Spiritual Syncretism One important theme in Dar´ıo’s poetry, notably in Songs of Life and Hope, is the relationship between Christianity and paganism. Dar´ıo at times believedinGod, and atother times did not. Essentially Catholic, he did not reject a deep religious syncretism—or merging ofdifferent belief systems—that could allow him to search for an understanding of what he experienced as the mysterious human presence in the universe. He sometimes tried to escape the existential despair that also dogged his footsteps through esoteric doctrines and the occult. And he found some comfort in a belief in the union of all nature, seeing all things as penetrated by a universal soul, in keeping with Eastern mysticism.
Spiritual Sensuality These spiritual concerns also relate to the pervasive eroticism in Dar´ıo’s poetry, for the erotic is often presented in a transcendent or mythological light, as in ‘‘In Spring’’ and ‘‘Venus’’ from Blue. One of Dar´ıo’s most celebrated poems is ‘‘Flesh, Celestial Flesh of the Woman. . ..’’ Dar´ıo described this poem in The Story of My
Books (1912) as ‘‘a hymn to the mysterious feminine enchantment.’’ The poem likens female flesh to ‘‘divine bread / For which our blood is our wine!’’ Such references unite elements of pagan and Christian traditions. Dar´ıo considered women’s bodies as a source of the absolute, with the power, like the food of the gods, to bestow immortality. The profane and the sacred, from this perspective, are indistinguishable.
Works in Critical Context
Dar´ıo achieved critical success very early in his career. The second edition of Blue, published in Europe in 1890, provided him with transatlantic recognition, mainly thanks to praise from Spanish novelist Juan Valera. No provincial writer had ever made such an impact on the European literary scene. Some early critics failed to find transcendent meaning behind his exotic imagery and stylistic virtuosity, but by the time of Dar´ıo’s death, he was eulogized worldwide as the fundamental Hispanic
poet. Roberto Gonza´lez Echevarr´ıa writes, ‘‘In Spanish, there is poetry before and after Rube´n Dar´ıo. The Nicar-aguan was the first major poet in the language since the seventeenth century.’’
Off the English-Speaking Radar Although the volume of writings devoted to Dar´ıo is one of the most impressive in the history of Spanish and Spanish American
literature, Dar´ıo remains largely unknown among English-speaking readers. The unique rhythms and linguistic nuances of his writings make them difficult to translate. In 1974, Keith Ellis published a groundbreaking study that presents the range of methods and perspectives employed by critics to study Dar´ıo’s life and works. The need for further editorial interest in Dar´ıo’s works is evidenced by the fact that there is no available critical edition of his complete poetry. To date, the only book of his poems to be translated in its entirety is Songs of Life and Hope.
Songs of Life and Hope Recent critical interest among English-speaking readers spurred Duke University Press’s 2005 bilingual edition of Songs of Life and Hope, to which the response has been positive. Janet St. John observes, ‘‘Translators [Will] Derusha and [Alberto] Acereda have clearly worked hard to present the real Dar´ıo, an innovative writer worthy of further examination,’’ noting also that ‘‘Dar´ıo ’s work is multifaceted and thought provoking.’’
Responses to Literature
1. In what ways does Hispanic literary movement known as Modernismo differ from the Anglo-American version of modernism?
2. What attitudes does Dar´ıo express toward modernity, progress, or the future in his work?
3. Syncretism is the merging of different beliefs or principles into a single worldview. Identify and
discuss religious imagery and religious syncretism in Dar´ıo’s poetry.
4. Contrast ‘‘To Roosevelt’’ with ‘‘Salute to the Eagle.’’ What is Dar´ıo’s attitude toward the United States?
5. What is the significance of Dar´ıo’s technical and stylistic innovations in poetry?
Acereda, Alberto, and Rigoberto Guevara. Modernism,
Ruben Darı´o, and the Poetics of Despair. Lanham,
MD: University Press of America, 2004. Brotherston, Gordon. Latin American Poetry: Origins
And Presence. Cambridge, U. K.: Cambridge
University Press, 1975. Ellis, Keith. Critical Approaches to Ruben Darı´o.
Gonzalez Echevarr´ıa, Roberto, ‘‘The Master of
Modernismo.’’ The Nation (February 13, 2006): 29-33.
St. John, Janet, ‘‘Review: Songs of Life and Hope’’ Booklist (April 1, 2004): 1341.
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Floridas Latinos Sample essay topic, essay writing: Floridas Latinos - 521 words
As decades pass, Florida's population continues to grow and change rapidly. Being from both Dominican and Puerto Rican decent, the difficulties Latin Americans encounter become obvious. Trying to make a comfortable living in any Hispanic country is not an easy task. Many Spanish families, for that A Biography on Carl Sandburg Carl Sandburg was a great man. His life was one of fame, once he began
Writing. He inspired many people. He also became an American Marvel. His works
Still remain read even today, 30 years after his death. His life was an interesting one. His parents immigrated to the US from
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Works in Biographical and Historical Context
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