Biography of León de Greiff | Colombian poet.


(Francisco de Asís León Bogislao de Greiff Haeusler;) Medellin, 1895 - Bogota, 1976) Colombian poet who was distinguished by his symbolic, sarcastic and imaginative music, lyricism is one of the most original that has given Colombia. Popular among the poets and almost always ignored by the common reader, lived in Bogota, where it attended successive generations of Bohemian and avant-garde. The Baroque and the uniqueness of its style placed it among the most influential avant-garde in America.

León de Greiff
After completing his studies at the Lyceum of the University of Antioquia in Medellín, he studied three years in the school of mines of the University of Antioquia. Later he studied law at the free University in Santafé de Bogotá, while he gained extensive knowledge of mathematics and music.
From a young age he showed considerable concern literary, developing a modern and innovative style, and already the twenty years was editor of the literary magazine Panidas, while it was part of the literary group of the same name,. At that same time he was Secretary general Rafael Uribe Uribe. In 1916 he worked as a cashier counter of the Central Bank. He would later manage the works of extension of the railroad of Antioquia by the Cauca River in the area of Bolombolo.
In 1925, he collaborated in the journal The newpublication that brought a new generation in which León de Greiff began to stand out as a writer. In 1927 married Matilde Bernal Nichols, with whom he had four children: Boris, Hjalmar, Astrid and Axel. This same year he was appointed head of statistics of the Directorate of roads of Antioquia and then the national railways.
In 1945 was head of secondary education of the scholarships section. Three years later he was appointed director of the service of Cultural Extension of Colombia. In 1954, he taught literature at the Faculty of engineering, and music at the Conservatory of the National University. After working as a teacher, he served as Secretary of the Embassy of Colombia in Sweden and traveled as a guest to the Soviet Union and China.
His poetic work is difficult to understand, due to the use of dark symbolism, an imaginary rich personal product, fueled, in part, by its dual Spanish and Scandinavian ancestry, which pushed him to make use of perplexing issues for readers of his country, already were recreations of traditions and distant landscapes or references to marginalized authors. This ancient crossroads already suggests the synthesis of various languages that characterise his work, that machine neo produce a personal symphonic system unparalleled in the Castilian language, vocabulary, verbal games, music, so it is not excessive to assert the existence of a syntax greiffiana.
Its unique production seems to come only from itself and, at the same time, of all the possible cultural references, from the spontaneity of the minstrels to Renaissance perfection, the extravagance of the Baroque, romantic vibration, modernist luxury, avant-garde experimentalism. There is evidence of its willingness to provide turn-on verse, as well as their taste by the use of obsolete words, neologisms and onomatopoeias is palpable influence of major French poets of the 19th century (Baudelaire, Rimbaud), but it is almost useless to realize the vast catalogue of authors that nourishes its creation. His pseudonyms insinuate various records, intonations and influences: Guillaume de Lorges, Claudio Monteflavo, Diego de Estúñiga, Gaspar von Der Nacht, Gaspar de la Nuit, Sergio Stepansky, the Lelo Beremundo, Leo le grey, the dark Judas, Matías Aldecoa, Erik Fjorsson, Harald the dark...
His first two books, distortions (1925) and the book of signs (1930), contain some of his poems of the most famous, such as the Ballad of definitive and paradoxical formula and Ballad of the unseen sea. Variations around nothing (1936) is its general ledger and which brings together the best moments of the whole of his themes: love, poetry, silence, nothing, the travel and overnight. To them must be added Prose of Gaspar (1937), farce of the penguins peripatetics (1942), Farrago (1955) and paradoxical sailboat (1959). All these titles were collected in his complete works (1960), after which published even Nova et vetera (1968).
The work of León de Greiff won national official distinctions (such as the cross of Boyacá, the order of San Carlos and the national prize for poetry in 1970), and also received international recognition: from Argentina was nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature, and a poetry prize that bears his name was established in Caracas.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
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