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To the Flowers of Heidelberg

To the Flowers of Heidelberg

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Published by: anecena26 on Jan 09, 2010
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To the Flowers of Heidelberg

by: Jose P. Rizal
Go to my country, go, O foreign flowers, sown by the traveler along the road, and under that blue heaven that watches over my loved ones, recount the devotion the pilgrim nurses for his native sod! Go and say say that when dawn opened your chalices for the first time beside the icy Neckar, you saw him silent beside you, thinking of her constant vernal clime. Say that when dawn which steals your aroma was whispering playful love songs to your young sweet petals, he, too, murmured canticles of love in his native tongue; that in the morning when the sun first traces the topmost peak of Koenigssthul in gold and with a mild warmth raises to life again the valley, the glade, the forest, he hails that sun, still in its dawning, that in his country in full zenith blazes. And tell of that day when he collected you along the way among the ruins of a feudal castle, on the banks of the Neckar, or in a forest nook. Recount the words he said as, with great care, between the pages of a worn-out book he pressed the flexible petals that he took. Carry, carry, O flowers, my love to my loved ones, peace to my country and its fecund loam, faith to its men and virtue to its women, health to the gracious beings that dwell within the sacred paternal home. When you reach that shore, deposit the kiss I gave you on the wings of the wind above that with the wind it may rove and I may kiss all that I worship, honor and love! But O you will arrive there, flowers, and you will keep perhaps your vivid hues; but far from your native heroic earth to which you owe your life and worth, your fragrances you will lose! For fragrance is a spirit that never can forsake and never forgets the sky that saw its birth.

Poems are simply reflections of an author’s feelings based on his experiences and present situation. While in Heidelberg experiencing the feeling of nostalgia for his parents and his country, Rizal wrote the poem "To the Flowers of Heidelberg". When Rizal soared to Heidelberg in 1886, he was fascinated with the bloom flowers he saw in the Neckar River. Those flowers reminded him of the flowers in their home’s garden in Calamba because of his mood of homesickness. His poem, To the Flowers of Heidelberg is simply an expression of his sadness as he remembered his family whom he loves so much. In his poem, he also described the flowers as beautiful and brilliantly attractive which lie in heaven beneath a shiny bright sky. His poem also shows that he misses his homeland where he first saw the beauty of life and the beauty of all creation. Those flowers in Heidelberg were resemblance of his happy and beautiful experiences and memories in his homeland where he was far a distance away. Because of sorrow and loneliness he compensated by writing a poem about the beauty he saw on the flowers of Heidelberg. ======== EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In this poem, Jose Rizal effectively employs natural imagery to express his longing for the Philippines. He also wishes peace for his country and countrymen, and subsequently compares a person far from his homeland to a flower losing its fragrance. Written by Alvin V. Ogena; Edited by Jack Victor M. Nera Rizal, contemplating the flowers that deck the university town of Heidelberg in spring, was inspired to compose the following poem exuding intense love of his native land. Wherever he was, his thoughts always turn to his faraway homeland, wishing "Peace to my country with fecund soil, To her women virtue, to her men faith.” ======== In 1885, the 24-year old Rizal went to Paris, France to pursue his career as an ophthalmologist. He tried his skills in music and studied solfeggio, piano and voice culture for a month and a half. He worked as an assistant to the renowned ophthalmologist, Dr. Louis de Weckert, and left for Heidelberg after a year. He settled in the house of a Lutheran, Karl Ulmer and worked in the clinics of famous Polish and German ophthalmologists, Dr. Javier Galezowsky and Dr. Otto Becker, respectively. In Heidelberg, he was astound with the flowers along the Neckar River, especially the forget-me-nots, which made him compose the poem, A Las Flores de Heidelberg (To the Flowers of Heidelberg), on April 22, 1886. It was also in this German city where the long-distance friendship between Jose Rizal and Ferdinand Blumentritt began. ========

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