Rubén Darío, also known as ‘The Father of Modernism’, has a mythical status in Nicaragua and he is Nicaragua’s most celebrated poet.. He was born in the town of Metapa on January 18th, 1867. His real name was Felix Rubén García Sarmiento. The name ‘Darío’ was adopted from a great grandfather who was well known as Darío, and his sons and daughters as ‘the Daríos’.

Even as a child he proved to be very intelligent. His favorite books were considered considerably advanced for a child. His earliest works to receive public attention were written at the tender age of 12. At the age of 13, he made he published hi first poem in a Rivas newspaper named ‘Termómetro’. From that point on he became known in Nicaragua and other parts of Central America as the ‘child poet’.

As a teenager, the National Congress gave Dario a scholarship to continue his studies in Europe. However, while at a party in the Presidential Palace, he recited a poem that shocked President Pedro Joaquín Chamorro. President Chamorro is alleged to have claimed “If you write like this, against your parents’ religion and against your country, just being a child, imagine what it would be if you where to go to Europe to learn worse things” and with that the European scholarship offer was withdrawn. The President offered him a scholarship to a school in Granada, which he rejected due to a historical rivalry between Granada and Leon and his loyalty to his childhood home of Leon.

Restless, Dario lived for short periods of time in El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua Argentina, Europe and Chile. While in Chile, a local newspaper published his writings called ‘The eruption of the Momotombo’. Shortly thereafter, in 1888 while still in Chile he published, one of his best known and one of the most significant pieces of poetry: the book ‘Azul’ (Blue).

On June 22, 1890 he married Rafaela Contreras in El Salvador. It was this same year that General Mendez, current president of El Salvador, died. Darío narrated the event under the name Historia Negra (Dark History), and the same was published by the Argentinean newspaper ‘La Nación’. Shortly after, he travelled to Guatemala, he became the owner and director of a newspaper ‘El Correo de la Tarde’.

In 1893 his beloved wife died. That same year, Darío married his second wife, Rosario Murillo and it is said that she deceived him into marriage with the help of her brother. Dario tried to divorce Murillo a few years later but was unsuccessful.

While still in Buenos Aires, Dario published ‘Profane Prose’. This elegant, evocative and sensual piece is his most important example of Modernism due to the presence of innovative literary tools such as neologism, Anglicism, and archaism.

He died in León in February 1916. He was buried in the Cathedral of León, the city of his childhood and a city he always loved.

Rubén Darío is commemorated throughout Nicaragua. Many streets, rotundas, schools, and buildings are named after the poet. Additionally, there are Rubén Darío Museums in Ciudad Darío in Matagalpa and in León.

In 2007, Daniel Ortega caused a national stir when he gave an original Dario poem to Hugo Chavez.