Numerous traces of the Mexican Ramón López Velarde are kept in the Cervantes Institute's Letter Box

The legacy of the poet, who died 100 years ago, will remain at the institution's Madrid headquarters until June 2024
Bequest of Ramón López Velarde deposited in box nº 1.441

Photo/Cervantes Institute/Fernando Gutiérrez Llorente  -   Bequest of Ramón López Velarde deposited in box nº 1.441

Until 15 June 2024, the Cervantes Institute's Letter Box holds in its box number 1,441 a legacy in memoriam of Ramón López Velarde (Jerez, Zacatecas 1888 - Mexico, 1921) which brings together traces of the life and work of the man who is considered the most "national" poet of that country, with whom modernism came to an end and contemporary Mexican poetry began.

The extensive legacy, which is the 82nd of those deposited by cultural personalities in Spanish in the old vault at the Cervantes headquarters, is made up of numerous personal and literary objects. Among the former, a copy of his birth certificate, a copy of his baptismal certificate (baptismal certificate), a facsimile copy of grades from the Literary Institute of Aguascalientes and a pair of arracadas (a type of earrings for the ears with a dangling ornament) made of filigree silver from Zacatecas, belonging to his family.

An original edition of the Revista México moderno, with a poem by López Velarde dated 1920; a facsimile copy of 'Palabras al vuelo', a CD with poems interpreted by Enrique Rocha and a copy of the book 'Ramón López Velarde. Manuscritos velardianos a cien años de "La suave Patria". Facsimile and studies', published by the Instituto Zacatecano de Cultura Ramón López Velarde and the Academia Mexicana de la Lengua.

El Instituto Cervantes
PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Cervantes Institute

On the centenary of his death, this tribute was organised by the Centro de Estudios Mexicanos UNAM-España, the Instituto Zacatecano de Cultura Ramón López Velarde (owner and legatee of the objects), the Academia Mexicana de la Lengua and the Instituto Cervantes.

The director of the Cervantes Institute stressed the importance that the culture of Mexico has had on the Spanish language, "the country with the most native speakers of Spanish and whose tradition has forged a large part of our contemporary literary consciousness".

Luis García Montero, who last month took part in a conference on the poet in Zacatecas at the invitation of the government of that state, stressed that López Velarde is a "very significant writer for contemporary poetry and for Mexican culture", to whom both writers and readers in his country and others in the Spanish-speaking community are very grateful.

Luis García Montero
Luis García Montero

Also participating were Andrés Ordóñez, director of the Centro de Estudios Mexicanos-UNAM Spain, for whom "the work of López Velarde implied the renewal of Mexican poetry", and Alfonso Vázquez Sosa, director general of the Institute that bears the name of the honoree, who explained the content of the legacy in memory of "Monchito para los zacatecanos", on this "centenario luctuoso" (centenary of his death) when he was only 33 years old.

Vázquez Sosa was the first to hold the legacy, accompanied later by the aforementioned Andrés Ordóñez and García Montero, and also by the Spanish ambassador to Mexico, Juan López Doria, and by the director of the Mexican Academy of Language, Gonzalo Celorio, who then gave a master lecture on the author.

The in-memoriam legacy joins those of three other great Mexican authors - all of them Cervantes laureates - who personally left their own bequests in the Caja de las Letras: José Emilio Pacheco (21 April 2010), Elena Poniatowska (21 April 2014) and Fernando del Paso (21 April 2016).

Submitted by José Antonio Sierra, Hispanismo advisor.