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Born in December 31, 1803 / Died in May 21, 1839 / Cuba / Spanish


Cuban poet, was born at Santiago de Cuba on the 31st of December 1803, studied at the university of Havana, and was called to the bar in 1823. In the autumn of 1823 he was arrested on a charge of conspiracy against the Spanish government, and was sentenced to banishment for life. He took refuge in the United States, published a volume of verses at New York in 1825, and then went to Mexico, where, becoming naturalized, he obtained a post as magistrate. In 1832 a collection of his poems was issued at Toluca, and in 1836 he obtained permission to visit Cuba for two months. Disappointed in his political ambitions, and broken in health, Heredia returned to Mexico in January 1837, and died at Toluca on the 21st of May 1839. Many of his earlier pieces are merely clever translations from French, English and Italian; but his originality is placed beyond doubt by such poems as the Himno del desterrado, the epistle to Emilia, Desengaños, and the celebrated ode to Niagara. Bello may be thought to excel Heredia in execution, and a few lines of Olmedo's Canto á Junín vibrate with a virile passion to which the Cuban poet rarely attained; but the sincerity of his patriotism and the sublimity of his imagination have secured for Heredia a real supremacy among Spanish-American poets. ..