Toward the close of the last century, the poetry of the Spanish-speaking world was pallid, feeble, almost a corpse. It needed new life and a new direction. The exotic, erratic, revolutionary poet who changed the course of Spanish poetry and brought it into the mainstream of twentieth-century Modernism was Félix Rubén García Sarmiento (1867-1916) of Nicaragua, who called himself Rubén Darío.
Since its original publication in 1965, this edition of Darío's poetry has made English-speaking readers better acquainted with the poet who, as Enrique Anderson Imbert said, "divides literary history into 'before' and 'after.'" The selection of poems is intended to represent the whole range of Darío's verse, from the stinging little poems of Thistles to the dark, brooding lines of Songs of the Argentine and Other Poems. Also included, in the Epilogue, is a transcript of a radio dialogue between two other major poets, Federico García Lorca of Spain and Pablo Neruda of Chile, who celebrate the rich legacy of Rubén Darío.