Biography of Ramón de Campoamor y Campoosorio (1817-1901)

Monument of Campoamor. Madrid.

Writer and Spanish politician, born in Navia (Asturias) on September 24, 1817 and died in Madrid on February 11, 1901, which was one of the most popular Spanish poets of the second half of the 19th century, whose verses reflect the passage from romanticism to realism. Intellectual conservative thinking, belonged to the Group of so-called moderates, was Governor of Asturias, Alicante and Valencia, and became State Councillor Isabel II.


His father was a humble farmer who had married a rich land owner. He/She was educated by a unmarried sister of his mother, who gave him a good primary education. After brilliantly performing high school in his native Asturias, he/she studied philosophy in Santiago de Compostela and mathematics in Madrid, although he/she did not finish any of the races.

Installed in the Madrid village of Torrejón de Ardoz, wanted to become a Jesuit, but soon discovered that he/she had a strong religious vocation. I hated the punishment that the priests had imposed during his primary and secondary studies. It happened, then, to study medicine at the University of Madrid, but ended up abandoning these studies because it could not bear the vision of the corpses.

After writing a play that not even reached brand new in 1837, he/she became known as a poet in 1838, with the publication of a book of poems entitled wisdom and flowers (1840). His poems were not very original, since they were influenced in full by the romantic tastes that dominated in that period.

However, he/she became very famous with the publication of his first painful, name invented by the own Campoamor to designate a few very brief poemillas, which have a very simple story. Then he/she invented other equally simple and popular poems, witticisms, which, together with its painful, became him in one of the most celebrated writers of his time.

As a politician, it is distinguished by its moderate ideology, with the passage of time it was becoming increasingly more conservative. Ardently defended the monarchy and Queen Isabel II, and came to fight a duel with a Spanish sailor who was fond of the Republic.

At the age of thirty he/she was appointed civil Governor of Castellón. Then held the same position in Alicante (in where he/she married Wilhelmine or ' housings, a woman of Irish origin that had no children). Between 1851 and 1854 was Governor of Valencia, and in the last years of his life he/she was Senator.

He was elected member of the Royal Academy in 1861, but refused, in his modesty, other honors (e.g., be crowned with laurel by the young poet Dario Rubén).


The poetic work of Campoamor is locked in ideological and aesthetic terms, as well perceived in his famous declaration of principles or elementary poetics alluding to the title of three of his works: "what humorada? A deliberate feature. - And dolora? A humorous turned into drama. - And little poem? An amplified dolora". Altogether, and after many years of criticism and marked prejudices with respect to his work, the poems of Campoamor comes being claimed by the new directions marked on the excessive retoricismo of the 19th century and its influence - velis nolis-in much of the high rear poetry.

To Campoamor, poetry should reflect the everyday world of every day. Therefore, he/she said that his poetry only differed from the prose by the rhythm, the language that was used was the same as the ordinary people used in their usual expression.

In his dedication to literature, Campoamor became famous for his verses, that learned memory in schools and were recited at any public event or private by people of all walks. In his work entitled poetics (1883) presented his theories about literature in general and poetry in particular. It is there where he/she advocated a poetry simple and clear, the same language used by the people-based and focused on everyday issues, pretending to strip of artificial language, integrate the poem in the humor and irony.

His first books are wisdom and flowers (1840), woes of the soul (1842), and moral and political Fables (1845), showing their particular desire to moralize the society through literature. But it did not get popularity until the appearance of painful (1846), term invented by designating a composition built on an anecdote, that lightness joins the conciseness of feelings. In his passion for the simple and everyday, Campoamor was fixed in minor facts and stressed its sentimental aspects; other times, it gave them a philosophical interpretation. The most painful are "El gaitero de Gijón", "Who knew writing!" and "poor Carolina mia!".

After the fame achieved with their painful, Campoamor began to write extensive poems. Among them, are Columbus (1853) and the universal drama (1869).

In 1872 appeared the work small poems, composed of 31 compositions, including some poems of greater amplitude, which constitute the most remembered part of his work as "Express train", "Three roses" and "the good and the wise".

Ramón de Campoamor: express train.

Finally, Campoamor returned to brief compositions with witticisms (1886), a book made up of very short poemillas who based his effectiveness in his grace and lightness.

He was also the author of some works theatre of little importance (such as his comedy in two acts a woman generous, 1837), as well as several writings in prose in which they reflected on political and philosophical issues (such as personalism, in 1855, and the absolute, 1865).