Trading his poems for circus tickets,
Poems as ticket to university education,
Poems as true as love and as dangerous as truth…
Abandoned by his parents as a young boy, celebrated for his poetry as a young teen, exiled from his homeland of Nicaragua as a young man, Ruben Dario moved from traditional poetic forms to creating his own and spreading Modernism throughout Central and South America.
As a storytelling poet of mestizo heritage, Dario blended Spanish and indio tales with those learned from books and travel, showcasing the world’s wideness in the decades prior to World War I rather than merely his own emotions.
Margarita Engle (Jazz Owls recommended here, Lion Island here & Mountain Dog here) brings us another biography in verse, echoing the styles which Dario embraced during different stages of his life.
“Poets must speak, no matter the punishment.
We are observers with musical voices, testifying
in the courtrooms
and human life.” – Disappointment (page 70)
How is your true voice testifying to the truth you see?
Book info: With a Star In My Hand: Ruben Dario, Poetry Hero / Margarita Engle. Atheneum Books, 2020. [about the author] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.