Guillermo Sucre

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Guillermo Sucre Figarella (born 15 May 1933), is a Venezuelan poet and literary critic born in Tumeremo in the state of Bolivar. He is also a member of the notable Sucre family like his uncle Jose Antonio Ramos Sucre and his older brothers General Juan Manuel Sucre Figarella and Senator Leopoldo Sucre Figarella.

Literary critic and academic[edit]

His most important critical work is made up the volumes "Borges, el poeta" (1967), a wise incursion into the writings of the Argentine master, Jorge Luis Borges and "La máscara, la transparencia" (1975), an acute analysis of the paths of contemporary Latin American poetry. There are new corrected and augmented editions of both. He has also translated into Spanish the works of André Breton, Saint-John Perse, William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens.

In 1957 he founded the literary journal Sardío and an associated literary group. He began teaching at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in that same year. From 1968 till 1975 he lived in the United States, where he lectured at the University of Pittsburgh and became a member Pitt's Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana. Upon his return to Venezuela he taught at the Universidad Simón Bolívar and became literary director of the publishing house Monte Ávila Editores.

He won the National Prize for Literature in 1976 for his essay La máscara, la transparencia.


His poetic work has a singular place within Venezuelan literature. He is a poet of light, like the Bolivian Eduardo Mitre or the Mexican Homero Aridjis, and like them he makes of the splendour and magnificence of the tropics the first motivation behind his poetry. His work is also heavily inspired by sensuality. Thus, writes Sucre in his collection of poems entitled, "En el verano cada palabra respira en el verano" (1976) to note "the hard / the fleeting transparency". It was him who invited, from the pages of his first book, "Mientras suceden los días" (1961), to walk towards "the invisible kingdom", which refers to that which he has imagined. He is a poet trying not to get lost in "that lighting that lit up my childhood... where I see and recognize myself / my face", as his "La mirada" (1970) reads. In his verses we find Octavio Paz's influence, as evidenced in his poem "Sino gestos", also included in "La mirada", which reads: "condemned to the same decay / the poem / the hand that writes it / and that erases it / the gaze that follows it / and rejects it / he that dreams it / and who also invents it"

Notable works[edit]

  • Borges, el poeta (1967)
  • La máscara, la transparencia (1975)
  • Mientras suceden los días (1961)
  • La mirada (1970)
  • En el verano cada palabra respira en el verano (1976)
  • Serpiente breve (1977)
  • La vastedad (1990)