Monday, August 28, 2017

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (1836—1870) is a significant Spanish poet, playwright, and short story writer. Although he found success, it wasn't until after his death that much of his work was published. He is considered the main writer of the post-romanticism movement, which dominated Spanish poetry in the latter part of the 19th century.

His father, who died when he was five-years-old, was a well-respected painter in Seville. His brother Valeriano also became a painter.

In 1857, Bécquer began an ambitious project about Spanish Christian art, combining religious ideals, architecture, and history — the first volume of which was published as Historia de los Templos de España. In that same year he was infected with tuberculosis, which worsened in 1870, leading to his death.

In Spanish-speaking countries he is often required reading at high schools; his influence is evident in many 20th century writers.

To All The Saints

Patriarchs, you who were the seed
of the tree of faith in distant centuries,
to the divine conqueror of death
pray for us.

Prophets, you who, inspired, tore away
the mysterious veil of the future,
to him who drew light from the darkness
pray for us.

Guiltless souls, Innocent Saints,
you who increased the choir of the angels,
to him who called the children to his side
pray for us.

Apostles, you who cast into the world
of the Church its powerful cement,
to him who is the depository of truth
pray for us.

Martyrs, you who won your palms
in the sand of the arena, in red blood,
to him who gave you strength in your struggles
pray for us.

Virgins like lilies,
you whom summer dressed in snow and gold,
to him who is the source of light and beauty
pray for us.

Monks, you who sought from life's struggle
peace in the silent cloister,
to him who is the rainbow of calm in storms
pray for us.

Doctors whose pens bequeathed us
the rich treasure of virtue and wisdom
to him who is the plenitude of inexhaustible knowledge
pray for us.

Soldiers of Christ's army,
all Saints male and female,
pray to him to forgive our faults,
Him who lives and reigns among you.

This post was suggested by my friend Burl Horniachek.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.