9 thoughts on “Big Blue Marble”

  1. This poem, by José María de Heredia (1803-1839), goes with the picture:

    Fair land of Cuba! on thy shores are seen
    Life’s far extremes of noble and of mean;
    The world of sense in matchless beauty dressed,
    And nameless horrors hid within thy breast.
    Ordained of Heaven the fairest flower of earth,
    False to thy gifts, and reckless of thy birth!
    The tyrant’s clamor, and the slave’s sad cry,
    With the sharp lash in insolent reply, —
    Such are the sounds that echo on thy plains,
    While virtue faints, and vice unblushing reigns.
    Rise, and to power a daring heart oppose!
    Confront with death these worse than deathlike woes.
    Unfailing valor chains the flying fate;
    Who dares to die shall win the conqueror’s state!
    We, too, can leave a glory and a name
    Our children’s children shall not blush to claim;
    To the far future let us turn our eyes,
    And up to God’s still unpolluted skies!
    Better to bare the breast, and undismayed
    Meet the sharp vengeance of the hostile blade,
    Than on the coach of helpless grief to lie,
    And in one death a thousand deaths to die.
    Fearest thou blood? Oh, better, in the strife,
    From patriot wounds to pour the gushing life,
    Than let it creep inglorious through the veins
    Benumbed by sin, and agony, and chains!
    What hast thou, Cuban! Life itself resign, —
    Thy very grave is insecurely thine!
    Thy blood, thy treasure, poured like tropic rain
    From tyrant hands to feed the soil of Spain.
    If it be truth, that nations still must bear
    The crushing yoke, the wasting fetters wear, —
    If to the people this be Heaven’s decree,
    To clasp their shame, nor struggle to be free,
    From truth so base my heart indignant turns,
    With freedom’s frenzy all my spirit burns, —
    That rage which ruled the Roman’s soul of fire,
    And filled thy heart, Columbia’s patriot sire!
    Cuba! thou still shalt rise, as pure, as bright,
    As thy free air, — as full of living light;
    Free as the waves that foam around thy strands,
    Kissing thy shores, and curling o’er thy sands!

  2. Val: I am a real progressive, which perhaps is a dirty word in this blog. The end never justifies the means, and I do not accept tyranny anywhere. I know we can’t agree on other things, but I do love your love for our precious island. We are linked in our hope for a free and truly democratic nation. I can’t wait for the nightmare to end. What is the source for the photo? Hope to see you in the Malecon soon.

  3. Hello…greetings from St. Louis. I really love the photo posted by Val Prieto and would like to get a hard copy that I could have framed? Can anyone tell me how to go about doing that. I appreciate it.

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