Bonaventura Carles Aribau

Catalan Poet and Author of La Pàtria

Bonaventura Carles Aribau was a Catalan economist, politician and civil servant, who is best known as author of the poem Oda a la Pàtria in Catalan, which is seen as the starting point of a renaissance in the Catalan language known as La Renaixença.

Aribau was born in Barcelona on November 4th 1798 and died on September 27th 1862 and was interested in philosophy and literature from an early age.

In 1815, aged only 19, he was one of the founders of the Societat Filosòfica and published Ensayos poéticos in Spanish, and in 1823 he was one of the founding contributors to the Barcelona magazine El Europeo, the first great project in Catalan romantic journalism.

In 1826, Aribau moved to Madrid, where he worked for the banker Gaspar Remisa i Miarons for whom he wrote Oda a la Pàtria to celebrate his saint's day in 1932.


The poem, which is written in Catalan and is basically a eulogy to the beauty of Catalonia showing the homesickness the two men obviously felt for their homeland, and when it was published in the Barcelona newspaper El Vapor a year later, caused an immediate sensation.

Oda a la Pàtria

The first verse of the poem goes like this:

"Adéu-siau, turons, per sempre adéu-siau,
Oh serres desiguals, que allí, en la pàtria mia,
Dels núvols e del cel de lluny vos distingia,
Per lo repòs etern, per lo color més blau."

"Goodbye hills, forever goodbye,
Oh uneven mountains that there in my homeland,
Of clouds and distant sky that were identied,
By eternal rest, by the colour most blue."

The publication of the poem is seen as the starting point of the renaissance of Catalan as a literary language known as the Renaixença because it inspired a generation of poets to write in Catalan.

Aribau stayed in Madrid where he worked in finances and ended up working for the Spanish government before moving back to Barcelona in the 1850s, where died in his home on La Rambla dels Caputxins in 1862.

Bonaventura Carles Aribau is buried in the Cementiri de Poblenou and Carrer Aribau, one of the main streets in Barcelona City Centre carries his name.

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