Bob's Philippines Blog

  • 05:12:12 pm on May 24, 2007 | 0

    Verse 5

    Ensueño de mi vida, mi ardiente vivo anhelo,

    ¡Salud te grita el alma que pronto va a partir!

    ¡Salud! Ah, que es hermoso caer por darte vuelo,

    Morir por darte vida, morir bajo tu cielo,

    Y en tu encantada tierra la eternidad dormir.

    Dream of my life, my living and burning desire,

    All hail! cries the soul that is now to take flight;

    All hail! And sweet it is for thee to expire;

    To die for thy sake, that thou mayst aspire;

    And sleep in thy bosom eternity’s long night.

    In talking of the ‘dream’ of his life and his “living, burning desire/fantasy” Rizal addresses the Patria of the imminent future, the Patria without sorrow, shame or stain, the Patria of his imagination, Filipinas as he would wish her to be and, more important, expects her to be for in line two he welcomes her arrival.

    Salud has the sense of mabuhay, cheers, a votre sante, prosit, kampie, a term that is directly translatable into every language, Asian and Western. Significantly it is a term of distinctively positive value. Rizal welcomes the coming of the redeemed Patria at the moment his soul is about to depart as it verse three he refers to the imminent liberation of the country, its dawn of freedom.

    His repetition of ‘salud’in the third line is the rousing cheer that greats a triumphal entry into the arena, the cheer of the crowd to a champion, bringing from the duplication of ‘Mis sueños cuando’, what was his dream is now a reality.

    The sense of ‘it is beautiful to fall so that you can take flight/fly’ suggests that prehaps he expected his death to inspire the ongoing revolution or otherwise serve to liberate Patria. In flying, Patria, in the fourth verse becomes the sky, no longer in bondage but free and he is dying beneath her as the sky.

    While Derbyshire uses quite abstract imagery in the last line Rizal gives us a very concrete image of Patria’s ‘enchanted earth’ (Other translators use this more correct terminology) . Notably he does not say ‘sacred earth’, perhaps because it would echo too much Christianity, in particular what Rizal perceived as the debased Christianity practiced in the Philippines. Enchantment also leads us, perhaps, to those ancient natural forces that surrounded the ancient pre-Hispanic Filipino and who, as spirits, ruled their daily lives. He rejects on and embraces, or is embraced by the other. At the same time. Enchantment implies the sense of captivation, enthrallment that Patria inspires. The earth of the Patria, therefore, has special, magical qualities.

    The redemption of the Patria, in Rizal’s eyes was not a long-term objective but imminent, touchable and achievable.

    Verse 6>

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