Monday, June 8, 2009


Ruben Dario is not Guatemalan, he is Nicaraguan. I have known this name since I can remember  because it is part of the literature curriculum in Guatemalan elementary, junior high and high school education. The name and figure recently  came to mind because in our outing to Casa Yurrita, an autographed picture of Ruben Dario is making the walls talk.

Rubén Darío (Metapa, January 18, 1867 – Leon February 6, 1916) was a Nicaraguan poet who initiated Spanish-American literary movement known as Modernismo (modernism), flourishing at the end of the 19th century. Dario has had the greatest and most lasting influence into twentieth century Spanish literature, and journalism. He has been praised as The Prince of Castilian letters, and undisputed father of the modernismo literary movement. Dario is revered as Nicaragua's greatest diplomat and a leading voice of Central and South America.

Dario visited and lived in Guatemala three times from 1890 to 1891, in 1892 and 1915.  In the latter is when he dedicated Don Felipe Yurrita the picture that opens the post, the dedication read "To Mr. Don Felipe Yurrita, reminisces of our 'Spains' and mutually beloved, Ruben Dario, Guatemala 1915"

I dream of being a person that can quote at the right time and the right place famous people in history, but all I could come up with, as we saw Dario's picture, was the name of his most famous work: AZUL

Yesterday, going trough my adored books, I found 'Seleccion Poética de Ruben Dario', when I opened it all sorts of familiar word started jumping at me: 'Juventud divino tesoro' (youth precious treasure), were three of them. I could hear it with my mom´s voice being quoted nostalgically  all the time, not necessarily knowing it came from Ruben Dario. 

Because of my middle age, now I can start relating to the cadence it needs to be quoted with. My kids will start hearing it from me often:

Fragmento de "Canción de Otoño en Primavera"

Juventud, divino tesoro,
¡ya te vas para no volver!
Cuando quiero llorar, no lloro...
y a veces lloro sin querer.

Mas a pesar del tiempo terco,
mi sed de amor no tiene fin;
con el cabello gris me acerco
a los rosales del jardín...

I found the following poetical translation:

Song of Autumn in the Springtime.

Youth, treasure only gods may keep,
Fleeting from me forever now!
I cannot, when I wish to, weep,
And often cry I know not how…

And yet despite the season drear,
My thirst of love no slaking knows;
Gray-haired am I, yet still draw near
The roses of the garden-close….

I do have to say that the interpretation of the first verse is not the one I took (I am sure I was wrong all the time) My interpretations was Youth as a superlative treasure, I guess part of the mastery of words is that if you beyond my narrow minded interpretation eternal youth in fact is reserved only to the gods!

If you are interested here are some books I found in Amazon.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Qué bonito post. A mí me gustaba mucho su poesía, y de pequeña me sabía de memoria "Los motivos del lobo", "A Margarita Debayle" y otros. Definitivamente Darío dejó huella en nuestro país.