At the beginning of the 20th century there was a resurgence of poetry across a wide range of currents. Among them, it is worth highlighting the Generation of 27, such as modernism and avant-garde poetry in its various manifestations (surrealism, futurism, dadaism, ultraism). Latin America also had a revolution in poetic creation, where Posthumanism was one of the most original currents of that historical moment.
Beginning of the movement and historical context
This literary phenomenon occurred exclusively in the Dominican Republic and began in 1921 with the Postumist Manifesto, a poetic proposal developed mainly by the philosopher Andrés Avelino. It should be noted that the term Posthumanism was created by the poet Domingo Moreno Jimenez and this word was used because its author understood that the poetry of this current could only be understood in the future and, therefore, posthumously.
The poets who are part of this current direct their gaze to the Dominican Republic at a time of great landowners and because of political forces approaching the imperialist positions of the United States, while the lower classes lived in conditions of exploitation and misery. .
The postumist creators (the aforementioned Domingo Moreno and Andrés Avelino, but also Rafael Augusto Zorrilla, Vigília Diaz, among others) exalt the signs of national identity and demand an indigenous poetry that expresses the Dominican cultural personality and, exceptionally, the experiences and language of the people.
Postumists distanced themselves from traditional poetry and classical versification, adopting a system based on creative freedom . In his poetry, cultural alienation is transmitted through the schemes of colonialism. The poetic world of Posthumanism intends to express the essence of the Dominican spirit and the formal aspects move to a second background.
Through the reading of posthumous poems, the reader encounters the Dominican landscape and reality : the tropical world with all its vigor, popular expressions and locutions, religious traditions, poverty in the streets and the desire for individual and collective freedom. The reading of a poem does not depend on the regularity and structure of its verses, as the postumist poet wants to implement the deep rhythm of his thoughts.
Despite the movement’s originality, literary critics of the intellectual elite of the 1920s were contemptuous of postumist poets (the movement has been labeled by some as the black hole of poetry). In recent years, some literary scholars have rescued posthumous poets from oblivion.