Jose Maria de Heredia

(22 November 1842 - 3 October 1905 / Fortuna Cafeyere)

Jose Maria de Heredia
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a Cuban-born French poet. He was the fifteenth member elected for seat 4 of the Académie française during 1894.

Early years

Heredia was born at Fortuna Cafeyere, near Santiago de Cuba of Spanish Criollo and French ancestry. At the age of eight he went from the West Indies to France, returning then to Havana at age seventeen, and finally making France his home not long afterwards. He received his classical education with the priests of Saint Vincent at Senlis, and after his visit to Havana he studied at the Ecole des Chartes at Paris. During the later 1860s, with François Edouard Joachim Coppée, René François Armand Sully-Prudhomme, Paul Verlaine and others less ... more »

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Best Poem of Jose Maria de Heredia

The Runner

As when at Delphi, Thymus close behind,
He flew through stadium to applause's roar,
So on this plinth now Ladas runs one more,
On bronze foot, slim, and swifter than the wind.

With arm outstretched, eyes fixed, trunk front inclined,
The beaded drops of sweat his face glide o'er;
Surely while sculptor did the metal pour,
The athlete leaped from mould in form designed.

He throbs, he trembles, hopes, yet fears to lose;
His side pants, the cleaved air his lips refuse,
And with the strain his muscles jutting rise.

His spirit's ardor is beyond ...

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