RHINO: reviews After Rubén

In the essay that caps his latest poetry collection, After Rubén, Francisco Aragón traces his relationship with the Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío (1867-1916). From the initial gift of a handful of Darío lines recited by Aragón’s mother, to the long poem, “Los motivos del lobo,” which Aragón describes as his “inheritance” from his father, to the discovery of Darío’s queerness–evidenced by love letters Darío wrote to Mexican poet Amado Nervo– Darío evolves from literary inspiration and family touchpoint for Aragón, to queer, Latinx forefather. He becomes, in Aragón’s words “my Rubén.” This strong claim, which Aragón furthers by reinterpreting some of Darío’s poems, gives Aragón a platform from which to examine family, politics, and his poetic inheritance.