Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, better known as “La Pelegrina (pilgrim),” was a prominent Cuban poetess of Spanish origin. Her poems dominated the romance genre of the 19th century. She was born March 23, 1814 , Puerto Príncipe, Cuba and died Feb. 1, 1873 , in Madrid, Spain.
Gomez de Avellaneda voiced her discontent over slavery in Cuba in her book “Sab“. She also touched on the detrimental treatment of women during her time. As such, she is also considered one of the first feminist-abolitionist in Latin America.
Here is one of her poems written upon her departure from Cuba to Spain.
¡Perla del mar! ¡Estrella de occidente!
¡Hermosa Cuba! Tu brillante cielo
La noche cubre con su opaco velo,
Como cubre el dolor mi triste frente.
¡Voy a partir! La chusma diligente,
Para arrancarme del nativo suelo
Las velas iza, y pronta a su desvelo
La brisa acude de tu zona ardiente.
¡Adiós!, ¡patria feliz, edén querido!
¡Doquier que el hado en su furor me impela,
Tu dulce nombre halagará mi oído!
¡Adiós! Ya cruje la turgente vela
¡El anda se alza… El buque, estremecido,
Las olas corta y silencioso vuela!
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