Thursday, March 5, 2015

Leon Felipe

Felipe was born in Tábara, Zamora. His father was a notary public, and consequently very well off. His family comes from Santander. Later on, Felipe would study pharmacy and start a business as a pharmacist, mostly to please his father. However, literature was stronger and he joined up with an itinerant theater troupe. As a result, he was charged with fraud, due to the bankruptcy caused by his abandonment of business, and spent two years in jail. When he re-gained freedom, he started writing  literary reviews and later on his first books were published. He is one of the best contemporary poets of Spanish literature, and scholars have counted him among the generation of year 27.
He fought in the Spanish Civil War for the Spanish Republican Army against the Nationalist faction. In 1938 he left Spain and began a voluntary exile in Mexico, where he died.
His poetry touched upon the difficult Spanish situation and the feeling that history would repeat itself for the worst. His use of reiteration or repetition and the use of the verse in the biblical fashion brought him close to the works of Walt Whitman with a biblical and Hebrew flavor (Antología rota, 1947). His poetry also has characteristics of the Modernismo and the Vanguardismo movements (Drop a star, 1933). His poetry lacks rhyme.
He lived the last years of his life in Mexico, where he became a central character of the post war Spanish exiles. There he met actress and singer Sara Montiel, for whom he felt a great attraction. He died in Mexico City on 17 September 1968.
Seven of Felipe's poems were found in a notebook that Che Guevara was carrying when he was captured by the Bolivian Army and the CIA.


  1. The bottom picture (color) is not of Leon Felipe but of l'Abbé Pierre.
    Abbé Pierre (August 1912 – 22 January 2007) was a French Catholic priest, member of the Resistance during World War II, and deputy of the Popular Republican Movement (MRP).
    In 1949, he founded the Emmaus movement, with the goal of helping poor and homeless people and refugees. Abbé means abbot in French. He was one of the most popular figures in France (wikipedia).

    1. You are absolutely right! There have been posts on Abbé Pierre on this blog before; somehow the pictures got mixed up. Thank you for your attention.