Alfonsina Storni

Biography of Alfonsina Storni

Alfonsina Storni Martignoni was an Argentine poet, journalist, writer and teacher, who was born on May 29, 1892, in Capriasca, Switzerland.

Her parents were Argentines: Alfonso Storni and Paulina Martignoni, for whom Alfonsina was their third daughter. At age 4, Alfonsina, who was born in Switzerland, migrated with her parents and siblings to Argentina, first to San Juan and then, in 1901, to Rosario.

At the young age of 10, Alfonsina dropped out of school to help her family and worked washing dishes and waiting tables. With only 12 years he wrote his first verse, which was sad and centered on death.

When he was 14 years old, his father died, a victim of alcoholism and his mother founded a school at home to support the family.

Alfonsina’s first poems began to be published in the “Monos y Monadas” magazine. At the age of 19, Alfonsina obtained the title of teacher and exercised that fall of 1911 in a school in Rosario.

After a love disappointment with a married man, much older than her, at age 20, Alfonsina gave birth to her son Alejandro, on April 21, 1912.

While collaborating with “Caras y Caretas”, she published her first book of poems: “La inquietud del rosal” in 1916. In 1917 she was appointed teacher director of a boarding school and began to frequent the literary circles of Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

She writes her second book, “The Sweet Damage,” while working at the boarding school in 1918. In 1935, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to remove her right breast.

From there, his physical and mental health deteriorated due to pain and his state of mind, a situation that was exacerbated by the death of his friend Horacio Quiroga.

In 1938, the University of Montevideo paid tribute to the three great poets of the moment: Gabriela Mistral, Juana de Ibarbourou and Alfonsina Storni.

Alfonsina Storni died in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on October 25, 1938, at the age of 46.

Poetic work

The poetic work of Alfonsina Storni has been grouped according to the artistic influences active in the different stages of his life:

  • From the Romantic and Modernist Stage are the books:
  • The restlessness of the rose bush (1916).
  • The Sweet Damage (1918)
  • Irremediably (1919)
  • Languish (1920)
  • Ocher (1920).
  • From his Dark, Ironic and Distressing Vision Stage:
  • World of Seven Wells (1934)
  • Mask and clover (1938).
  • From the Dramaturgical Stage:
  • The master of the world: comedy in three acts (1927).
  • Two pyrotechnic farces (1931).

Awards and honours

Some of the distinctions he received during his life were the following:

  • In 1917, she was awarded the Annual Prize of the National Council of Women for: “The Song of Children.”
  • In 1920 he won the First Municipal Prize for Poetry and the Second National Prize for Literature for “Languidez.”
  • In 1921, she won the National Prize for Literature and a position was created for her at the Labardén Municipal Children’s Theater.
  • In 1923 she became a professor of Reading and Declamation at the Escuela Normal de Lenguas Vivas.
  • In 1925, he obtained the First Municipal Poetry Prize.
  • In 1927 she was appointed holder of a chair at the National Conservatory of Music and Declamation.

Most emblematic poems of Alfonsina Storni

Some of his most recognized poems are as follows:

Alfonsina Storni and Horacio Quiroga

Since they met in the twenties, Alfonsina Storni and Horacio Quiroga became close friends. They wrote to each other, accompanied each other and were together when they could, like kindred and sensitive souls who understood each other.

Horacio Quiroga

They respected each other much and admired each other more, while they talked about poetry, went to the cinema, to literary gatherings or simply, they listened to Wagner, of whom they were both admirers. Horacio constantly named her in his letters from 1919 to 1922. These mentions stand out at a time when there were many other writers.

Alfonsina and Horacio traveled together, on several occasions to Montevideo, where the photographs show them happy. The trips were made taking advantage of Quiroga He was part of the Uruguayan Consulate and he frequently had female intellectuals accompany him, his favorite being Alfonsina.

Alfonsina considered suicide as a choice, and this is how she expressed it in the poem she dedicated to her great friend Horacio Quiroga, following his death.

On February 19, 1937, after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, Horatio
He committed suicide by drinking cyanide and Alfonsina wrote him this poem:

“Dying like you, Horacio, in your right mind, / And just like in your stories, it’s not bad; / A lightning bolt in time and the fair is over… / There they will say / Fear rots more, Horacio, than death / who goes behind his back. / You drank well, then you would smile… / There they will say ”.

Alfonsina and suicide

Alfonsina Storni was always tempted by death, the one that was present in his life, from the first poem he wrote when he was 12 years old. He saw suicide as a choice of our free will and he manifested this on several occasions.

On October 18, 1938, Alfonsina traveled to Mar de Plata, stayed in a hotel and on October 20 wrote the poem: “I’m going to sleep.” Storni He sends the poem to La Nación newspaper on the 22nd for publication.

So, while Alfonsina committed suicide on October 25, 1938, on La Perla beach in Mar de Plata, at the age of 46, the public read her poem. She was veiled in Mar de Plata before being transferred to Buenos Aires. Currently, his remains are in the La Chacarita Cemetery.

You’re leaving Alfonsina

There were two versions about the death of Alfonsina Storni. One with a romantic tint and the other with a more dramatic tint. The first tells that he went into the sea walking “through the soft sand” until he disappeared, and the second tells that he jumped from a breakwater into the sea.

The first version inspired Ariel Ramírez and Félix Luna, who wrote the famous song based on his suicide, called “Alfonsina y el mar”. The versions of this song, performed by Mercedes Sosa and Chabuca Granda, which made the world know the story of the death of Alfonsina Storni stand out.

“You’re leaving Alfonsina, with your loneliness, what new poems did you go looking for? (…) And you go there, like in dreams, asleep, Alfonsina, dressed in the sea. ”.

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