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The Poet Who Cheated Death

The Poet Who Cheated Death

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Published by Phantomimic
True story of a poet who I believe cheated death!
True story of a poet who I believe cheated death!

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Published by: Phantomimic on Mar 27, 2010
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11/26/2012

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THE POET WHO CHEATED DEATH
 by PhantomimicAll rights reserved © RAGG
 
What would you write on the eve of your execution? Imagine yourself in a jail, wrongfully accused and convicted. There is no hope, your fate is sealed.Within 24 hrs there won't be any more sunrises or sunsets, no more birds or flowers, no more evenings spent with your family or friends, no more lovers'caresses, no more memories, no more poems. What then would you write?This question is what poet José Rizal faced one December day in 1896.Rizal was a Philippine patriot who opposed the Spanish imperial rule. Hewrote several works where he harshly criticized the dealings of the Spanishgovernment and the church in the Philippines, and demanded equal rights for the Philippinos and autonomy. Although he advocated achieving these goals by peaceful means, and denounced the violence of more radical members of the Philippino independence movement, he was declared an enemy of thestate by Spanish authorities. Rizal was apprehended and tried by a militarycourt for rebellion, sedition, and conspiracy, and sentenced to death.It was thus that on the day before his execution that Rizal wrote a poemwhich he hid in an alcohol stove that was later handed to his family alongwith his other possessions after his death. His relatives found the poem andhad copies of it sent to Rizal's friends, and eventually it was printed overseasand translated into many languages. The original poem written in Spanishdid not have a title but it is now known as "Mi Ultimo Adios" (My LastFarewell). I am reproducing here an English translation made in 2001 byEdwin Agustin Lozada (if you want to see this English version side by sidewith the Spanish version you can go to:Modern English Translation byEdwin Agustin Lozada). Please read it carefully and remember, this waswritten by a man who knew the certainty of his imminent death.
 
My Last FarewellFarewell, beloved Country, treasured region of the sun,Pearl of the sea of the Orient, our lost Eden!To you eagerly I surrender this sad and gloomy life;And were it brighter, fresher, more florid,Even then I’d give it to you, for your sake alone.In fields of battle, deliriously fighting,Others give you their lives, without doubt, without regret;The place matters not: where there’s cypress, laurel or lily,On a plank or open field, in combat or cruel martyrdom,It’s all the same if the home or country asks.I die when I see the sky has unfurled its colorsAnd at last after a cloak of darkness announces the day;If you need scarlet to tint your dawn,Shed my blood, pour it as the moment comes,And may it be gilded by a reflection of the heaven’s newly-born light.My dreams, when scarcely an adolescent,My dreams, when a young man already full of life,Were to see you one day, jewel of the sea of the Orient,Dry those eyes of black, that forehead high,Without frown, without wrinkles, without stains of shame.

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Joe Hagen added this note
Nicely done. He has cheated death and your reprinting has strengthened his soul a bit for more of us now know him through his work. I liked your take or horcruxs too.
Mishel added this note
thank you so much for sharing this... indeed Gat Jose Rizal "is" an amazing man... you are too for contibuting this. =)
Phantomimic added this note
Thank you for all the recent reads to this document and especially to all the people from the Philippines who read it, I hope you liked it.
Carl F Maulbeck added this note
wow - "Dry those eyes of black, that forehead high, Without frown, without wrinkles, without stains of shame" - thanks, phanto
Shyam Adrift added this note
thank you for sharing this immortal poem of a martyred soul! Rizal was a remarkable man to have penned such verse, as if breathing his departing soul into it. An excellent presentation with pertinent Qs and answers about the soul taking shape in a timeless work of art. :)
adam afshar liked this
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