Hernández, José (hōsāˈ ārnänˈdĕs) [key], 1834–86, Argentine poet, journalist, and soldier. Hernández lived in the pampas as a child. He was the author of the national classic of gaucho literature, Martín Fierro (1872), and its sequel, La vuelta de Martín Fierro [the return of Martin Fierro] (1879, tr. 1936, 1948). The poem, written in colorful dialect, recounts the adventures of a wandering soldier-minstrel and glorifies the vanishing free life of the gaucho in the solitude of the Pampa.