17TH CENTURY POETRY
 



Portait of Bartolomé
Leonardo de Argensola

 
I.-Poets born before 1580
 
    1.-  The city of Zaragoza was conferred its place of honour for 17th century poetry, when Pedro de Espinosa´s anthology The Best of Illustrious Poets (1605) included the name of Argensola.
 
   Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola (1559-1613) and his brother, Bartolomé Leonardo de Argensola (1561-1634) arose from what has been called Aragonese classicism. The two brothers had certain points in common: moral poetry and satire, the influence of Horace and Persio, Juvenal and Marcial, their lack of interest in popular poetry, etc.
 
   Despite Lupercio "pruning" his poetry, his son, Gabriel Leonardo edited the two brothers´ works in 1634.
 
   Included among their students are Martín Miguel Navarro and Esteban Manuel de Villegas (1589-1669), who is remembered for his genre of love poetry.
    2.-  The ensuing wave of poets included two who were both brilliant and completely different: Luis de Góngora y Argote (1561-1627), heir to Fernando de Herrera´s poetry, and Félix Lope de Vega Carpio (1562-1635), a friend of Argensola, Juan de Arguijo and a great number of poets of his time.

First printed edition of
some works by Juan de Arguijo
    3.-  One of the group of this century´s poets centred in Seville was Fernando de Herrera.
 
   His teacher was Juan de Arguijo (1567-1623), who squandered his father´s fortune on luxuries and parties. This Sevillian wrote an academic and formal poetry, a follower of art as opposed to sponteneity. His sonnets are remembered, which were mythological or dedicated to historical scenes, which were surprising in their modernity.

Manuscript of the
works by Juan de Arguijo

   We must consider a student of his and fellow Sevillian, Rodrigo Caro (1573-1647), author of a Song to the Italic Ruins, which shows and interest in the historic and archaeological. Andrés Fernández de Andrada (1575-1648) completes this small group of Sevillians with his Moral Espistle to Fabio, in which the refined notes are kept minimised by deep moral thoughts and the search for peace far from the court.

II.-Poets born after 1580
 
    4.-  Although just outwith our proposed dates, we find firstly Pedro de Espinosa (1578-1650) from Antequera, a follower of Fernando de Herrera. He is remembered for his important anthology, The Best of Illustrious Poets of 1605, which includes some of his own works, like the famous and original The Genil´s Tale. This deals with a myth along the lines of Ovidio about the river at Granada. His religious work is emphasized, along with his two Solitudes, written at the same time as Góngora´s, although very different to those of our poet from Cordoba.
 
   Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas (1580-1645) takes second position in this study.

Rhymes by
Juan de Jáuregui
   The Sevillian, Juan de Jáuregui (1583-1641) followed Herrera and not Góngora. He edited his Rhymes - various and sacred - in 1618, with versions of Horace, Marcial and Ausonio. In 1624, his Orfeo was published. Lope, upset by this, answered with his Orfeo in the Castilian Language by Juan Pérez de Montalbán. Jáuregui´s pictorial vocation, has had a portrait of Miguel de Cervantes attributed to him.
Orfeo by
Juan de Jáuregui

 
   Francisco de Rioja (1583-1659), another Sevillian, had dealings with poets like Herrera, Francisco Pacheco, Arguijo and Rodrigo Caro.
He combined his ecclesiastical carreer with life at the court, under the patronage of Conde Duque de Olivares. He wrote love sonnets, Horacian poems, short verses, etc. with a great sensitivity to nature. His poems about flowers are especially remembered.
 
   Luis Carrillo y Sotomayor was born in Baena (Cordoba) in 1585, and died before his time, in 1610. Poet and soldier, he wrote love sonnets, eclogues and songs. His Tale of Acis and Galatea may have stimulated, although not influenced, Góngora´s Polifemo. Appreciated by Quevedo, he translated De brevitate vitae by Séneca. His works were edited posthumously in 1611, errors being corrected in later editions.
 
   Among the poets in Lope de Vega´s circle, figures Jacinto Polo de Medina (1603-1676), from Murcia, author of the The Garden Academies (1630). In this same year, it was The Muses´ Good Humour, which gained him fame as a satirical and burlesque poet, more than for his moral compositions, close to those of Góngora.

Poetic manuscripts by
Francisco de Rioja

Works by the Count of
Villamediana, 1629
    5.-  Juan de Tassis, conde de Villamediana (1583-1622) from Madrid, was undoubtedly a follower of Góngora. His life was associated with courtesan scandal. He was murdered in Madrid´s calle Mayor, for unclear reasons, leading to myths about his death.
 
   In Italy, he enjoyed the poetry of Giambattista Marino. Above his moral poetry shines the mythological: Ícaro reflects the pride of having loved, despite the break-up. His most famous work was Faetón´s Tale, a Góngorine-style poem of around 1617. His poems were posthumously published in Zaragoza in 1629.

Manuscript of the
works by Villamediana
   Barahona de Soto´s nephew, Pedro Soto de Rojas (1584-1658), also from Granada, was a friend of Góngora, who combined his courtesan ambitions with his ecclesiastical carreer.

Cover of Paradise
by Soto de Rojas
   His first book of poetry offers works along Petrarchian lines and brilliant mythological fragments, but where he outshines surprisingly is inParadise Closed for Many. Gardens Open for Few, a poem divided into seven "mansions", which represent sections of the gardens at his villa in Granada and which end in a true paradise, praising the Lord.
 
   Within the group of poets related to Gongora we find Gabriel Bocángel y Unzueta (1603-1658), born in Madrid, whose personal and economic hardship didn´t allow his book of poems, The Muses´ Lyre to be published until 1637.
 
   Francisco de Trillo y Figueroa (1618-1680) adds the finishing touch to Góngora´s followers. His poetry still remains handwritten in part today.

Cover of The Muses´ Lyre

D.Miguel Pérez Rosado.
Ph. D. in Philology.