Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of


Date of this Version

December 1997


Published in Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature, ed. Verity Smith. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997. Pages 494–96. A division of Springer-Verlag BV. Used by permission.


Modern Mexican poetry begins with Ramón López Velarde. He is undoubtedly one of the most genuine poetic voices to inhabit that hard-to-classify period in Spanish American literature that stretches from Modernism to the vanguard poets. As a major representative of Spanish American postmodernismo (that is, the period that followed Modernismo), he is the first writer in Mexico to thematize the Mexican province in a new way. But he ought not be reduced to being the poet of the province. López Velarde was above all the creator of a new poetic language; this alone distinguishes him from González Martínez, for example. The value of his verse resides in having rescued from oblivion the simple and the minuscule by means of a deceivingly prosaic language.