Recent reading: Rubén DaríoRubén Darío (Nicaragua, 1867-1916) was a literary movement all by himself, as was his somewhat older contemporary the Cuban poet José Martí (1853-1895). An essential notion of modernismo (as Darío described his style) was that each poet must be himself (if there were any women poets in this literary world, they seem to have gone unnoted). Therefore each was his own movement, or rather, his own unique burst of feeling. Reading Darío is to travel to another time, when the litterati of Spanish-speaking America made peace with the litterati of Spain, seeking a republic of letters that would transcend the petty little terrestrial republics from which they came and find universal harmony above a world that was in turmoil from the introduction of electricity, the gatling gun, the telegraph, the motorcar.
Rubén Darío, Antología poética