Darío, Rubén

Darío, Rubén

(ro͞obĕn` därē`ō), 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 modernismomodernismo
, movement in Spanish literature that had its beginning in Latin America. It was paramount in the last decade of the 19th cent. and the first decade of the 20th cent.

Modernismo derived from French symbolism and the Parnassian school.
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, 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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Darío, Rubén


(pseudonym of Félix Rubén García Sarmiento). Born Jan. 18, 1867, in Metapa, now Ciudad Darío; died Feb. 6, 1916, in León. Nicaraguan poet.

Darío’s book Epistles and Poems: First Notes (1885) kept within the traditions of romanticism. His collection of poems entitled Azure (1888), which reflected the influence of the French Parnassians, was permeated with a striving to renew the language of poetry. A book of essays on contemporary writers, The Eccentrics (1893). and the collection of poems entitled Profane Prose (1896) confirmed Darío’s reputation as the leader of Spanish-American modernism. In his best works Darío overcame the decadent tendencies that were picked up by his numerous imitators—the so-called ruben-daristas. Anxiety over the fate of the young nations of Latin America and the passionate assertion of their right to independent development make up the central theme of Darío’s collection Songs of Life and Hope (1905). A life-affirming feeling permeates many poems in the collection The Wandering Song (1907).

In the development of Spanish-American poetry Darío played an important role as an outstanding lyricist who conveyed the tormented spiritual searchings of his contemporaries, as a citizen-poet who spoke out in the name of an awakening continent, and, finally, as a reformer in versification who enriched poetry with new forms (including those of folkloric derivation) and who brought suppleness and a singing quality back to poetic speech.


Obras completas, vols. 1–5. Madrid, 1950–55.
Autobiografía. Guatemala-Mexico City, 1960.
In Russian translation:
. [Foreword by V. Stolbov.] Moscow. 1967.


Salinas, P. La poesia de Rubén Darío. Buenos Aires, 1957.
Torres, E. La Dramática vida de Rubén Darío. Mexico City, 1958.
Watland, C. D. Poet-errant: A Biography of Rubén Darío. New York, 1965.
Anderson Imbert, E. La originalidad de R. Darío. Buenos Aires [1967].
Estudios sobre R. Darío. Mexico City [1968].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.