Rokha, Pablo de (1894–1968)

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Rokha, Pablo de (1894–1968)

Pablo de Rokha (b. 17 October 1894; d. 10 September 1968), Chilean poet. Born Carlos Díaz Loyola but taking the pen name Pablo de Rokha, this writer is seen by some critics as one of the main figures of the Chilean avantgarde. He had a tempestuous personality that put him in frequent conflict with Vicente Huidobro and Pablo Neruda (Neruda y yo [1955]). Rokha's poetic voice was one of ideological and socialist bias; his inordinate epic tone encompassed both the revolutionary facts and figures of world history and the daily life of the local peasant. The hypertrophic "I" of his poetry takes on Nietzschean dimensions in its Dionysian exultation and sensual enjoyment. His poetic diction has its distinct features in verbal violence, lexical creativity, prosaism, and materialist images; Rokha's verse is full of vital gestures and Pantagruelian ruralmeals. A Marxist, Rokha never accepted the party discipline or espoused any official party line. His huge number of works include Los quemidos (1922), Escritura de Raimondo Contreras (1929), Jesucristo (1933), Gran temperatura (1937), Morfología del espanto (1942), Canto al ejército rojo (1944), Fuego negro (1953), and Canto de fuego a China Popular (1963). Although addressed to the popular reader, his works, due to their baroque poetic diction and mixture of cosmopolitanism and popular culture, were largely inaccessible to the masses. In 1965 he received the National Literary Award. Two years later, he shot himself.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America; Neruda, Pablo.


Fernando Lamberg, Vida y obra de Pablo de Rokha (1965).

Mario Ferrero, Pablo de Rokha, guerrillero de la poesía (1967).

Naim Nómez, Pablo de Rokha, una escritura en movimiento (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Zerán, Faride. La guerrilla literaria: Huidobro, de Rokha, Neruda. Providencia, Santiago, Chile: Editorial Sudamericana, 1997.

                                           Cedomil Goic

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Rokha, Pablo de (1894–1968)

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