Home » Author Biography » ALFONSINA STORNI – Her death inspired to compose the song “Alfonsina and the Sea” performed by many singers.

ALFONSINA STORNI – Her death inspired to compose the song “Alfonsina and the Sea” performed by many singers.

Her parents called her Alfonsina, which means, she was ready for everything. She was one of the most important Argentine and LatinAmerican poets of the modernist period. Alfonsina Storni – was born in Switzerland in 1892 and lived there until she was four years old. In 1896 the family returned to San Juan, and a few years later, in 1901, moved to Rosario. Her parents opened a tavern, where she worked as a waitress. In 1907, she was an actress in a traveling theater company performing throughout the country. Later, in Coronda, she devoted herself to rural masterwork, starting collaborating with some literary magazines, where she published her first poems. In 1911, she moved to Buenos Aires. She taught literature at the Escuela Normal de Lenguas Vivas, she published and her style showed more realism than before, and a sole mother of a son also strongly feminist themes. From 1920 she went to Montevideo, establishing a profound friendship with Uruguayan poet Horacio Quiroga.

With a poetry collection published in her own, she received important poetry and literature awards. Public success had raised a form of neurosis in her. This contributed to abandoning teaching and traveling to Europe. This changed her writing by helping her to lose her former models and reach a more dramatic lyricism, new feminist thoughts, but also erotic vehemence unknown before. The themes of sea and death have been the subjects of her poems for many years. In 1935, after an apparent improvement of her health, tumor unexpectedly reappeared and she reacted with a theatrical suicide – on the shore of the Mar de La Plata – entering the sea, let herself embrace by the waves. Her death inspired Ariel Ramírez and Félix Luna to compose the song “Alfonsina and the Sea”, which has been performed by many singers. Monument to Alfonsina Storni reminds her in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

SWEET TORTUREMy melancholy was gold dust in your hands; on your long hands I scattered my life. My sweetnesses remained clutched in your hands. Now I am a vial of perfume, emptied how much sweet torture quietly suffered, when, my soul wrested with shadowy sadness, she who knows the tricks, I passed the days kissing the two hands that stifled my life.

SLEEP PEACEFULLYYou said the word that enamors my hearing. You already forgot. Good. Sleep peacefully. Your face should be serene and beautiful at all hours. When the seductive mouth enchants it should be fresh, your speech pleasant. For your office as lover it’s not good that many tears come from your face. More glorious destinies reclaim you that were brought, between the black wells of the dark circles beneath your eyes, the seer in pain. The bottom, summit of the beautiful victims! The foolish spade of some barbarous king did more harm to the world and your statue.

TO EROS – I caught you by the neck on the shore of the sea, while you shot arrows from your quiver to wound me, and on the ground I saw your flowered crown. I disemboweled your stomach like a doll’s and examined your deceitful wheels, and deeply hidden in your golden pulleys I found a trapdoor that said: sex. On the beach I held you, now a sad heap, up to the sun, accomplice of your deeds, before a chorus of frightened sirens. Your deceitful godmother, the moon was climbing through the crest of the dawn, and I threw you into the mouth of the waves.

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