Comparison Between Ramón María Del Valle-Inclán And Pedro Salinas

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Comparison between Ramón María del Valle-Inclán and Pedro Salinas

In this essay on modernism, a comparison will be made between two great authors of this literary movement: Ramón María del Valle-Inclán and Pedro Salinas. Two poems of these writers have been selected to show their differences and also some of their similarities. To do this, we must briefly introduce the anthologies in which these poetic compositions are found. The poem by Ramón María del Valle-Inclán belongs to aromas of legend (1907) which is the first book of the poetic trilogy of lyrical keys. In this book 14 poems are noticed and in this reflection the afternoon sun will be analyzed. As for Pedro Salinas, the last poem that is in his poetic work will be analyzed (1923).

They are already in the first moment in two poems differences in the metric. In the afternoon of Valle-Inclán, four stanzas of six verses can be noticed each and one last stanza of four octosyllable verses. However, in Pedro Salinas’ poem a single stanza with thirteen verses is distinguished. Dhonding more in the afternoon sun structure, a metric is noticed that corresponds to the traditional ones of Spain: Alexandrian verses in the first four verses and the last one are octosyllables. In the Poem of Salinas there is no metric structure and verses of different metric (polymetry) such as decasyllables, heptasyllables, pentasyllables are combined … pentasyllables …among others. As for the rhyme, a very careful and perfected consonant rhyme is also distinguished: a a b b c c;D D A A E E: F F G G H H;F f i i h h;H J H J (afternoon sun) and on the other hand, a slight assonant rim.

As can be seen, there are many divergences in both poets. This can be justifiable because Valle-Inclán’s poem belongs to the stage of the first modernism, where metric and rhyme were very present in all poems and poets sought formal perfection. The verses used are Alejandrino and at this stage a predisposition to a subway renewal is noticed using a traditional versification but with a poetic innovation.

In the afternoon sun, the reader repairs that there is no traditional metric structure and verses of diverse metric are introduced. This author is within pure poetry that is a current within modernism that has certain characteristics of its movement within that movement. Bremond stands out that "pure poetry as a type of writing based on the purity of the elements that are its own, isolated from any rhetorical or stylistic ornament". (Bremond: 14).

As for rhetoric, certain differences between poets can also be noticed. As it has just been commented, in pure poetry you don’t seek that turbure and essence is the word itself: “The essence of the poem focuses on the slightest free phrase, really alive like this, it is invention, it is the work of art". (Souza: 225). However, you can see the occasional rhetorical resource such as an antithesis "a fragile brick wall" (V. two). On the other hand, in the afternoon sun, more rhetorical resources are perceived such as the significant anaphora that is repeated at the beginning of each stanza that corresponds to the title of the poem. Another of the distinctions is the theme of language. In the poem of Salinas there is a use of simple words (taste for the exact, nakev. 4) Solemn (V. 11) that make up that taste for rhetoric. “Renewal of expressive resources: suppression of words spent by use;Inclusion of musical words and of rare use;syntax simplification;use of visual images ”2

An element that corresponds to both poems is the use of the poetic self. In two poems a dialogue is deduced. It is true that, in the afternoon sun, the presence of an self or us is perceived to a lesser extent: you send us (v. 7) And it was mine (V. 23). In the poem of Pedro Salinas, the presence of a poetic self is perceived both in verbal destencies and I see (v. 1) or personal pronouns like me (v. 7). A big difference between both poetry resides between the concept of beauty. In Valle- Inclán it is seen that “beauty is found primarily in those things that can be captured by the senses. That is why for intellectuals this concept will have great value when justifying your creation work.”(Fernández de Urtasun: 138). In Sol in the afternoon the beauty of that sun is proclaimed that serves the poet as an inspiration to show all the benefits of that sunset and how it is equated with a beautiful patriarch (v. 13) That in addition to dominating the land, it has a beauty that illuminates. Beauty is known through the senses: the sun gives us a heat noticeable by the skin (kind of touch) or mentions are made to the smell as you anoge of aromas (v. 4). This leads to think that this sensory sensitivity moves away from the vision of the beauty of the authors of pure poetry. In Salinas poem, however, it is observed that the theme of beauty is not explicit, but, in pure poetry, beauty is conceived as a way of knowing the world different from that of the senses and that of reason. It is based on a more intuitive beauty as noted in the first verse of the poem: I do not see you. Well I know you are here. The reason does not understand the essential of things and only if the poet approaches things without reason and without seeking a utility, that is, approaching with a clean look, will be able to understand the reality of things.

In conclusion, it could be considered that in the afternoon sun the search for beauty is achieved through images related to the senses as mentioned above. But in the poem of Salinas there is a certain mystery, there is more talk about an intuition that is represented above all with the use of the different verbal times as the present of the subjunctive as if he called (v.4), the future as I will call (V.5). Here a key element of pure poetry is perceived that is mystery: “Every poem owes its properly poetic character to the presence, to irradiation, to the transforming and unifying action of a mysterious reality that we call pure poetry.”(Bremond: 14). Another relevant aspect is the inclusion of a stanza in the case of Valle-Inclán’s poem, since it is including a dialect: the Galician. This may be due to the fact that authors like him want to show a reflection on Spain, issues of historical interpretation and are sometimes considered regenerationalist. This search for reflection on the landscape may be due to the German influence of the German Volkgeist current (spirit of the people). However, in the poem of the anthology of Salinas, the reflection focuses from two aspects: it maySee, poetry hides, but from the imagination you can reach it. Carnero points out that one of the criticisms that contemporaries made to these writers was “the lack of commitment of the writer with society: it does not meet the social and moral problems and vices of their time.".

Finally, it should be noted that as it has been seen throughout this essay, certain divergences can be found between the poems of Pedro Salinas and Ramón María del Valle-Inct and in fact, similarities can also be perceived in both poets in both poets. This is because, they have been chosen on the one hand, one the "first" poems of modernism that corresponds to the year 1907 and on the other hand, one of the poems that are located the movement of pure poetry that corresponds to the year 1923. However, we must not lose the perspective that the authors of Modernism did not cultivate only one type of poetry always sought innovation. His poetry was evolving and there is no single denomination for these authors. For example, Pedro Salinas was considered an author of pure poetry while his subsequent works could be considered as vanguardistas. With this, it is about delimiting that in modernism there are no shelves to fit or locate the authors, since modernism is a time when the authors write and nourish of various influences. They evolve just as modernism is taking place so you have to analyze the poems more independently and not enclose the authors in a current.


  • Bremond, h. (1947): Pure poetry, Buenos Aires: Argos.
  • Souza, r. (1947): "A debate about poetry" in Bremond, H., Pure poetry, Buenos Aires: Argos.
  • Fernández de Urtasun, R.: Modernism in Spain: some critical concepts, Navarra

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