Today’s Doodle, illustrated by Mexico-based guest artist Ale De la Torre, celebrates famous Mexican poet Ramón López Velarde. López Velarde is recognized as the father of Modern Mexican poetry and the national poet of Mexico for his French-influenced, postmodern work and style. On this day in 1917, the magazine that Ramón co-founded, Pegaso, ran its very last issue in Mexico.
López Velarde was born on June 15, 1888 in Jerez, Zacatecas. Following in the footsteps of his father, he studied law at the University of San Luis Potosí and started reading modernist poetry while at school. Despite receiving his law degree in 1911, his career was pulled in a different direction. He was invited to write for La Nación, a monthly publication in Mexico City.
In 1915, he began writing more personal poems, mostly about the nostalgia he felt about his hometown. A year later, López Velarde published his first book titled La Sangre Devota (The Pious Blood), which explores the differences between life in the bustling city and the quiet countryside. It was fairly celebrated by the Mexican literary community and opened the door to more poetic opportunities.
His most famous work, Zozobra, was published in 1919. The book is heavily ironic and captures the duality of several aspects of López Velarde’s life. The writing is praised for its unpredictability, unorthodox language, word games, and humorous rhymes. In 1920, after a turning point in Mexico’s government, he started writing for two journals named México Moderno and El Maestro. His most famous work, La suave patria, was part of the latter and cemented him as the country’s national poet.
Guest Artist Q&A with Ale De la Torre
Today’s Doodle was illustrated by Mexico-based guest artist Ale De la Torre. Below, she shares her thoughts behind the making of this Doodle:
Q. Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: It is important because of the interest that can be generated around the work of Ramón López Velarde, an author who laid the foundation for contemporary poetry in Mexico, the dissemination of Mexican artistic work, and the importance of poetry for human life.
Q. What were your first thoughts when you were approached about working on this Doodle?
A: I’ve always liked Google’s Doodles and the fact that they’re made by illustrators from all over the world, so I was very excited when I found out that I would make one. As an illustrator, making a Doodle for Google has always been a dream :) I'm so glad I had this opportunity.
Q. Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle?
A: For this illustration I was inspired by the poetry of Ramón Lopez Velarde, his idea of love, Mexican natural elements, and the concept of duality represented in his work. I made an interpretation of what life was like for him with its luminosity and its darkness through nature. In the illustration, I included dahlias (the national flower of Mexico), nopales, a Mexican woodpecker, and hummingbirds. Also, themes around love and women are represented in the Doodle as both were inspirations for his work.
Q. What message do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: I hope we remember the work of this Mexican poet who wrote about everyday life in Mexico and broke from the modernist aesthetics of his time and laid the foundation for contemporary poetry in Mexico.