The Uruguayan writer and poet Mario Benedetti, known for his short stories, his poems, and his writings on political struggle, is one of the most famous and recognized Latin American authors on the literary scene of the 20th century.
This poet, the son of Italian immigrants who sought to speak of love and political commitment in the most direct and passionate way possible, is famous for the direct style of his verses of love, anger and resistance.
Benedetti reached his peak as a writer at the same time as Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and other writers who sparked what is known as the “boom of the Latin American novel.”
Poems of Mario Benedetti: his beginnings
Mario Benedetti was born into a prosperous family of Italian immigrants on September 14, 1920 in the small town of Paso de los Toros. Like many Uruguayans, he came from a population of Italian immigrants and, following Italian custom, received no fewer than five names: Mario Orlando Hamlet Hardy Brenno. When he was only four years old, Benedetti went to live in Montevideo.
The young Benedetti decided early on that he wanted to be a writer , despite the fact that he had to dedicate himself to doing very diverse jobs to survive. Benedetti began his literary career by publishing poetry, but soon turned to short stories and novels. In them he painted a realistic and critical portrait of the rising Uruguayan middle class, to which he belonged.
Mario Benedetti, writer and poet
In the early 1940s Benedetti launched himself as a poet, with La véspera indelible , published in 1945, and as a journalist, joining Marcha in 1945.
In 1953 his first novel appeared, entitled Who of us . His first book of popular poetry was published in 1956 and was entitled Poemas de la Oficina . In it Benedetti displays a sympathetic attitude to the slow and unspectacular life of Montevideo’s middle classes, trapped in their own little world of daily struggles and tensions. In 1960 he published La Tregua , by far his most successful novel, which was made into a film. which was nominated for an Oscar in 1974.
His most successful stories appeared in the Montevideans collection in 1959, a title reminiscent of James Joyce’s Dubliners. Like Joyce, Benedetti was captivated by urban life, and became the chronicler of the bourgeoisie of the Uruguayan capital. His works became best sellers in Uruguay.
By the 1960s Mario Benedetti’s reputation had already spread throughout Latin America. His novel La tregua, which was published in 1960, was widely read.
This is his most successful novel and was made into a movie that was nominated for an Oscar in 1974.
His allegorical novel The Birthday of Juan Ángel, published in 1971 , also had great success .
The stability of Uruguayan society that Benedetti had written about came under increasing pressure in the 1960s. He wrote political articles in Marcha calling for radical change, and was instrumental in helping to establish the Broad Front movement, which sought to bring together all leftist groups in Uruguay.
However, in the early 1970s, as in other countries in the southern cone of Latin America, the threat of revolutionary change led the military to intervene and begin a political repression never before seen in a peaceful country like Uruguay.
In 1973, Benedetti was forced to leave the country, and when he crossed the Río de la Plata to seek refuge in Argentina, he was immediately threatened by a right-wing paramilitary death squad and forced to move on. He then tried to settle in Peru, but was deported after six months. He eventually settled in Cuba, where he worked for the Casa de las Américas publishing house, and also began to visit post-Franco Spain.
This experience of exile strongly marked the second half of Benedetti’s life. In exile, he published two of his best collections of poems, Poemas de otros (in 1974) and La casa y el brick (in 1977), as well as one of his best-known novels, Primavera with a broken corner, a work with which he receives, in 1987, the Golden Flame Award.
Although he recognized the positive aspects, such as meeting new people, exploring different environments, and achieving a broader reputation, he felt that he could never return home. As a result of all these trips, in 1984 he published the book El desexilio y otros conjeturas.
Return to Montevideo
In 1983 he returned to Montevideo, alternating periods of life there and long periods in Madrid. Benedetti suffered from chronic asthma, which worsened with age. However, the most serious blow came in 2006, when his wife died after a long period of Alzheimer’s disease.
Benedetti continued to write poems, novels, and short stories. He died in Montevideo on May 17, 2009 after having published more than 80 books .
Benedetti has been awarded many prizes, such as the VIII Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry (1999). In addition, posthumously, he was appointed patron of the Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library.
Love poems by Mario Benedetti
Mario Benedetti ‘s love poems are a true jewel of universal literature. Even translated, Benedetti’s love poems are of great beauty and depth .
There is no doubt that the poems of Mario Benedetti are eternal . Their poetic style appeals because ordinary people around the world identify with them.
One of Benedetti’s most popular love poems is El amor, las mujeres y la vida, a compilation of love poems published in 1995, in which some of the most beautiful love poems by the Uruguayan poet appear.
Furthermore, Benedetti is well known for his short poems. Mario Benedetti ‘s short poems , both about love and other topics, are of great intensity and beauty . Benedetti’s short poems are, without a doubt, the best expression of his genius, romanticism and magical vision of reality.