Darío, Rubén ro͞obĕn´ därē´ō [key]
, 1867–1916, Nicaraguan poet, originally named Félix Rubén García Sarmiento. A child prodigy, he gained a thorough knowledge of Spanish and French cultures through reading; it was then widened during many years abroad in both South America and Europe as diplomatic representative of various Spanish-American countries. He was particularly influenced by the writings of the French Parnassians. Darío was the leader and founder of modernismo
, emphasizing perfection of form, musical expression, and an ineffable sadness related to that of French symbolist poetry. His influence on contemporary Spanish and Spanish-American writers was enormous. Azul
[blue], written in 1888 when he was 21, revolutionized the whole of Spanish syntax and metrics; it was followed by Prosas profanas
(1896), a departure from pure form and content to grace, beauty, and exoticism. Cantos de vida y esperanza
[songs of life and hope] (1905) is concerned with the future of Spanish America. El canto errante
[the wandering song] (1907) shows Darío's elegance strengthened by considerable power and technical mastery. His profound work
Poema del otoño
[autumn's poem] (1910) is often considered his masterpiece.
See his Selected Poems (tr. 1965); biography by C. D. Watland (1965); studies by C. Jrade (1983), P. Pearsall (1984), and S. Ingwersen (1986).
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