolate themselves incite and isolate whites.

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„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.

„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.

„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

„White and black racists would be equally guilty of racism.“

— José Martí
Context: Ostentatious men who are governed by self-interest will combine, whether white or black, and the generous and selfless will similarly unite. True men, black and white, will treat one another with loyalty and tenderness, out of a sense of merit and the pride of everyone who honors the land in which we were born, black and white alike. Negroes, who now use the word "racist" in good faith, will stop using it when they realize it is the only apparently valid argument that weak men, who honestly believe that Negroes are inferior, use to deny them the full exercise of their rights as men. White and black racists would be equally guilty of racism.

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„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.“

— 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.

„It is not the form of things that must be attended to but their spirit. The real is what matters, not the apparent. In politics, reality is that which is unseen.“

— José Martí
Context: It is not the form of things that must be attended to but their spirit. The real is what matters, not the apparent. In politics, reality is that which is unseen. Politics is the art of combining a nation’s diverse or opposing factors to the benefit of its domestic well-being, and of saving the country from the open enmity or covetous friendship of other nations.

„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.

„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)

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