La hija del Caribe

La hija del Caribe

Prose writer and poet with modernist tendencies whose pseudonym was The Daughter of El Caribe. She was also a pianist and an educator. She was known for her musical and literary gatherings. She was also a fervent activist on behalf of the rights of Puerto Rican women.

trina Padilla de Sanz was born in February of 1864 in the municipality of Vega Baja. Her father was the famed poet José Gualberto Padilla, also known as El Caribe, which is why she adopted the pseudonym The Daughter of El Caribe. She received her primary education from tutors and later attended the Ruiz Arnau High School in Arecibo, where she studied music. She continued her musical studies at the Conservatory of Madrid.

Her interest in literature arose in her family setting. After her father’s death, she edited collections of his poems called Rosas de pasión and En el combate, both of which were published in 1912. Her own work followed the modernist currents, a movement that sought a formal and spiritual renovation of literary expression. However, her writing also presents romantic elements. One of the topics she addressed was cultural affirmation through the songs and language of Puerto Ricans, especially the rural country people.

Padilla published her first book, titled Rebeldía, in 1918, in which she collected a series of prose and verse texts. Later, in 1926, she published De mi collar, considered by many scholars as her main and best work. This work, in turn, came to be used as a supplementary reading in the schools of the island. Finally, she published the collection of poems Cálices abiertos (1943).

She wrote articles on a wide variety of topics that were published in various newspapers and magazines of the era, such as Puerto Rico Ilustrado, the Revista de artes y letrasEl MundoEl imparcial, and others. She wrote the chapter titled “La mujer puertorriqueña” in the book El libro azul de Puerto Rico, a collection of writings published in 1923 about the situation on the island during the first 25 years of colonization by the United States. She also was a suffragist, committed to the liberal ideas of the Puerto Rican Association of Women Suffragists, created in 1925.

Padilla was awarded various honors by the Puerto Rican Athenaeum and her poem, “La mujer”, won an award at the Ponce Fair. Her work was also praised in various international literary magazines.

During the final decades of her life, she settled in Arecibo, where she founded the Hermanas del Espíritu Santo School. Trina Padilla died in that municipality on April 26, 1957.

Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: September 15, 2014.

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