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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„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.“

— 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.

„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.

„I am good, and like a good thing
I will die with my face to the sun.“

— José Martí
Context: I wish to leave the world By its natural door; In my tomb of green leaves They are to carry me to die. Do not put me in the dark To die like a traitor; I am good, and like a good thing I will die with my face to the sun. A Morir [To Die] (1894)

„I grow neither nettles nor thorns:
I grow a white rose.“

— José Martí
Context: I grow a white rose In July just as in January For the sincere friend Who gives me his frank hand. And for the cruel man who pulls out of me the heart with which I live, I grow neither nettles nor thorns: I grow a white rose. As translated in Spanish-American Poetry : A Dual-language Anthology (1996) by Seymour Resnick Variant translation: I cultivate a white rose In July as in January For the sincere friend Who gives me his hand frankly. <p> 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.

„Men of action, above all those whose actions are guided by love, live forever.“

— 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.

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„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.

„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.

„Ostentatious men who are governed by self-interest will combine, whether white or black, and the generous and selfless will similarly unite.“

— 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.

„Talent is a gift that brings with it an obligation to serve the world, and not ourselves, for it is not of our making.“

— José Martí
Context: Talent is a gift that brings with it an obligation to serve the world, and not ourselves, for it is not of our making. To use for our exclusive benefit what is not ours is theft. Culture, which makes talent shine, is not completely ours either, nor can we place it solely at our disposal. Rather, it belongs mainly to our country, which gave it to us, and to humanity, from which we receive it as a birthright. A selfish man is a thief.

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„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.

„The problem of independence did not lie in a change of forms but in change of spirit.“

— José Martí
Context: America began to suffer, and still suffers, from the tiresome task of reconciling the hostile and discordant elements it inherited from the despotic and perverse colonizer, and the imported methods and ideas which have been retarding logical government because they are lacking in local realities. Thrown out of gear for three centuries by a power which denied men the right to use their reason, the continent disregarded or closed its ears to the unlettered throngs that helped bring it to redemption, and embarked on a government based on reason-a reason belonging to all for the common good, not the university brand of reason over the peasant brand. The problem of independence did not lie in a change of forms but in change of spirit.

„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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