Rubén Darío Poetry: World Poets Analysis
Rubén Darío is remembered as one of the first poetic voices of postcolonial Latin America, enormously influential as a founder of Modernismo. His work, however, underwent constant change, and no single school can claim him. He was acclaimed a Prometheus who brought modern trends of European art to newly independent Latin America; at the same time, he was an innovator in poetic form who exercised a major influence on the poetry of twentieth century Spain. In his later years, Darío retreated from the exotic imagery of Modernismo and returned to more traditional Latin American themes, including patriotism and religion.
The birth of Modernismo in Latin America coincided with South America’s transition from colonialism to independence. The declining influence of Spanish culture made way for new literary sources. Latin American intellectuals had long recognized French culture as the navigational star for their society, which was throwing off the control of monarchies. Thus, in the late nineteenth century, with much of Latin America freed from the cultural sway of Spain, the influence of France was everywhere ascendant, particularly in the universities and in the world of the arts. Darío’s work in particular and Modernismo in general derived primarily from the interplay between French and Spanish culture, with a rich diversity of other foreign influences.
At its heart, Modernismo was an assertion...
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