Poet Rubén Darío

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Rubén Darío is a Nicaraguan poet and author whose most important work was done in the late 19th century.  He is one of the most influential poets of Latin America and traveled extensively throughout the Americas and Europe.  Darío is thought to be one of the founders of the Spanish/American modernism (modernismo) movement.

Darío’s work touches on diverse themes such as love, adventure, and heroic feats.  In addition to writing books and collections, Darío was a frequent contributor to local newspapers in the locales in which he lived, which included various cities in Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, and also in Madrid, Spain, where he served as the Nicaraguan ambassador.

The following titles are audiobooks from Darío in the original Spanish.

Cuentos (Stories) – is a collection of Darío’s short stories available in audiobook through the LBPH service.  His short stories focus on many themes and take place in many countries, settings, and time frames.  The Spanish language prose rolls off the tongue in elegant verse.

Azul…Y Poemas –  Some of Darío’s most renowned poetry.

Songs of Life and Hope/Cantos de Vida y Esperanza –  A bi-lingual book (English and Spanish) that includes a biography of Darío and many of his major works.

Please enjoy this Rubén Darío poem:  To Roosevelt

It is with the voice of the Bible, or the verse of Walt Whitman
that I advance upon you now, Hunter!
You are primitive and modern, sensible and complicated,
with something of Washington and a dash of Nimrod.
You are the United States,
you are the future invader
of all that’s innocent in America and its Indian blood,
blood that still says Jesus Christ and speaks in Spanish.

You are a superb and strapping specimen of your people;
you are cultured and capable; you oppose Tolstoy.
You are a horse-whisperer, an assassinator of tigers,
you are Alexander-Nebuchadnezzer.
(You are a Professor of Energy
as the whackjobs among us now say.)

You think that life is a fire,
that progress is eruption
and into whatever bones you shoot,
you hit the future.

No.

The United States is powerful and huge.
And when it shakes itself a deep temblor
runs down the enormous vertebrae of the Andes.
If it yells, its voice is like the ripping boom of the lion.
It is just as Hugo said to Grant: “The stars are yours.”
(Glinting wanly, it raises itself, the Argentine sun,
and the star of Chile rises too…) You are rich —
you join the cult of Hercules with the cult of Mammon;
and illuminating the way of easy conquest,
“Freedom” has found its torch in New York.

But our America, which has had poets
from the ancient times of Netzahualcoyotl,
which has kept walking in the footprints of the great Bacchus
(who had learned the Panic alphabet at one glance);
which has consulted the stars, which has known Atlantis,
(whose name comes down drumming to us in Plato),
which has lived since the old times on the very light of this world,
on the life of its fire, its perfume, its love,
the America of the great Moctezuma, of the Inca,
our America smelling of Christopher Columbus,
our Catholic America, our Spanish America,
the America in which the noble Cuauhtemoc said:
“I am in no bed of roses”: that same America
which tumbles in the hurricanes and lives for Love,
it lives, you men of Saxon eyes and Barbarian souls.
And it dreams. And it loves, and it vibrates; and she is the daughter of the Sun!
Be very careful. Long live this Spanish America!
The Spanish Lion has loosed a thousand cubs today: they are at large, Roosevelt,
and if you are to snag us, out-lunged and awed,
in your claws of iron, you must become God himself,
the alarming Rifleman and the hardened Hunter.

And though you count on everything, you lack the one thing needed:
God.

A Roosevelt

Es con voz de la Biblia, o verso de Walt Whitman,
que habría que llegar hasta ti, Cazador!
Primitivo y moderno, sencillo y complicado,
con un algo de Washington y cuatro de Nemrod.
Eres los Estados Unidos,
eres el futuro invasor
de la América ingenua que tiene sangre indígena,
que aún reza a Jesucristo y aún habla en español.

Eres soberbio y fuerte ejemplar de tu raza;
eres culto, eres hábil; te opones a Tolstoy.
Y domando caballos, o asesinando tigres,
eres un Alejandro-Nabucodonosor.
(Eres un profesor de energía,
como dicen los locos de hoy.)
Crees que la vida es incendio,
que el progreso es erupción;
en donde pones la bala
el porvenir pones.
No.

Los Estados Unidos son potentes y grandes.
Cuando ellos se estremecen hay un hondo temblor
que pasa por las vértebras enormes de los Andes.
Si clamáis, se oye como el rugir del león.
Ya Hugo a Grant le dijo: «Las estrellas son vuestras».
(Apenas brilla, alzándose, el argentino sol
y la estrella chilena se levanta…) Sois ricos.
Juntáis al culto de Hércules el culto de Mammón;
y alumbrando el camino de la fácil conquista,
la Libertad levanta su antorcha en Nueva York.

Mas la América nuestra, que tenía poetas
desde los viejos tiempos de Netzahualcoyotl,
que ha guardado las huellas de los pies del gran Baco,
que el alfabeto pánico en un tiempo aprendió;
que consultó los astros, que conoció la Atlántida,
cuyo nombre nos llega resonando en Platón,
que desde los remotos momentos de su vida
vive de luz, de fuego, de perfume, de amor,
la América del gran Moctezuma, del Inca,
la América fragante de Cristóbal Colón,
la América católica, la América española,
la América en que dijo el noble Guatemoc:
«Yo no estoy en un lecho de rosas»; esa América
que tiembla de huracanes y que vive de Amor,
hombres de ojos sajones y alma bárbara, vive.
Y sueña. Y ama, y vibra; y es la hija del Sol.
Tened cuidado. ¡Vive la América española!
Hay mil cachorros sueltos del León Español.
Se necesitaría, Roosevelt, ser Dios mismo,
el Riflero terrible y el fuerte Cazador,
para poder tenernos en vuestras férreas garras.

Y, pues contáis con todo, falta una cosa: ¡Dios!