It is distressing to feel oneself so alive and full of tenderness and of undying kindness and to sob for hours on end,
—without my soul allowing me the right to release moans,
in this tepid atmosphere,
in this unbearable smallness,
in this monotonous sameness,
in this measured life,
in this emptiness of love that weighs upon my body, that overwhelms it, and that perennially suffocates and oppresses me within it.
Sickness of living: the sickness that killed Acuña*.
Rosario, awaken me, not as you did him, pardonable for his highness of soul, yet in the end weak and unworthy of me.
Because to live is a burden, so I live;
because to live is to suffer, so I live:
—I live, because I would be stronger than every obstacle and every force.
Letter sent by José Martí to a mexican poet for whom the poet *Acuña is believed commited suicide.