Biography of Sarandí Cabrera (1923-2005)

Poet, translator, artist, journalist and art critic Uruguayan, born in Rivera (capital of the homonymous Department) on September 14, 1923, and died in Montevideo on April 5, 2005. Active and transgressive animator of the Uruguayan cultural life during the second half of the 20th century, left a valuable and dazzling poetic legacy to that part of the best tradition of the European avant-garde (particularly surrealism) to enter the poetry of political militancy (compromised with the ideological values of the left) and end up calling in the best tradition of the lyric universal libertine.

Humanist fruitful and versatile, equipped with a defendant sense of humor and a corrosive poignancy that drove him to delve into the more slippery terrains of art and literature, deployed an intense work in the journalistic and editorial media Uruguayans despite having resided in different places from abroad for long periods of his life.

Indeed, this tireless traveller who was Sarandí Cabrera lived in Beijing (China) between 1963 and 1965; in Santiago de Chile during the years of 1972 and 1973; in Buenos Aires (Argentina) between 1973 and 1977; Växjö (Sweden) for seven years (1977-1984); in the Austrian capital in 1984; and in Geneva (Switzerland) for nearly a decade (1985-1993). In addition to these residence periods fixed in the above places in America, Asia and Europe, Cabrera made numerous trips from back and forth to different parts of the world. Thus, in 1952, he joined Europe to explore part of Austria, Hungary and Italy; five years later (1957), their curious and adventurous spirit led him to Asia, where he visited Ceylon (today Sri Lanka), Pakistan, Malaysia and Hong Kong; in 1959 he toured places as different as China, the USSR, and the island of Majorca (Spain); also, in the Decade of the sixties, traveled to Italy and France (1966), and later, in the same year (1971), toured different parts of China, France, Italy and Albania.

In 1975, he returned to Europe for a prolonged visit that took him to France, England, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. Then, after a trip to Yugoslavia (1978), he again felt the call of Asian exoticism and returned to China (1983), to visit after India twice (1983 and 1985). Also toured Algeria and Western Sahara (in 1989, invited by the Polisario Front), and made several trips to Nairobi (Kenya) in 1991.

This hectic life of a continent did not prevent another deploy an intense and fruitful intellectual activity. In his role as journalist, collaborated assiduously, during a long period of twenty years (195-1970), with the Montevidean weekly March, one of the main spokesmen for the independent left organs (between 1950 and 1952, was primarily responsible for its literary section). He also frequently collaborated with the diario El Popular until 1963, and passed then as correspondent in Beijing of several Uruguayan publications during his residence in the Chinese capital (1963-1965) biennium. Subsequently, he was a correspondent in Europe (1988-1992) of the Rotary La República of Montevideo, where he continued working, as independent columnist, from 1994.

Artist endowed with a special capacity for satire, Sarandi Cabrera published numerous caricatures in the aforementioned weekly March; In addition, prints left many original poems in various Uruguayan cultural publications (as here poetry, Asir, Graffiti, CEDA, number, etc., and it conducted interviews with some personalities of international political and cultural life of the likes of Pablo Neruda, Jean Paul Sartre , or Mao Tse-Tung. In general, her journalistic contributions covered all issues related to the Humanities: art, international Latin American, political literature, culture and revolution in China, artistic and intellectual currents in Europe, contemporary thought, etc.

He co-founded the magazine Remover (Montevideo, 1945), a publication of the Taller Torres-García, dedicated exclusively to the arts. In it, Sarandi Cabrera gave samples of excellent sharpness for the practice of art criticism, as well patent in their articles 'Originality and invention' (August 1946) is-where censored from the works of the Madi group - formal irregularity, and "in defense of the painting, an artist and modern art" (January 1947)-article that responded to a criticism posted on those same pages by Tomas Maldonado-. In addition, Cabrera was also co-founder, in 1949), literary magazine number; of the fortnightly question (1971), focused on subjects political and cultural; and of the weekly de el semanario politico politician Mini reports, of Montevideo, which coordinated and directed in 1971.

Particularly fruitful was also his role as editor, which shone as a founding partner of CARUMBE, society editor of books and records, which took between 1962 and 1965. He was also responsible, between 1970 and 1971, collection "Red flag", launched by Publisher native books, Montevideo; Head of production (1973-1975) of Buenos Aires, Schapire Editor; co-founder of the imprint Vinten Editor (Växjö-Montevideo); Coordinator and editor, in 1992, of the Spanish-French publication 500 years; and editor, from 1986 to 1990, several publications of the World Meteorological Organization (headquartered in the Swiss city of Geneva).

His prolonged stays abroad allowed him to dominate several languages perfectly (in particular, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish), which in turn led to become one of the most requested translators of Latin America. In his vast intellectual curiosity, poured into Spanish works of all genres (novels, poetry, plays, essays, political treaties...), with a special interest in the verses of the Latin poet martial - who translated one hundred and sixty-four epigrams sex-Italians Petrarca and Aretino - to the Spanish, who poured their famous sonnets lustful-, Ronsard French and English John Donne - whose also famous Elegies were versified in Castilian by Sarandí Cabrera-. In addition, it offered translations of texts of Lorenzo Medici, of the American Edgar Lee masters, of the Chinese poet Tu Fu- also known as Tzu Mei, Kung-Pu or "Tu el Viejo"-, the Brazilian modernist Mário de Andrade, etc. And lent, also valuable services as a translator to publications and publishers Beijing reports, Schapire Editor (from Buenos Aires) and Andromeda (also from argentina's capital).

Sarandi Cabrera was hired as a translator by numerous international bodies with a great projection, including who, WMO and the United (all of them belonging to the United Nations, the Organization for which he worked as an interpreter between 1977 and 1990). He was also a translator at the Conference of non-aligned countries at the World Council of churches.


As a writer, humanist of Rivera noted primarily for the quality of his verse, embodied in one of the most varied and evocative contemporary Uruguayan lyric poetic paths. Attentive, in its beginnings, to the seductive transgression of the avant-garde, became known as a poet by medium compositions visibly influenced by the European decades of the 1920s and thirty surrealists, as you can easily be seen in the following excerpt from "Ad links", poem belonging to his opera prima Ónfalo (1947): "good night Grandpa." / You have saved another night the Tigers of squid? / It has come the way of the hairy lion? / He has hailed the black Raúl? / Would you have saved the Amethyst stone, / has strongly typed in capital-j, / in two viewpoints points / in the semicolon that has tail? "."

Subsequently - and, in a way very marked, in the poetry books published from 1960-, Sarandi Cabrera (who used on many occasions of the literary name of Pancho Cabrera to sign his writings) was fully integrated into militant and committed social poetry, manifested in titles as revealing its intention as flags and other fires (1968) or poet pistol in hand (1970). In this last book of poems can be read verses like these, belonging to the poem "First blast", openly touting the aesthetic and ideological trend adopted by the Rivera writer: "in consequence and in truth the poet / intends to be very inconvenient / some / and powerfully revulsorio / for others." "In this case is exposed to be denied / censored imprisoned hit / and being charged at the same time / as nasty Sidekick / truthful emends permanent / suppliers of iron and demand [...]" ("First blast").

In a third stage of his poetic career, Sarandi Cabrera, without abandoning all his tone angry and vindictive, it adopts a much more playful and carefree, attitude almost always oriented towards obscenity, erotic gambling and debauchery. Just to mention a few of the titles of this period - Camasutron (1982), Sonnets to don Pijote (1983) - to warn the enjoyable and lustful - but always provocative - character of the collections of poems published after 1980.

Fits, finally, offer even a hasty enumeration of the main titles that make up its copious and varied poetic output. It's Omphalos (1947), of birth and death (1948), (1949), Fury (1958), Poso'60 (1960), poems (1965) purpose, flags and other fires (1968), poet pistol in hand (1970), thank you and misfortunes of Holy fart (1980), Soneroticon (1981), poet fucking hemlock (1982), Oporinos (1982), Camasutron (1982), letter in hand (1982), sonnets poems zoos (1985), Don Pijote (1983), Tulejos (1987)The insurgent (1988), nomenclature and apology of the shell (1989), Volusius papers (1990) and Quimerinos (1991) and fucking hemlock and intifada (1996).

Other works of Sarandi Cabrera are 37 poems of Mao Tse-Tung (1974), El Martín Fierro for children (1977), epigrams erotic of martial (1983), China (1986), cartoons in March (1987), notes on poetry libertine (1987), China in the world of Leninism (1990) collapse, lustful sonnets of Aretino (1991), Elegies full of John Donne (1993) and gold of conquest vs. Dollars (1994) external debt.


FIERRO, Enrique. "The poets of the 45", in Rev. Chapter East (Montevideo), no. 32 (1968), pp. 500-502.

SILVA, Elder. "With Sarandí Cabrera", in La República (Montevideo), December 19, 1991, p. 49.