Alfonsina the Restaurant Introduces Me to Alfonsina the Poetess!

The first evening our group of students and professors from Georgia State University shared a delicious dinner of empanadas, picadas (sampler/appetizer platters) and delicious Argentine wine in the historic restaurant Alfonsina. It is named after the superbly talented yet tragic poetess Alfonsina Storni.  It was at this restaurant that I first learned of her.

Despite my considerable familiarity with the literature and poetry of the Spanish language, it was the first time I had heard of Alfonsina. Hearing a brief description of who she was and how she died, my curiosity was spiked to learn more about her!

Alfonsina was one of Argentina’s and the world’s greatest poets of the 20th century.  She was also a pioneer in woman’s poetry, feminist poetry and is considered a founder of the Spanish genres of modernismo and posmodernismo.  She left us with a prolific body of poetry, but tragically left this world at the young age of 46 by committing suicide. On Tuesday, 25 October 1938, Alfonsina left her room and headed towards the sea at La Perla beach in Mar del Plata. Her biographers say she jumped into the sea from a breakwater, popular legend is that she slowly walked out to sea until she drowned. There was even a song composed about her Alfonsina y el Mar (Alfonsina and the Sea). Link to the song, it is said that she committed suicide because she thought she was very ugly.  I think you will agree with me that she was not ugly!  She was not a 10, nor a supermodel, but I think she was actually a pretty woman. Her story and her poetry have made an impact on me and I am enjoying continued reading of her poetry. There are a few documentaries of her life on YouTube in Spanish, (I haven’t found any in English yet).


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