Umaña Bernal, José (1899–1982)

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Umaña Bernal, José (1899–1982)

José Umaña Bernal (b. 18 December 1899; d. 1 August 1982), Colombian poet and politician. A member of the Los Nuevos generation, Umaña studied with the Jesuits and attended law school at the National University. A multifaceted man, he was a professional reporter, collaborating on newspapers and journals. As a man of the theater, he wrote the prize-winning play El buen amor (1927) and directed Bogotá's Municipal Theater in the 1930s. As a politician, he served in parliament, became Colombia's consul to Chile (1927), and traveled throughout Europe, the United States, and Latin America. As a poet, Umaña was rooted in Parnassian and Symbolist esthetics. True to his heritage, he maintained an intellectual approach to poetry, adhering to formal precision, musicality, and purity of language. After he translated Rainer Maria Rilke's works, his own earlier emphasis on love and sadness became tinged with introspection and concern for his own death. His best poetry collections are: Décimas de luz y yelo (1942), Poesía 1918–1945 (1951), and Diario de Estoril (1948).

See alsoJournalism; Theater.


Diccionario de la literatura latinoamericana: Colombia (1959).

Fernando Charry Lara, Poesía y poetas colombianos (1985).

Luis María Sánchez López, Diccionario de escritores colombianos (1978).

Additional Bibliography

Díaz-Granados, Federico. Poemas a la patria. Bogotá: Planeta, 2000–3.

                                  MarÍa A. Salgado