Monthly Archives: September 2014

Jeter’s Last Game at Yankee Stadium

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If anybody knows me, they know Derek Jeter is right next to Robinson Cano as my favorite baseball players, so knowing this will be Derek Jeter’s last season in the MLB has been tough to swallow.  For 20 years, Jeter has represented the Yankees and all of New York in the best way possible, continuing to pave the way for a successful Yankee legacy.  Last night, Jeter played his last game in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium and you couldn’t have written a better ending to Jeter’s career.  Watching the Yankees play without Jeter will take some getting used to, but, regardless, he will always be part of Yankee history.  I just feel honored to have watched him play myself.

“La Borinqueña”

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With “Grito de Lares” as her inspiration, Puerto Rican poet Lola Rodríguez de Tío wrote “La Borinqueña.”  The poem’s words were eventually changed to become less revolutionary and more patriotic to appease a larger group of people.  The modernized version of Lola’s poem is now Puerto Rico’s anthem, still titled “La Borinqueña.”

Here are the original words that Lola Rodríguez de Tío wrote in 1868.

¡Despierta, borinqueño
que han dado la señal!
¡Despierta de ese sueño
que es hora de luchar!
A ese llamar patriótico
¿no arde tu corazón?
¡Ven! Nos será simpático
el ruido del cañón.
Mira, ya el cubano
libre será;
le dará el machete
su libertad…
le dará el machete
su libertad.
Ya el tambor guerrero
dice en su son,
que es la manigua el sitio,
el sitio de la reunión,
de la reunión…
de la reunión.
El Grito de Lares
se ha de repetir,
y entonces sabremos
vencer o morir.
Bellísima Borinquén,
a Cuba hay que seguir;
tú tienes bravos hijos
que quieren combatir.
ya por más tiempo impávido
no podemos estar,
ya no queremos, tímidos
dejarnos subyugar.
Nosotros queremos
ser libre ya,
y nuestro machete
afilado está.
y nuestro machete
afilado está.
¿Por qué, entonces, nosotros
hemos de estar,
tan dormidos y sordos
y sordos a esa señal?
a esa señal, a esa señal?
No hay que temer, riqueños
al ruido del cañón,
que salvar a la patria
es deber del corazón!
ya no queremos déspotas,
caiga el tirano ya,
las mujeres indómitas
también sabrán luchar.
Nosotros queremos
la libertad,
y nuestros machetes
nos la darán…
y nuestro machete
nos la dará…
Vámonos, borinqueños,
vámonos ya,
que nos espera ansiosa,
ansiosa la libertad.
¡La libertad, la libertad!

El Grito de Lares

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Lares Flag

On this day 146 years ago, Puerto Rico attempted a revolution in the name of independence from Spain. This was the only attempt for independence in all of Puerto Rico’s history and is now known as “El Grito de Lares.”

The rebellion was supposed to take place on September 29 and include support from thousands coming from other parts of the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands, but, due to complications and allies being compromised, the rebellion was carried out on September 23, 1968 by no more than 600 people. The Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico, as the rebellion group was called, was able to take over Lares, proclaiming the Republic of Puerto Rico; however, the following day, the rebellion was stopped in San Sebastian by Spanish militia.

Although “El Grito de Lares” only lasted a day and independence was ultimately not gained, this was still an immensely important event in Puerto Rico and had several positive effects in shaping the island’s current identity. During the rebellion, Puerto Rico’s first flag was created by Mariana Bracetti and Lola Rodriguez de Tio’s poem, “La Borinquena,” was written. Following the rebellion, the island gained more autonomy for itself and it is still heavily discussed in Puerto Rican history.

In my opinion, “El Grito de Lares” may be viewed as a failure and a waste by some people, but it clearly had a huge effect if it’s still remembered today. It shows that, despite complications and difficulties, you should always try. Even if the outcome you had in mind doesn’t come about, then something positive can still be the result of your effort.

“Río Grande de Loíza”

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In 1870, the Moret Law was approved, which granted freedom to slaves born after September 17, 1868 or were older than 60 years old.  Three years later, slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico; however, oppression remained a large issue in Puerto Rico and is still prevalent in some areas of the island.  Julia de Burgos is recognized as one of the greatest poets to come out of Puerto Rico and she often wrote about the civil rights issues on the island.  “Río Grande de Loíza” is considered one of her most famous poems and is one of the many pieces that reference this issue.  Enjoy!

Río Grande de Loíza

By Julia de Burgos

¡Rio Grande de Loíza!… Alárgate en mi espíritu
y deja que mi alma se- pierda en- tus riachuelos
para buscar la fuente que te robó de niño
y en un ímpetu loco te devolvió al sendero.

Enróscate en mis labios y deja que te beba,
para sentirte mío por un breve momento,
y esconderte del mundo y en ti mismo esconderte,
y oír voces de asombro en la boca del viento.

Apéate un instante del lomo de la tierra,
y busca de mis ansias el íntimo secreto;
confúndete en el vuelo de mi ave fantasía,
y déjame una rosa de agua en mis ensueños.

¡Río Grande de Loíza!… Mi manantial, mi río,
desde que alzome al mundo el pétalo materno;
contigo se bajaron desde las rudas cuestas,
a buscar nuevos surcos, mis pálidos anhelos;
y mi niñez fue toda un poema en el río,
y un río en el poema de mis primeros sueños.

Llegó la adolescencia. Me sorprendió la vida
prendida en lo más ancho de tu viajar eterno;
y fui tuya mil veces, y en un bello romance
me despertaste el alma y me besaste el cuerpo.

¿A dónde te llevaste las aguas que bañaron
mis formas, en espiga de sol recién abierto?

¡Quién sabe en qué remoto país mediterráneo
algún fauno en la playa me estará poseyendo!

¡Quién sabe en qué aguacero de qué tierra lejana
me estaré derramando para abrir surcos nuevos;
o si acaso, cansada de morder corazones,
me estaré congelando en cristales de hielo!

¡Río Grande de Loíza!… Azul. Moreno. Rojo.
Espejo azul, caído pedazo azul de cielo;
desnuda carne blanca que se te vuelve negra
cada vez que la noche se te mete en el lecho;
roja franja de sangre, cuando bajo la lluvia
a torrentes su barro te vomitan los cerros.

Río hombre, pero hombre con pureza de río,
porque das tu azul alma cuando das tu azul beso.

Muy señor río mío. Río hombre. Unico hombre
que ha besado mi alma al besar en mi cuerpo.

¡Río Grande de Loíza!… Río grande. Llanto grande.
El más grande de todos nuestros llantos isleños,
si no fuera más grande el que de mí se sale
por los ojos del alma para mi esclavo pueblo.

“Que Bonita Bandera”

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Puerto Rico may not have an Independence Day, making its participation in Hispanic Heritage Month a little awkward, but the island is nothing short of having pride.  In the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some Hispanic culture related posts with you all and the first is Plena Libre’s performance of “Que Bonita Bandera.”  Plena is one of Puerto Rico’s traditional dance styles and this song dedicated to the island’s flag is a perfect representation of Boricua pride.  Enjoy!

Ariana Grande Performs “My Everything”

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Ariana Grande’s song “My Everything” was already a beautiful track, but now it has only become better in my eyes after she performed it for Stand Up to Cancer.  Ariana recently lost her grandfather to cancer, which is who she dedicated her performance to.  Personally, I have seen many family members fight against cancer and, unfortunately, not all of them have won, so this performance was especially significant to me.