Parra, Nicanor

born Sept. 5, 1914, San Fabian, Chile

Chilean poet.

A student of mathematics and physics, Parra began teaching theoretical physics at the University of Chile in 1952. One of the most important Latin American poets of the 20th century, he is known for originating so-called antipoetry (poetry that opposes traditional poetic techniques or styles). In Poems and Antipoems (1954), he sought to make poetry accessible to the masses by treating everyday problems of a grotesque world in clear language with black humour and ironic vision. In later works he experimented with language, and he continued to use antipoetic techniques.

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▪ Latin-American poet
born September 5, 1914, San Fabian, Chile

      one of the most important Latin American poets of his time, the originator of so-called antipoetry (poetry that opposes traditional poetic techniques or styles).

      Parra studied mathematics and physics at the University of Chile in Santiago; at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.; and at the University of Oxford. From 1952 to his retirement in 1991 he taught theoretical physics at the University of Chile.

      Although Parra later renounced his first book of poetry, Cancionero sin nombre (1937; “Songbook Without a Name”), it presages his use in later “antipoetry” of colloquial, often irreverent language, light treatment of classical forms, and humorous tone.

      With Poemas y antipoemas (1954; Poems and Antipoems), Parra's efforts to make poetry more accessible gained him national and international fame. In lucid, direct language, these verses treat with black humour and ironic vision common, everyday problems of a grotesque and often absurd world.

      After experimenting with the local speech and humour of the Chilean lower classes in La cueca larga (1958; “The Long Cueca [Dance]”), Parra published Versos de salón (1962; “Verses of the Salon”), which continued the antipoetic techniques of his earlier works. Obra gruesa (1969; “Big Work”) is a collection of Parra's poems, excluding his first book. Its tone of dissatisfaction is intensified by the use of prosaic language, cliché, and ironic wordplay.

      In 1967 Parra began to write experimental short poems that he later published as a collection of postcards entitled Artefactos (1972; “Artifacts”). In these he attempted to reduce language to its simplest form without destroying its social and philosophical impact. His later collections include Sermones y prédicas del Cristo de Elqui (1977; Sermons and Homilies of the Christ of Elqui) and Hojas de Parra (1985; “Leaves [Pages] of Parra”), a pun on his last name, which means “vine.”

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Parra — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alondra de la Parra (* 1980) mexikanische Dirigentin Derek Parra (* 1970), US amerikanischer Eisschnellläufer Fabio Parra (* 1959), kolumbianischer Radrennfahrer Fito de la Parra (* 1946), mexikanischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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