When I first encountered the Cuban poet José Martí at UML in an Advanced Spanish class titled Introduction to Literary Analysis, I was struggling with Spanish to the point of frustration. Every excerpt and poem and every discussion in class was exceedingly difficult for me to follow, until I read Dos patrias. It was while reading this poem that I first experienced reading at length in Spanish. Before, I had been translating and reconstructing the lines into English. I don’t know if this sudden relief came from the simplicity of Dos patrias, a simplicity, I would learn, that is only the first layer of this convoluted poem. And I don’t think it’s because I had come to understand it fully, but I know what followed were countless iterations of interpretations, and every iteration not only abandoned me deeper into the world of this poem but also encouraged me to keep working on my Spanish, because if I could find my way into and out of the labyrinth of this poem, how could I not soon find my way through normal everyday conversations in Spanish, and easily? I read the poem so much that I began to know what words were coming next, but still, somehow, as I worked with my translation more I discovered more behind each word and each line, and I slowly understood how impossible it was to truly bring something that was conceived in one language into another, but it was by trying to that I learned more than I had ever expected to about this intricate elegy.