Vicente Huidobro

The Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro (1893–1948) is one of the few poets of the century whose life deserves a fat biography, which has never been written. In the thick of modernist “isms,” he created his own—Creationism—of which he was the only member, and which instructed poets not to sing of the rose, but to make it bloom in the poem. He collaborated or fought with nearly everyone in the international avant-garde, participated in the Irish Liberation and the Spanish Civil War, made paintings of his poems, was a screenwriter in Hollywood, a candidate for president in Chile, and never recovered from the wounds he received as a correspondent in the Second World War. His book-length poem of an “antipoet” hurtling through Einsteinian space, *Altazor*, is surely the fastest-reading, most entertaining long poem of modernism.

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