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 • Cementerio Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis
 • San Juan
 • San Juan Municipality
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Jose Gautier Benitez
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Birth: Apr. 12, 1851
Caguas Municipality
Puerto Rico, USA
Death: Jan. 24, 1880
San Juan Municipality
Puerto Rico, USA

Puerto Rican poet, considered the maximum example of post-romanticism poetry and even called the Puerto Rican Becquer. Gautier was born to Rodolfo Gautier y Castro and Alexandrina Benitez y de Arce and the only son in a family of three sisters. His father died in 1856, which forced the family to abandon their country estate and move in to their aunt's home in San Juan. This exposed him at a young age to the many literary gatherings sponsored by his aunt, Maria Bibiana Benitez and his mother who were known as the first Puerto Rican poetesses. Jose decided to pursue a military career in order to support his mother and his sisters. He enlisted at thirteen in the Spanish Army as a cadet and was promoted as second lieutenant of infantry when he was fifteen. It was that year that he was sent to fight against the members of the Revolution Committee of Puerto Rico who had started a short lived revolt against the Spanish government that would be known as "El Grito de Lares". Six days after the end of the insurrection he was promoted to lieutenant and at the age of eighteen he was transferred from the Madrid Division to Valladolid. He continued his military studies until september of 1870 when he withdrew and returned to the island. Once in Puerto Rico he published "El Regreso" on "El Progreso" newspaper. He was employed by the government as a clerk for the county council in order to marry Carmen O'Neill, but her parents were opposed to the engagement and the marriage never took place. While visiting family in Vieques he met and fell in love with his cousin, Cecilia Benitez Neron. The couple married in January of 1874. They returned to San Juan and Gautier decided to dedicate himself to farming their old country estate. Tragedy struck him when both of his sisters died victims of tuberculosis and when a hurricane hit the island in 1876 which left his family destitute and the estate in shambles. He found comfort writing poetry. In 1878 he created, with Manuel de Elzaburu, "The Puerto Rican Magazine". In his poem "Encargo a mis amigos" he foresaw his death when he was diagnosed with consumption. That same year he received an award from the "Ateneo Puertorriqueno" for his poem "A Puerto Rico". His health deteriorated rapidly with the death of his mother from the same dreaded disease. He moved to the country in order to find some relief for his condition, when he didn't heal he went to wife back to San Juan where he died at the age of twenty four.


UN ENCARGO A MIS AMIGOS

Cuando no quede ya ni un solo grano
de mi existencia en el relój de arena,
al conducir mi gélido cadáver,
¡oh!, recordad mi súplica postrera:

No lo encerréis en los angostos nichos
que cubren la pared formando hilera,
que en la lóbrega angosta galería
jamás el sol de mi país penetra.

El linde recorred del cementerio
y en el suelo cavad mi pobre huesa,
que el sol la alumbre y la acaricie el viento
y que broten allí flores y yerbas.

Que yo pueda sentir, si algo se siente,
a mi alrededor y sobre, muy cerca,
el ígneo rayo de mi sol de fuego
y esta adorada borinqueña tierra.

AN ERRAND FOR MY FRIENDS

When not even one grain of my existence is left
on the hourglass.
While transporting my icy cold corpse,
please remember my last entreaty:

Do not confine it to the narrow wall tombs
that cover the wall forming rows.
As in the bleak, narrow gallery
the sun of my country never enters.

Walk within the boundaries of the cemetery,
and dig my grave on the ground.
So that the sun may shine on it and the wind may caress it,
and that flowers and grass bloom on it.

So that I can feel, if something can be felt,
around, and on top, very close.The igneous ray
of the fiery sun and this adored Puerto Rican soil.

Jose Gautier Benitez


 
 
Burial:
Cementerio Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis
San Juan
San Juan Municipality
Puerto Rico, USA
 
Created by: Astrid
Record added: Mar 28, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67593486
Jose Gautier Benitez
Added by: Astrid
 
Jose Gautier Benitez
Added by: Astrid
 
Jose Gautier Benitez
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Jayne
 
 
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Rest in Peace
- Astrid
 Added: Mar. 28, 2011
 
 
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