Luis Llorens Torres was one of Puerto Rico’s best known poets up of the first half of the 20th century. Born on May 14, 1876, to a Catalan family, he grew in the picturesque mountain region of Collores, an experience that had a profound influence in his life. He studied law in Spain and returned to Puerto Rico, where he practiced his profession, but his real vocation, was that of a writer and poet.
Llorens followed the tenets of Hispanic-American modernism. He was an explorer of new metric forms and a master of lyric expression. But he also excelled in the sonnet. The one he wrote on Simon Bolivar, the South American liberator, is now considered a classic. His “Canción de las Antillas,” on the other hand, is a vast symphonic poem, exalting the history and beauty of the West Indian islands.
Llorens is also known for his décimas, the ten-stanza poem typical of Puerto Rican folk poetry. Using this very old Spanish form, which is part of the island’s legacy, Llorens wrote some of the best known poems in his repertory, full of visual images of the land and the people. Love, with a touch of the erotic, in a truly Puerto Rican setting, was one of his frequent themes.
Llorens wrote several prose works, including an interesting study on the discovery
of America, in which he claims that Puerto Rico was really discovered by Martín Alonso Pinzón during Columbus’s first voyage, a thesis which of late has received some attention. As with Luis Palés Matos, another of Puerto Rico’s leading poets, Llorens had much of the bohemian in him. He was known for his zest for life, reflected in several of his poems, and he lived a full creative life up to his death in 1944.
Arturo Morales Carrión
Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades
Núm 11 – 1987
Author: Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades
Published: September 15, 2014.
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