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The Canticle Group (poets)

The Canticle Group (poets) The magazine Cántico (Canticle) started in Cordoba in 1947, and was founded by a group of poets whose writing emerged from the suffering of a city under the bloody repression which followed the Civil War. These were dark years in which Spain's cultural life literally stood still.

RICARDO MOLINA
Ricardo Molina was born in Puente Genil in 1917, and was a poet whose thorough grounding in the classics and modern culture led him under the influence of French writers such as Claudel, Gide, Peguy, Passolini and Lanza del Vasto.

His first book, El Río de los Angeles (The River of Angels) was published in 1945, and Elegías de Sandua (The Sandua Elegies), considered his finest work, followed in 1948. He published Corimbo in 1949, and was awarded the Adonais prize for Elegía de Medina Azahara (Elegy of Medina Azahara) in 1957.

Although he died in 1968, neither his poetry was fully recognised nor his Complete Works published until 1982.

JUAN BERNIER
Juan Bernier was born in La Carlota in 1911.
This great poet loved Cordoba, and his passion for archaeology led him to wander around continually discovering little-known parts of the old quarter. For those of us who knew him, Juan Bernier was like a gentle whisper, whose love for our city shielded him from all criticism. We all remember his calm personality, the lively way he chatted to a group of friends, glass of wine and cigarette (which never seemed to go out) in hand.

He was the least prolific of the whole group, as can be seen from his limited published works: Aquí en la tierra (Here on the Earth) (1948), Poesía en seis tiempos (Poetry in Six Times) (1977), an extended selection of his works and Los muertos (The Dead) (1986).

He died in Cordoba in 1989.

PABLO GARCÍA BAENA
Pablo García Baena was born in Cordoba in 1923.
He met Juan Bernier in the 1940s in the Provincial Library, and from that moment on a friendship began which would last a lifetime. Juan advised him which books to read and helped him to believe in his own talent.

Pablo García Baena comes across as the most confident member of the group - always knowing where he wanted to go, and always diverging from the guidelines laid down by the poets who had the official backing of the Franco regime.

His poetry was influenced, amongst others, by the colourist verse of his fellow-Cordoban the Duke of Rivas, as well as by the sobriety of Bécquer or Luis Cernuda.

He was awarded the Premio Principe de Asturias prize in 1984, as recognition of his work, and was also named Hijo Predilecto de Córdoba (Favourite Son of Cordoba).

Some of his first publications were Rumor oculto (Hidden Rumour) (1946), Mientras cantan los pájaros (While the Birds Sing) (1948), Antiguo muchacho (Ancient lad) (1950), Junio (June) (1957), and Óleo (Oil Painting) (1958).

MARIO LÓPEZ
Mario Lopez was born in Bujalance in 1918.
López's poetry talks about the world of men and the daily life in his village, but is a far cry from the typical doggerel found in speeches for village fêtes. On the contrary, he transmits the depth of feeling which tied him closely to his home town.

Among his works are Garganta y corazón del Sur (Throat and Heart of the South) (1951), Universo de pueblo (The Village Universe) (1960), Antología poética (Poetic Anthology ) (1968), Nostalgiario andaluz (Compendium of Andalusian Nostalgia) (1980), El alarife (The Master-builder) (1981), and Museo simbólico (Symbolic Museum) (1982).

JULIO AUMENTE
Julio Aumente was born in Cordoba in 1924.
His fine sense of irony and use of direct, colloquial language combine with his forceful personality to produce his refined points of view and an air of someone who has no illusions. Julio Aumente brought to the Canticle Group this self-assurance, together with an understanding that there was no urgent need to follow fashion in the world of poetry.

Among his works are: El aire que no vuelve (The Air which does not Return) (1955), Los silencios (The Silences) (1958), Por la pendiente obscura (Down the Dark Slope) (1982), La antesala (The Antechamber) (1983) and De los príncipes (About Princes) (1990).

Ayuntamiento de Córdoba