Nicanor Parra

(September 5, 1914 / Chillán)

Nicanor Parra
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Nicanor Parra Sandoval is a mathematician and poet born in San Fabián de Alico, Chile, who has been considered to be a popular poet in Chile with enormous influence and popularity in Latin America, and also considered one of the most important poets of the Spanish language literature. He describes himself as an "anti-poet," due to his distaste for standard poetic pomp and function—after recitations he would exclaim Me retracto de todo lo dicho, or, "I take back everything I said".

Life

Parra comes from the artistically prolific Chilean Parra family of performers, musicians, artists, and writers. His sister, Violeta Parra, is possibly the most ... more »

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Comments about Nicanor Parra

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  • Stella Gutierrez (1/23/2018 1:42:00 PM)

    A top poet, never well translated, so I am sorry for those ignorant of Spanish. Got the top Spanish Literary Award the Cervantes hugely deserved. His genius and sense of humour equal to none, absolutely unique talent. I LOVED

  • christian ames (12/13/2017 8:51:00 AM)

    While some poems, or anti poems are interesting, simply by saying they are anti poems is pomposity incarnate. There is a guy here in Salt Lake City, Hector Ahumada, who is pretending to be the next anti poet, and all he does is assume an attitude rather than craft language into a thing separate and, dare I say, beautiful. He too is gettihg up there, but he is a baby compared to Nicanor, only 70. Long live The Queen Mother. I hope you break her record for longevity.

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Best Poem of Nicanor Parra

The Last Toast

Whether we like it or not,
We have only three choices:
Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

And not even three
Because as the philosopher says
Yesterday is yesterday
It belongs to us only in memory:
From the rose already plucked
No more petals can be drawn.

The cards to play
Are only two:
The present and the future.

And there aren't even two
Because it's a known fact
The present doesn't exist
Except as it edges past
And is consumed...,
like youth.

In the end
We are only left with tomorrow.
I raise my glass
To the day that...

Read the full of The Last Toast

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