Amelia Denis de Icaza

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Amelia Denis de Icaza
Amelia Denis de Icaza.JPG
BornNovember 28, 1836
Panama City,  Panama
DiedJuly 16, 1911(1911-07-16) (aged 74)
Managua,  Nicaragua

Amelia Denis de Icaza (November 28, 1836 – July 16, 1911) was a Panamanian romantic poet. She was the first Panamanian woman to publish her poetry.[1]


Born in Panama City in 1836, her father was of French origin and her mother Panamanian. As a child, she was very interested in literature and wrote poems in a completely natural style without any trimmings. Her father Saturnino Denis was an editor at the time. She went to the local school in the Santa Ana district but received most of her cultural education at home, meeting poets whose works were published in La Floresta Istmeña. She married while still young and spent a lengthy period in Nicaragua. By some accounts, she also spent quite some time in Guatemala.[1][2]

The monument to her on Ancon Hill

When she returned home, the Panama Canal Zone was in the hands of the Americans. This caused her considerable sadness which is reflected in one of her most beautiful poems, Al Cerro Ancón (1906). Ancon Hill became part of the land taken to build the Panama Canal and the hill became a national symbol after she wrote her poem about the American annexation. Today this hill still boasts a large national flag at its summit.[3] Like her other works, Al Cerro Ancón has a strong patriotic flavour which is also reflected in Zona del Canal (the Canal Zone) which was closed to Panamanians. Other works include Patria, Hojas Secas, Amor de madre (1879) and A la Muerte de Victoriano Lorenzo.[1]

Amelia Denis de Icaza died in Managua on 16 July 1911.[2]


There is a large bronze statue to her on Ancon Hill in Panama[4] which appropriately sits at the bottom of the flagpole from which is flown an extremely large Panamanian flag.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Biografía de Amelia Denis de Icaza" (in Spanish). Meduca: Ministerio de educación. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Amelia Denis de Icaza (1836-1911)" (in Spanish). PanamáPosí Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  3. ^ Szok, Peter (2012). Wolf tracks : popular art and re-Africanization in twentieth-century Panama. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. p. 231. ISBN 1617032433.
  4. ^ Monument to Amelia Denis de Icaza,, retrieved 11 March 2015
  5. ^ Baker, Christopher P (2011). Explorer's Guide Panama: A Great Destination (Explorer's Great Destinations). p. 125. ISBN 1581579446. Retrieved 11 March 2015.