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Best Famous José Martí Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous José Martí poems. This is a select list of the best famous José Martí poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous José Martí poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of José Martí poems.

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by José Martí |

Once I was sailing for fun (Simple Verses XII)

Once I was sailing for fun
On a lake of great allure,
Like gold the sun shone so pure,
And my soul more than the sun.
Then suddenly I could smell Before I saw at my feet, A foul fish, with death replete, At the bottom of the well


by José Martí |

A Sincere Man Am I

A sincere man am I
From the land where palm trees grow,
And I want before I die
My soul's verses to bestow.
I'm a traveler to all parts, And a newcomer to none: I am art among the arts, With the mountains I am one.
I know how to name and class All the strange flowers that grow; I know every blade of grass, Fatal lie and sublime woe.
I have seen through dead of night Upon my head softly fall, Rays formed of the purest light From beauty celestial.
I have seen wings that were surging From beautiful women's shoulders, And seen butterflies emerging From the refuse heap that moulders.
I have known a man to live With a dagger at his side, And never once the name give Of she by whose hand he died.
Twice, for an instant, did I My soul's reflection espy: Twice: when my poor father died And when she bade me good-bye.
I trembled once, when I flung The vineyard gate, and to my dread, The wicked hornet had stung My little girl on the forehead.
I rejoiced once and felt lucky The day that my jailer came To read the death warrant to me That bore his tears and my name.
I hear a sigh across the earth, I hear a sigh over the deep: It is no sign reaching my hearth, But my son waking from sleep.
If they say I have obtained The pick of the jeweller's trove, A good friend is what I've gained And I have put aside love.
I have seen across the skies A wounded eagle still flying; I know the cubby where lies The snake of its venom dying.
I know that the world is weak And must soon fall to the ground, Then the gentle brook will speak Above the quiet profound.
While trembling with joy and dread, I have touched with hand so bold A once-bright star that fell dead From heaven at my threshold.
On my brave heart is engraved The sorrow hidden from all eyes: The son of a land enslaved, Lives for it, suffers and dies.
All is beautiful and right, All is as music and reason; And all, like diamonds, is light That was coal before its season.
I know when fools are laid to rest Honor and tears will abound, And that of all fruits, the best Is left to rot in holy ground.
Without a word, the pompous muse I've set aside, and understood: From a withered branch, I choose To hang my doctoral hood.


by José Martí |

Opening the Moorish Grate

Opening the moorish grate
To lean upon the wet sill,
Pale as the moon, and so still, 
A lover ponders his fate.
Pale, beneath her canopy Of red silk and turtledove, Eve, who says nothing of love, A violet plucks in her tea.