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López Velarde, Ramón (1888–1921)

López Velarde, Ramón (1888–1921)

Ramón López Velarde (b. 15 June 1888; d. 19 June 1921), Mexican poet. López Velarde was born in Jerez, Zacatecas, and died in Mexico City. He was educated in the Seminarios Consiliares of Zacatecas and Aguascalientes and the Instituto Cientifico y Literario de Aguascalientes and received a degree from the Law School in San Luis Potosí. A lawyer, literary historian, and militant in the National Catholic Party, he occupied posts in revolutionary governments. As a poet, he abandoned Latin American modernism and in some respects moved toward the avant garde. La sangre devota (1916) expresses the conflict of provincial people, forced from their towns by the Revolution of 1910–1917, and the drama of a young Catholic who confronts his sexuality and a world that has rejected traditional beliefs. The great poetry of López Velarde springs from his relationships with two women with whom he never became intimate: Fuensanta (Josefa de los Rios), who represents childhood and the idyllic, and Margarita Quijano, symbol of the city and a woman of high culture who introduced him to French poetry. Zozobra (1919) carries rhyme and free verse beyond the point at which Leopoldo Lugones had left them and speaks of death and passion in a way that is both diaphanous and mysterious. His celebrated poem "La sauve patria," written in 1921 during the period of nationalist renewal associated with José Vasconcelos, was included posthumously in El son del corazón (1932). His prose poems and chronicles are collected in El minutero (1923), El don de febrero (1952), and Prosa política (1953). The best critical edition of his Obras is that of José Luis Martínez (2d ed., 1990). Several of his poems appear in Mexican Poetry (1985), translated by Samuel Beckett. López Velarde died in Mexico City.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Octavio Paz, "El camino de la pasión," in Cuadrivio (1965).

Allan W. Phillips, "Ramón López Velarde," in Latin American Writers, edited by Carlos A. Solé and Maria Isabel Abreu, vol. 2 (1989).

Guillermo Sheridan, Un corazón adicto (1989).

Additional Bibliography

Arreola, Juan José. Ramón López Velarde: El poeta, el revolucionario. México, D.F.: Alfaguara, 1997.

Paredes, Alberto. El arte de la queja: La prosa literaria de Ramón López Velarde. México, D.F.: Editorial Aldus, 1995.

                                         J. E. Pacheco

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