POETRY: Beyond the Mythic Mistral


70 years ago, Gabriela Mistral won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Soledad Falabella sheds light on Mistral's mastery of poetic form and commitment to social and ethical causes.

For the better part of a century, Gabriela Mistral’s poetry has been presented as (or imprisoned by) the characterization of the poet as a “teacher” and the “mother of America,” but these designations may stem from the power of myths externally imposed on Mistral and her work. The power of those myths are, to be sure, due in part to the seeming simplicity of her poems themselves, which can lead us to consider only the poetry’s surface levels, yet if we linger and press further into her works, we find they offer a rich, complex yield of great and lasting poetic achievement...

Tara Phillips
Publication date: 
August 17, 2016
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article