Biography of José Asunción Silva Gómez (1865-1896)

Poet and writer Colombian, born on November 27, 1865 in Bogotá and died in the same city on May 23, 1896. His given name was José Asunción Salustiano Facundo Silva Gomez. He/She was sent to study at the colegio San José, and from there went to the Lyceum of childhood. While still a teenager, he/she worked in the business that his father had. In 1885 he/she traveled to Paris and a year following returned to their homeland. When his father, died in 1887, Silva tried to save from ruin of his family business, trying to do business with coffee farms, but in 1892 became the total collapse of their companies. Despite their economic setbacks, Silva continued his poetic work. He/She worked as a journalist in the newspaper the telegram until he/she was appointed Secretary of the Colombian legation in Caracas (1894). Back to the country, he/she dealt with the structuring of a tile factory, based in a chemical formula of his own. He/She got capital, machines and offices, but the company failed. The great Silva vocation was poetry. In this field it is considered the last of the romantic Americans and the first of the symbolists. His work is scarce, but high lyrical value, by its intimate and authentic character. His poetry is clear, transparent and harmonious thinking. Disillusioned life and defeated in his business, he/she ended his days committing suicide. In the nation's capital is a monument where he/she exalts the refreshing and original writer of Castilian metric.

His major poems are collected in the book of verses (contains poems such as "Chrysalis", "Lowering the Magdalene", "You Vejeces", "Los maderos de San Juan" and "at the foot of the statue"), Colombian Parnassus (1886-1887), the coffer of nacre (1893), Nocturne (1894). He/She also collected his personal impressions in his autobiographical novel of desktop (1887-1896). Works (1908) poems and prose and verses (1942) were published as posthumous. His work has had a great influence on modernist poets.


CANO GAVIRIA, Ricardo: José Asunción Silva, a life in the key of shadow, Caracas, Monte Ávila Editores, 1988.

CHARRY LARA, Fernando: José Asunción Silva, Colombian classics collection, Bogotá, Procultura, 1989.