Biography of Gabriela Mistral | Poet and Chilean educator. Following the decline of modernism.

(Literary pseudonym of Lucila Godoy Alcayaga; Vicuña, Chile, 1889 - New York, 1957) poet and Chilean educator. Following the decline of modernism, part of Spanish-American poetry of the interwar years followed the footsteps of the European avant-gardes: only citing Chilean examples, this would be the case of Vicente Huidobro, founder of creationism, or Pablo Neruda, debtor of Surrealism in residence on Earth.

Gabriela Mistral
Other poets, on the other hand, chose to move away from modernism towards a poetry more simple and human. Gabriela Mistral is the capital figure of this latest trend: after some early still marked by modernism, developed an own expressiveness based on an elementary style of intense images, which stripped their painful intimacy and an overflowing heart of love, dump (after the tragic love of desolation) on children, the destitute or their own land, in deeply religious tones. His life moved without pausing between literature, teaching and career diplomatic activity that made numerous trips and spent several seasons in European, North American and Latin American cities, in which published most of his works.
Daughter of a schoolteacher, with sixteen years decided to engage it in education; He worked as a high school teacher in his country and as Director of school. As a poet, Gabriela Mistral was unveiled in the floral games of Chile in 1914 with the sonnets of death, born of the pain caused by the suicide of her fiance, the railway employee Romelio Ureta, to whom he had met in 1906. Signed already with the pseudonym of Gabriela Mistral (formed from two admired authors, Italian Gabriele D'Annunzio and the Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral), these three sonnets were incorporated in 1922 to a collection of his poems published by the Hispanic Institute in New York under the title of desolation.
That same year left Chile to move to Mexico, at the request of the Government of this country, in order to collaborate in the reform of education initiated by José Vasconcelos. In Mexico, Gabriela Mistral founded the school that bears his name and collaborated in the Organization of several public libraries, as well as compose poems for children (rounds of children, 1923) on behalf of the Minister of public instruction Mexican, and prepare didactic texts as readings for women (1924).

Gabriela Mistral
After his stay in Mexico, he traveled to Europe and United States, and in 1926 was appointed Secretary of the Institute for cooperation intellectual of the society of Nations. At the same time, was editor of a magazine of Bogotá, El Tiempo (his articles were collected posthumously in messages: telling Chile, in 1957). He represented Chile in a University Congress in Madrid and gave a series of lectures on American cultural development (1930) in the United States.
In 1945 Gabriela Mistral was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature (the first award was a writer in the Spanish language) and in 1951 the national prize of literature of Chile. He continued his diplomatic career and with it his travels until his death in New York in 1957. By the own Mistral desire, his remains were transferred to Chile and was buried in Montegrande: left after themselves some unpublished works, for posthumous publication.
The poetry of Gabriela Mistral
Modernist trend in its infancy, his poetry led toward a personal style, with a simple and colloquial language of great musicality and a symbolism that connects with imagery of folk tradition. In his works he said issues such as suffering or frustrated maternity, as well as religious and social concerns that respond to their Christian and socialist ideology. Poet of genuine and endearing, accent not very abundant production part is dedicated to the children (was rural teacher for fifteen years), and perhaps this is the aspect most known and celebrated his work. However, his true personality is revealed, sincere, powerful and moving, in verses through which circulates a painful intimacy and a tenderness in search of their own channels of manifestation.
The work of Gabriela Mistral went through various stages; at first, with the publication of desolation (Mexico, 1922), there is a strong predominance of feeling about the thought, as well as a very close proximity to the religious. The topics that appear in this book, under a deep claim to return to values of a transcendent spirituality, revolve around love frustration, to sorrow for the loss, death, infidelity, maternal and filial love, all wrapped up in the adult reflection of the poet, who lived the suicide of his beloved as an irreparable loss.

Gabriela Mistral
Despite the modernist ballast, can be seen already in this first collection of poems manifestations of a simpler, particularly patent language on lullabies that contains your last section. Also in Mexico published readings for women (1923), a selection of prose and poems by various authors intended for school use to which incorporated own texts, some already included in desolation.
The compositions "kids" are the core of his second book, tenderness (1924), which warns the expressive purity of that human and simple lyric that coexisted with the avant-garde after the liquidation of modernism; a lyric generally inspired by nature and that indeed was also addressed by some avant-garde writers, that experimentation often reconciled with his interest in popular poetry. Dedicated to his mother and sister, is divided into seven sections: cradle songs, rounds, shenanigans, Cuenta-Mundo, near school, story and annexed. For the adult reader, the set comes to express the loss of childhood, that is returned, in part, through language.
With Tala (1938), considered one of his most important works, Gabriela Mistral opened a line of neorealist expression that affirms values of indianism, Americanism and of materials and fundamental essences of the world. In sixty-four poems from this book is produced a thematic and formal evolution which shall be final. Although at the start of the book the poem 'Night of old weavers' only hinted a renovated fantastic treatment, the crazy stories section already outlined a new accent to be strengthened in the following, materials , and America, to achieve the fullness of its expression in the section entitled Saudade, memorable parts where as "All going to be Queens" in which the poet recalls childhood with her three sisters and evokes their respective dreams, eternizados despite the passage of time through a language at once humorous and magic, also dyed by moments of a true folk traditionalism.
In Chile, appeared his next collection of poems, Lagar (1954), the last published in life. In this work would be present all deaths, sadness, loss and the feeling of his own end. A profound originality coexists with the burden of grief and transcendence that already had part of his early writings, culminating a thematic presided over by Christian resignation and the encounter with nature.
Posthumously appeared poems Poem of Chile (1967), a tour of the geography, nature and the people of his country, and the first edition of his Complete poems (1970), as well as several anthologies of his poems and collections of his letters and texts: Reasons for San Francisco (1965), series of prose poems dedicated to the admired poor of Assisi, and Love letters of Gabriela Mistral (1978).
Attentive to the problems of his time, in the genre of "Errands" (a very personal kind and made newspaper article, collected in messages: telling Chile, 1957), Mistral analyzed multiple topics, such as the status of women in Latin America, the valuation of indianism of the American peoples, the need to raise the dignity and social status of children in the continent religion, Judaism, and motherhood. Educational essays were collected in the book teaching and child (1982).
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
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