Bécquer, Gustavo Adolfo (gōstäˈvō ädôlˈfō bāˈkĕr) [key], 1836–70, Spanish poet and writer of romantic tales. Bécquer's work is considered to be among the best 19th-century lyric poetry. Orphaned at 10, unhappy in love and marriage, and living in poverty for most of his brief life, he came to be lonely and introspective. His celebrated Rimas (1860, tr. 1908) is a suite of poems characterized by the melancholy and resigned bitterness of the romantics. His finest prose works include the tale Los ojos verdes [the green eyes], a collection of legends, Leyendas (1860–64), and a group of literary letters, Desde mi celda [from my cell] (1864). Bécquer died of pneumonia and hepatitis.
See study by Enrique Ruiz Fornells (1970).
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