José Julián Martí Pérez was born in Cuba in 1853 and died there in 1895, being killed whilst fighting the Spanish colonial forces in the war to liberate Cuba. Martí was a strong inspiration for the Cuban revolutionaries of the 1950’s. He is known as The Apostle of Cuban Independence and is highly regarded across Latin America. As well as being a renowned poet, Martí was also a translator, professor, essayist, journalist, publisher and soldier. This is one of his poems.
If You’ve Seen A Mount Of Sea Foam (Verse V)
If you’ve seen a mount of sea foam,
It is my verse you have seen:
My verse a mountain has been
And a feathered fan become.
My verse is like a dagger
At whose hilt a flower grows:
My verse is a fount which flows
With a sparkling coral water.
My verse is a gentle green
And also a flaming red:
My verse is a deer wounded
Seeking forest cover unseen.
My verse is brief and sincere,
And to the brave will appeal:
With all the strength of the steel
With which the sword will appear.