“The Prince of the Castilian Letters”

“El príncipe de las letras castellanas”

“The Prince of the Castilian Letters”

Félix Rubén García Sarmiento was born in Metapa (now known as Ciudad Darío), Nicaragua in 1867. He was the initiator and the greatest representative of Hispano-American Modernism. He didn’t have the perfect family, his parents were the product of an arranged marriage, his dad, Manuel Garcia, was always partying and his mother, not often, ran away from their home to some relative’s house. Rosa Sarmiento, his mother, later fell in love with another guy and started a new life. Rubén Darío lived with his parents for a couple of months and after, he was taken to Leon to live with his uncles. He seldom saw his mother, and didn’t really know who she was and he looked at his father with indifference. He learned to read at the age of three and started to write at a very young age. At the age of 14 he finished his first work and was published in a local newspaper. He fell in love at the age of 15 with Rosario Emelina Murillo to whom he dedicated many poems.

The family that raised him were “Los Daríos”, so he started to use and sign his name as Rubén Darío. In 1888 he traveled to El Salvador and then Chile, where he published “Azul” (Blue). In June 21st, 1890 he married Rafaela Contreras and she gave birth to their first kid named after him. Later he was sent to Spain as an ambassador and his wishes to know this world were fulfilled. While being in Spain his wife passed away,  this worsened his habit of drinking. Shortly after this he was forced by the brother of Rosario Murillo to marry her since she was “pregnant” it was believed that she wasn’t really pregnant he, Rosario Murillo brother, just wanted an excuse to force Rubén Darío to marry her . He decided to leave the country again and travel to Madrid, which he considered his second residence, and he started his famous enthusiastic travels around Europe. During this trips he wrote many more poems and works. In 1914 he moved to Barcelona, where he published his last important poetic work, “Canto a la Argentina y otros poemas.” With the outbreak of the First World War he travelled back to America, Guatemala to be precise, and then in 1916 he returned definitively to León (Nicaragua), where he died.



  1. This first fact was a popular belief after the time Rubén Darío died, that has now been passed down to other generations: it was believed that because he was such a “genius”, when he died, they took his brain out to experiment and investigate. The brain was lost for a period of time, but later found and was given to Rosario Murillo his wife, at that time a widow.
  2. Darío had only one sister named Candida Rosa, who died a few days after birth.
  3. When he was about 13 years old, he fell in love with a circus trapeze artist and when she left he wanted to leave with her, so he auditioned to be a clown, but he didn’t pass the test.
  4. The writer Francisco Ernesto Martínez, based on documents and research, states that  Rubén Darío is not the son of Manuel García but that it is possible that his actual father was Colonel Jose Aurelio Aviled Montenegro
  5. He had three simultaneous jobs: In addition to his literary labors, he was a correspondent for the Buenos Aires newspaper La Nación and a Nicaraguan consul in Spain.
  6. He always defended freedom, justice and democracy.



  1. “Rubén Darío.” Biografías y Vidas, www.biografiasyvidas.com/biografia/d/dario_ruben.htm.
  2. Domingo, Redacción. “Rubén Darío | 10 Cosas Que No Sabías Del ‘Padre Del Modernismo.’” La Prensa, 26 Sept. 2017, www.laprensa.com.ni/2017/01/15/suplemento/la-prensa-domingo/2164647-10-cosas-que-no-sabias-sobre-ruben-dario.
  3. Soto, Ángel. “Rubén Darío: Confesiones y Curiosidades De Un Poeta Exquisito.” Milenio: Últimas Noticias De México – Actualidad Global – Grupo Milenio, 18 Jan. 2017, www.milenio.com/cultura/ruben-dario-confesiones-curiosidades-poeta-exquisito.
  4. Cervantes, Instituto. Biografía Español. Federico García Lorca, Poeta y Dramaturgo Español. Biblioteca Español. Instituto Cervantes, www.cervantes.es/bibliotecas_documentacion_espanol/creadores/dario_ruben.htm.

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