Rubén Darío

Where Rubén Darío was born

Rubén Darío was born on January 18,1867 in Metapa, Nicaragua, what is now known as Ciudad Darío, municipality of Matagalpa. He was the son of Manuel García and Rosa Sarmiento.

"He is the ultimate representative of Hispanic-American Modernism."

His full name was Félix Rubén García Sarmiento. According to his baptismal faith, Reuben's first surname was not Darius, but Garcia. Because the paternal family had long been known as "Los Darío", Rubén ended up assuming that name.

Biography of Rubén Darío

Almost a month after his birth, Rubén moved to live in the city of León where his mother, Rosa Sarmiento, and his father, Manuel García, had founded a marriage based on convenience and displeasure.

Having a dysfunctional family circle he was raised by his uncles on the maternal side, Bernarda Sarmiento and her husband, Colonel Felix Ramirez, due to the recent loss of a daughter, welcomed him as if he were his own son.

In his Autobiography he points out:

I was a child prodigy. When I was three years old, I knew how to read.

In 1871 Félix Ramírez dies, which leads the family to have very severe economic problems, they reached such a degree that it was thought to put Rubén as a tailor's apprentice, similarly as a result of all these events he had to attend different schools in León, long before going through the Jesuits in 1879 and 1880.

In the early years of their studies with the Jesuits, of which they are mentioned in some of their poems, alluding to "eaten cassocks" and nicknamed "endriagos".

But in that phase of his youth he did not only cultivate sarcasm. As early as his poetry influenced by Becquer and Victor Hugo was his vocation as an eternal lover.

At the age of 14, he began his journalistic activity in several Nicaraguan newspapers.

In August 1882, at the age of 15, he was in El Salvador, where he was welcomed by President Zaldívar,

which is mentioned in his Autobiography:'' The president was very kind and spoke to me about my verses and offered me his protection. More when he asked me what I wanted, I answered with these exact and unforgettable words that made the man of power smile:"I want to have a good social position.

During this period, he meets the Salvadoran poet Francisco Gavidia, an expert in French poetry, whom the young Rubén with the prognostic Francisco for the first time tries to adapt the French Alexandrian verse to the Castilian metric, characteristic of Rubén Darío's work and Modernist poetry.

He returned to Nicaragua in 1883, still affected by contracting smallpox, stayed in the capital Managua and managed to obtain a job at the National Library. Then he collaborated in several newspapers in 1886. At the age of 19 he decides to move to Chile.

On June 24th 1886, he landed in Valparaiso, Chile. Thanks to recommendations in Managua, he is protected by Eduardo Poirier and poet Eduardo de la Barra.

In Chile he spent the next 3 years working as a journalist and collaborating in newspapers and magazines such as La Época and La Libertad Electoral and El Heraldo.

This is where he meets Pedro Balmaceda Toro, a writer and son of the president of Chile's government, who integrates him into the country's main literary, political and social circles, and helps him publish his first book of poems "Abrojos" (1887) encouraging him to enter several literary competitions.

With the help of Eduardo Poirier and Eduardo de la Barra, who in 1888 published the poetry book "Azul" in the city of Valparaíso, in which Modernism began.

The fame he obtains from his poetry book allows him to obtain the position of correspondent for the newspaper La Nación de Buenos Aires.

With a triumphant reception he was received in the city of León, however, he did not stay long in Nicaragua, and immediately travelled to El Salvador, where he was named director of the newspaper La Unión, defender of the Central American union.

He travelled to Europe in 1892, as a member of the Nicaraguan diplomatic delegation, which was appointed after his return from Guatemala to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.

When he moved to Madrid he met many figures of Spanish literature and politics. Rubén met in Madrid a woman of low condition, Francisca Sánchez, the illiterate servant of the house of the poet Villaespesa, in which she found refuge and sweetness.

With which he would travel to Paris at the beginning of the century, after having served as a consul of Colombia in Buenos Aires and having remained there from 1893 to 1898. As well as having accepted Madrid as a second residence since his arrival in the last year by the newspaper La Nación.

With her, she travelled to Paris at the turn of the century, after having served as a Colombian consul in Buenos Aires and resided there from 1893 to 1898, as well as after having adopted Madrid as her second residence since she arrived, that last year, in the Spanish capital sent by the newspaper La Nación.

For him, a phase of enthusiastic journeys would then begin: Italy, Belgium, Barcelona, England...).

It's when he writes his most admirable books:

  • Cantos de vida y esperanza (1905).
  • El canto errante (1907).
  • EL poema de otoño(1910).
  • El oro de Mallorca (1913).
  • March 1907, when he was going to travel to Paris, Ruben, who already had his alcoholism very advanced, fell seriously ill. Once he recovered, he resumed his trip to Paris, but could not reach a resolution with his wife, which is why he returned to Nicaragua to put his case before the courts.

    From 1910 to 1913 he travelled to several Latin American countries and it was during this period that he wrote his autobiography. It is published in the magazine "Caras y Caretas" with the title "The life of Rubén Darío written by himself" and the work "Historia de mis libros", essential for the knowledge of his literary development.

    In January 1915, he read his poem "Pax" at Columbia University, New York. He went on to Guatemala, where he was protected by his former enemy, the dictator Estrada Cabrera, and finally, at the end of the year, returned to his native Nicaragua.

    When Rubén Darío died

    died on February 6,1916, in León, his childhood city. The funeral honors lasted several days presided over by the Bishop of León Simeón Pereira y Castellón and President Adolfo Díaz Recinos.

    He was buried in the Cathedral of León on February 13 of the same year.