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realclearworld

José Martí: The Girl with the Red Shoes

In commemoration of Cuba's Independence Day coming up on May 20th, one of Cuba's Apostle José Martí's most famous poems: The Girl with the Red Shoes.

Via The Miami Herald:

http://media.miamiherald.com/smedia/2014/05/14/16/02/1qEAsV.Em.56.jpeg

A painting of the poor little girl in Jose Marti’s poem, La Niña de los Zapaticos de Rosa by Cuban-born artist Gilberto Ruiz.

The Girl with the Red Shoes

By José Martí

There is good sun and foamy sea,
And fine sand, and Pilar
wants to go out to wear for the first time
her small-feathered hat.
“Girl you are divine! ”
The Father says, and he gives her a kiss,
“There goes my imprisoned bird
to look for fine sand for me.”
“I go with my beautiful girl,”
Said the good mother to her.
“Do not stain in the sand your red shoes.”
The two to the garden went
by the street of the laurel;
the mother grabbed a carnation
and Pilar grabbed a jasmine,
She works much, works hard
In order to walk: what does Pilar have,
Pilar that walks like that, that comes
Holding her head low?
Well knows her beautiful mother
Why walking costs her:
“And the shoes, Pillar,
the red shoes?”
“Ah, crazy girl!
Where are they?
Tell me where Pilar?”
“Señora,” says a woman who cries:
“They are with me, they are here”

“I have a sick girl
That cries in a dark room
I bring her to the pure air,
to see the sun, and to sleep.”
“Last night she dreamed
with the sky, and heard a song,
It made me scare, it frighten me,
And I brought her (here to the beach) and she slept.”
With two naked arms
it was like embracing;
And I watching, watching
Her naked little feet.
The foam reached my body.
I raise my eyes, and I saw
this girl in front of me
With her feathered hat.
“She looks like the pictures
your daughter! ” I said: ” It is made of wax?
Does she wants to play? Can she play? …
“And why does not have shoes?”
Look, is burning her hand,
and her feet are so cold!
“Oh, take, take mine,
I have more shoes at home!”
The handkerchiefs came out
To a Russian and an English;
The French girl’s tutor
took off her glasses.
The mother opened her arms;
Pilar hid in her chest,
and took out the ruined dress
without adornments or bows.
The lady wants to know
everything about the sick girl:
She does not want to know
That a woman is crying of poverty!”
“Yes, Pilar, give it to her! And that
Also! Your blanket! Your ring!”
And she gave her also a purse,
She gave her the carnation, she gave her a kiss.
They come back at night
To their house in the garden;
Y Pilar goes on the cushion
At the right of the carriage.
And a butterfly says
That she saw from her rose bush
Put away behind a glass,
the red shoes.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/14/4117000/the-picture-of-cuban-independence.html#storylink=cpy

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