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Folk Literature

Well this is a first for me, I have not tried the blog area at all since i have joined here, anyways i wanted to start my first blog discussing Folk Literature, I for one like it cause it gives you a sense of knowing your roots and how things where interpreted in the past of your countries history and I totally love history. The main reason for why I'm making this is because I wanted to share with you guys a dream that me and oddly enough my English teacher have in common and is to resurface the myths and legends of my birthplace Puerto Rico and make it accessible to the general public, be it local or Foreign.The thing with Puerto Rico is that to me it is that it's people at least to me don't care enough for their art and literature, sure we have an abundance of Music which is a form of art but that is not all we have heck the public schools don't include Art as a class anymore!, you got to go on specialized schools that give the workshops, wouldn't you feel sad if newer generations did not know about the history of where they where born cause nobody even bothered to record them?. Anyways I'm going a bit off topic, what i wanted to share with you guys is a project I'm currently working on for my English Literature class and is to take one of the stories recollected from the book of a local historian of Puerto Rico called Cayetano Coll y Toste and look information regarding that story, Translate it into English and then make a modern version of that story, I chose the story of the most known piratein Puerto Rico called Roberto Cofresí who is considered to be Puerto Ricos version of Robin Hood. I already made the modern version of the story that i chose and will post it here for feedback. if you want to know a bit more about what we are doing you can go on ahead and go to the wikipage that we are working so you can give it a look. I also want to know what you guys think about Folk Literature and if you got any stories of your hometown that you want to share you can go right ahead and share them.

The page our class is working with you can find my work under Cofresí, The pirate:


and here is my modern version of the story I'm Translating:

The last stand of Cofresí

Captain’s log March 1st, 1825.

It’s been 7 years since I have decided to go to sea in search of adventure and treasure, 7 years that I have stared death at the face and laugh. The Americans call me a pirate since I keep attacking their ships. The Spaniards did not care for me at first as long as I just kept attacking non-Spaniard ships, they thought of me as an ace in their sleeve in their fight against the Americans, Spain…. a foreign tyrant that cares not for the well for the country that I see as the place of my birth, a Tyrant that oppresses my people and only cares for itself, they think I am their ace?! I’ll be dammed if I let them think that so I proved them wrong by attacking their ships as well and now I am their_____.

The Americans think that because my attack against the Spaniards they worry about me but I make them think twice as today me and my crew attack a merchant ship from the company based on St. Thomas . My loyal crew eager to fight start to prepare their weapons waiting for their captains orders, and so I do. We approach the merchant ship from the side as they raise their flag as a sign of peace but we in turn wave our black flag as a sign of death, engage the enemy fearlessly, they do not except it but try to defend themselves but they fail miserably as our ship “El Mosquito” as nimble as the annoying insect it is named after dodging cannon fire docks near them before they could load their cannons again. We board their ship and give them a warning to surrender and leave their possessions behind; they preferred to do it the hard way, very admirable but just as foolish. The crew starts to shoot at us with their rifles but they have lousy aim as their bullets only hit the deck of our ship, we on the other hand have the aim of a Guaraguao and hit effortlessly. As the fight progresses we fight decide to save our ammunition and take it close and personal, I ready my axe and start cutting down my foes and paint the deck of their ship red with their blood, then I start to realize that just as they are lousy with their guns they are not much of a threat when fighting in melee combat, I let a smile go on my face cause this fight was over before it even started. As the fight ends my crew starts to load all of the loot to “el mosquito” and sink their ship, this would be our 8th consecutive attack today. Proud of our victory we decide to go to my home town Cabo Rojo to share the spoils with our people and my crew, the Americans and Spaniards consider me a Demon, my people consider me a Hero but I am neither, I am just a Man who cares for his country and family and would do anything in order to give them what they need.

Captain’s log March 5st, 1825.

As we prepare to set sail I stumble upon a mysterious old man covered in tattoos and strange ornaments who is watching me from afar as I approach him out of curiosity he warns me that I would fail today and will die and should turn back. I scoff at the old man and tell him “Turn back? How could I turn back if my people are in need and the tyrants are out there taking advantage of us in our own land?! If I am to lose today then so be it but I will not go down a coward! I will go down as a free man of the sea who fought for his people”, I leave the old man and go to my ship and he calls me an arrogant fool, angry at his insult I turn around to confront him but the old man suddenly vanished, I turn again and leave to my ship with the old man’s warning in mind. The day went well having hijacked a ship from Salinas with no effort at all my men were very confident but I was skeptical that it went so well, as we make another search near “la boca del infierno” for ships we stumble upon what appeared as a stranded merchant ship called “The Grampus” I told my men to be cautious and we approached It in order to take it down little did we know that it was a trap set by the Americans AND the Spaniards in order to take us down, we fired upon them but their weaponry was superior, I am not a coward but I was not going to lead my men into a fight we where outmatched so we retreated to the beach and wait for them at night to take them down us having the advantage of the terrain, we lost a few good men in our retreat and I was injured in the process as well. As night falls my men are tired and have their morale down but I try to assure them that we will get through this, my words go through deaf ears. As I reflect on what has happened I realize that I may have been a bit too arrogant and it is my fault that we are in this situation but I have no regrets and try my best to allow as many of my men to escape, I try to fight as much as I can but my injuries took the best of mea few of my men succeed to escaped others have failed along with me, I am writing this now from the prison I have been sent on San Juan.

Captain’s log March 29th, 1825.

Me and my men have been trialed and found guilty for our actions and soon to be executed. I have no hopes getting out of this situation this time but I do not care I did this in order to help my people as the proud Puertorrican that I am. Suddenly the mysterious old man appears before me again and tells me that he admires my tenacity and pride and hate for the tyrants that captured me and assured me that the sea will be with me always and will grant me power even after death. I smile assured of the old man’s words and I am now a man with no regrets cause I will die as have lived a free man of the sea and my enemies will fear me even upon death as I will haunt them should they defile my beloved countries shores.

-Captain Roberto Cofresí

Edited by odin
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