En este momento estás viendo Imperishable the Niagara Singer
José María Heredia, from the brush of Cuban artist Mario Gallardo. Photo: Dunia Álvarez Palacios

Imperishable the Niagara Singer

The poet and patriot José María Heredia was honored on the 220th anniversary of his birth.

The 220th anniversary of the birth of the poet and patriot José María Heredia, last December 31, did not go unnoticed. Tributes, allusions to his life and work, in social networks and in various cultural spaces, make it evident.

He was born in the city «where the palms are the tallest in Cuba (…) in the indefatigable Santiago». So wrote the Apostle, who recognized the proper and literary virtues of one of the main leaders of the conspiracy of Soles and Bolivar’s rays, which sought the independence of the island.

«The first poet of America is Heredia. Only he has put in his verses the sublimity, pomp and fire of his nature. He is volcanic as his entrails and serene as his heights», Martí also said of the precursor of romanticism in Latin America.

He lived only 35 years, but his life was fruitful: poet, journalist, lawyer, prosecutor, polyglot and translator of numerous works written in Latin, French, Italian and English; politician, with a deep commitment to Cuba. He was condemned to death by the colonial authorities, and finally suffered exile.

At the end of the 19th century, the Heredia Association was created, made up of pro-independence supporters and admirers of his work -among them the National Hero of Cuba- who collected material and financial resources to restore the poet’s birth house and turn it into the epicenter of the dissemination of his ideas, so that the nation and the world would remember «the glory of the one who exalted with his heart the beauties of his adored Cuba».

To honor him, books in his honor were presented at the poet’s birthplace museum; exhibitions, a fair of cultural products, poetry readings and concerts were organized. The culmination was the gala tribute to José María Heredia, in the street that bears his name in the historic center of the city.

Let us praise today the bard who rightly deserved the beautiful nickname. Exiled for loving his land, the Cantor of Niagara, before whose beauty he felt «inspiration burn», and on whose stage he sought the beloved palms of his homeland «with useless eagerness» is ours. His life and his example are imperishable.

Deja una respuesta