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A Las Flores de Heidelberg

As Jose Rizal longed for his parents and his country, he wrote the poem A Las Flores De Heidelberg on April
22, 1886. Back then, he was studying at Universittsplatz 12 (former Ludwigsplatz 12), Germany. He wrote this
poem because of his yearning for Calamba, inspired by his afternoons musings in Neckar River. Consequently,
Rizal sent his message of love, faith and longing to his native land through the light-blue forget-me-nots,
pressed in the pages of his book:

TO THE FLOWERS OF HEIDELBERG


Go to my country, go foreign flowers,
Planted by the traveler on his way,
And there beneath that sky of blue
That over my beloved towers,
Speak for this traveler to say
What faith in his homeland he breathes to you.
(Rizal in this paragraph poetically requests the flowers of Heidelberg to speak
of him in the Philippines)

Go and say.... Say that when the dawn


First brew your calyx open there
Beside the River Necker chill,
You saw him standing by you, very still,
Reflecting on the primrose flush you wear.
Say that when the morning light
Her toll of perfume from you wrung,
While playfully she whispered, "How I love you!"
He too murmured here above you
Tender love songs in his native tongue.
That when the rising sun the height
Of Koenigsthul in early morn first spies,
And with its tepid light
Is pouring life in valley, wood, and grove,
He greets the sun as it begins to rise,
Which in his native land is blazing straight above.
(These three paragraphs mentions the times of day starting from dawn and the
break of sunlight. He beautifully asked the flowers to bear witness to his undying concern
for his motherland when at dawn he sings to the flowers native songs in exchange of their
gift of natural perfume. And in the morning under the soft light of the early sun he
reflects still of his motherland where the same sun now is at its highest... as if he is
connected with his motherland through the sun)

And tell them of that day he staid


And plucked you from the border of the path,
Amid the ruins of the feudal castle,
By the River Neckar, and in the sylvan shade,
Tell them what he told you
As tenderly he took
Your pliant leaves and pressed them in a book,
Where now its well-worn pages close enfold you.

(Rizal poetically describes his plan for the flowers to carry his message to his
motherland. He plucks them and preserves them in his book)
Carry, carry, flowers of Rhine,
Love to every love of mine,
Peace to my country and her fertile loam,
Virtue to her women, courage to her men,
Salute those darling ones again,
Who formed the sacred circle of our home.
(His first message to the country is peace, virtue to women, courage to men)
And when you reach that shore,
Each kiss I press upon you now,
Deposit on the pinions of the wind,
And those I love and honor and adore
Will feel my kisses carried to their brow.

(He poetically describes his will that his kisses on the flower may be carried by the
wind to his loved ones)
Ah, flowers, you may fare through,
Conserving still, perhaps, your native hue;
Yet, far from Fatherland, heroic loam
To which you owe your life,
The perfume will be gone from you;
For aroma is your soul; it cannot roam
Beyond the skies which saw it born, nor e'er forget.
(Here is the paradox: Rizal used the flowers of Heidelberg as his symbol of his
love for his motherland. The beauty of the flowers is comparable to the way he looks at
our country that anyone who will see the flower may get in touch with Rizal's concern for
his motherland. Though noble this may seem to be, Rizal in the last stanza reflected on its
utter futility since the flower will no longer be the same when it reaches the country. Its
beauty and perfume, which should reflect Rizal's intentions for the country, will long be
gone. Why? For it is far from its fatherland.)

Rizal wrote this when he was at Germany. In France and Germany, Rizal was well
known and respected. But he may have realized what good will their respect do to his
country. What good will this do to the Philippines if he is serving foreign lands and not
his own. His verses had a single symbol--The flowers of Heidelberg. But it symbolizes
two realities. First, the flowers' beauty symbolizes Rizal's love for his country, and
second, the flowers' reduced quality refers to Rizal's useless presence in another country.
Later he decided to return to the country despite repeated warning from his friends and
relatives.

This poem is a reflections of a Rizals feelings based on his experiences. Jose Rizal went to Germany and
studied there in University of Heidelberg. While in Heidelberg he is experiencing the feeling of nostalgia
for his parents and his country, Rizal wrote the poem To the Flowers of Heidelberg.
When Rizal soared to Heidelberg in 1886, he was fascinated with the bloom flowers and the
beautiful old town of the confluence Neckar River. He loved its natural beauty. Those flowers act as
messengers to take his thoughts of home back there. His poem, To the Flowers of Heidelberg is simply an
expression of his sadness as he remembered his family whom he loves so much. In his poem, he also
described the flowers as beautiful and brilliantly attractive which lie in heaven beneath a shiny bright sky.
It also shows that he misses his homeland where he first saw the beauty of life and the beauty of all
creation. Those flowers in Heidelberg were resemblance of his happy and beautiful experiences and
memories in his homeland where he was far a distance away. Because of sorrow and loneliness he
compensated by writing a poem about the beauty he saw on the flowers of Heidelberg.

Interpretation
Rizal described his beloved native land by mentioning his adoration of its clear blue skies that signifies peace
and good climate. He wants the maidens to extend his message of love, longing and continuous safeguard to
the native land, that his humble heart remains faithful to the land where he grew up.
It can be seen that on the second stanza that Rizal grew seeing dawn as the beginning of every single
community activities that reflects the culture of Calamba as a farming land and that harvest starts at dawn.
Hence, it can also magnify the Filipino attitude of being industrious.
Rizal also expressed his appreciation for natures indescribable beauty and inevitable allure of fresh scent that
starts from the sweet caress of dawn until sunrise. He longed for his hometown as he appreciated the beauty of
the foreign land, Heidelberg.
Rizal through this poem articulated his unconditional love for his family, his countrymen and the nation he
dreams to be. Nevertheless, he only wished eternal peace for land, that no man shall be harmed and everyone
adheres to common good. As he wrote, he never forgot to remind the women of his land to be strong and
courageous for the trials and challenges they may face.
This poem is a true reflection that Rizal in a foreign land missed his family and longs to be with them as he
asked in the poem the maidens to send his sweet kiss to those he whom he respects and loves.
Looking deeper, this poem can also tell a story of travel, that during the time of Rizal, travelers like merchants,
students, treasure hunters, and people from different walks of life only travel to cross the lands by sea.

Lastly, Rizal mentioned in this poem that your fragrances you will lose! For fragrance is a spirit that never can
forsake, and never forgets the sky that saw its birth. These lines illuminated the very essence of the poem that death cannot destroy dignity and non omnis moriar not everything dies after death.

Budapest San
Francisco To the Flowers of Heidelberg /
A Las Flores de Heidelberg Rizal's First Trip (1882-1887) Jose Rizal has been
to many countries after he graduated from the University of Sto. Tomas. This
was his first travel outside of the Philippines.
He had been to Singapore, Sri Lanka, Africa, Italy, Spain and a lot more
European countries.
Rizal also went to Madrid, Spain and enrolled at the University of Madrid both
in medicine and in Philosophy and Letters. Rizal's First trip Aside from
completing his studies in Spain, Rizal has his "secret mission"-was to observe
keenly the life and culture , languages and customs,industries and
commerce, and government and laws of European nations in order to
prepare himself in mighty task of liberating his oppressed people from
Spanish tyranny.
During the latter part of 1882, Rizal enrolled in the Universidad Central de
Madrid (Central University of Madrid) and took up two courses: medicine and
philosophy and letters.
In 1884, Rizal was awarded the Licentiate in Medicine and in 1885, he was
conferred the degree of Licentiate in Philosophy and Letter
Rizal went to Paris and Germany in order to specialize in "OPHTHALMOLOGY"
He arrived in Heidelberg in February 3, 1886 after he studied medicine in
Spain Heidelberg, a city in southern Germany, is famous for its ancient
university, romantic surroundings, old churches, majestic castles and
cobblestone streets redolent of a bygone era.
Three-story Baroque building, the Alte universitat. Facade of Jose Rizal's well
preserve boarding house The vicarage where Rizal spent a quiet and
productive time in Germany, 1886
A golden plaque in Heidelberg's Bergheimerstrape 20 remins visitors that
Jose Rizal, am avid supporter of reforms in his Spanish-ruled home country
(Left) Statue built in his honor, located at Wilhelmsfeld (Right) "Augen klinik"
or Eye Clinic Cadena de Amor In Heidelberg, Rizal studied the German
language.
He celebrated his 25th birthday with a Lutheran minister, Karl Ulmer.
He attended the lectures in ophthalmology as an observer under Dr. Otto

Becker and professor Wilhelm Kuehne at Alte Unibersidad


Trained under two outstanding ophthalmologist Dr. Becker and Dr.
Galezowsky in "Augen Klinik" Rizal, in his lonely moments wrote his nostalgic
poem "A las Flores de Heidelberg"
Interpretations:
1. Rizal used the Flowers as his symbol of his love for his motherland.
2. Flowers' reduced quality refers to Rizal's useless presence in another
country.
3.He was homesick for his native Philippines.
4. "To the Flowers of Heidelberg" was not literally about flowers, he was
referring to the frauleins. In 1882, Rizal left for Spain to pursue a medical
degree. Rizal had a personal reason as well as an altruistic reason for his
decision to study abroad. He wanted to become an eye specialist in order to
cure her mother from an eye ailment. Poems are simply reflections of an
authors feelings based on his experiences and present situation. Whilein
Heidelberg experiencing the feeling of nostalgia for his parents and his
country, Rizal wrote the poem"To the Flowers of Heidelberg"
When Rizal soared to Heidelberg in 1886, he was fascinated with the bloom
flowers he saw in the NeckarRiver. Those flowers reminded him of the flowers
in their homes garden in Calamba because of his mood of homesickness.
In Heidelberg, he was astound with the flowers along the Neckar River,
especially the forget-me-nots, which made him compose the poem, A Las
Flores de Heidelberg (To the Flowers of Heidelberg), on April 22, 1886
His poem, To the Flowers of Heidelberg is simply an expression of his sadness
as he remembered his family whom he loves so much. Forget me not Flowers