Poetry by José Martí

I Cultivate a White Rose

I cultivate a white rose
In July as in January
For the sincere friend
Who gives me his hand frankly.

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.

No. 5 from Simple Verses

If you see a hill of foam
It is my poetry that you see:
My poetry is a mountain
And is also a feather fan.

My poems are like a dagger
Sprouting flowers from the hilt;
My poetry is like a fountain
Sprinkling streams of coral water.

My poems are light green
And flaming red;
My poetry is a wounded deer
Looking for the forest's sanctuary.

My poems please the brave:
My poems, short and sincere,
Have the force of steel
Which forges swords.

I dream awake (from Ismaelillo)

Day and night
I always dream with open eyes
And on top of the foaming waves
Of the wide turbulent sea,
And on the rolling
Desert sands,
And merrily riding on the gentle neck
Of a mighty lion,
Monarch of my heart,
I always see a floating child
Who is calling me!