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Interpretation: A Poem That Has No Title


To my Creator I sing
Who did soothe me in my great loss;
To the Merciful and Kind
Who in my troubles gave me repose.

Rizal opens the poem in thanksgiving. The entire poem is generally about God and is speaking in the second person to God. However, it is important to observe the order in which these verses are written. That he begins by referring to God as the one who soothed him in his great loss and gave him repose in his troubles, could very well signify that the life of the hero was in fact full of pain and difficulty, and that it was in these dark moments that he felt God's presence the most.

Thou with that pow'r of thine
Said: Live! And with life myself I found;
And shelter gave me thou
And a soul impelled to the good
Like a compass whose point to the North is bound.

Here Rizal goes back in time to the days before he was born. With artistic reference to God's power to create everything out of nothing and to speak all beings into existence (Genesis), the author pictures his birth as a result of God's command for him to "Live!" He also acknowledges that his soul is "impelled to the good" and we read this with a very obvious yet tenuous sense of gratitude as well.

Thou did make me descend
From honorable home and respectable stock,
And a homeland thou gavest me
Without limit, fair and rich
Though fortune and prudence it does lack.

Rizal here says that God allowed him to be born into an honorable and respectable family, and into a country that had no limit (which could refer to having limitless potential, ability, greatness... or even in the more "physical" sense of the word, having limitless resources, beauty, wonder). He closes the verse with the only line in the poem that expresses sadness. We see here the burden that the hero continues to carry in his heart - that of our nation's lack of fortune and prudence - which he, no doubt, was still fighting for when he wrote this composition.

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