Eduardo María González Pondal y Abente

Pseudonym: 'Arístides Valtierra', 'Ezequiel' and 'O Proscrito de Almendares'
Category: Writer
Birth Date: 8th February 1835 (†8th March 1917)
Birth Place: Ponteceso (A Coruña)

When he was only one year old, he became a motherless child and was brought up by his sisters, who taught him the first letters. Then he studied grammar, Latin, and Greek under the direction of the priest from Touriñán, who had a Grammar School in Vilela de Nemiña. Between 1847 and 1848 he went to Santiago to a Secondary School. As he was ill for a long time, he went back to Ponteceso studying and taking his exams as an independent candidate. In 1860 he finished his career and became a doctor in Santiago de Compostela. On 16th March 1863 he went in for a post at Military Health but he soon gave it up to entirely devote himself to poetry. At the celebration of the First Floral Games in 1861, Pondal published his first poem written in Galician language. It was titled A Campana de Anllóns and was published in El Álbum de la Caridad. It is a poem full of melancholy, where Pondal expressed his great love for Galicia. This first edition had only twelve strophes but it would be published again in 1895 in A Coruña with eighty-one.

 Work & Activities

From 1861 onwards, Eduardo Pondal would write in Galician or Castilian language according to the circumstances. From this period is the beginning of a famous project to create a long epic poem titled A América descuberta. This poem would be titled then Colón and finally would be titled Os Eoas. Pondal did not publish this poem and it was clearly influenced by the book Os Lusiadas by Camoens. In 1877 he published his first book titled Rumores de los pinos, which consisted of poems written in Galician and Castilian language. After the publication of this book, he would not write poetry in Castilian language any more. In 1886 Queixumes dos pinos was published in A Coruña. It is not only longer than the previous one but also an improvement from the ideological, artistic and linguistic point of view. In this new book, Pondal included some poems from the first one, which had already been written in Galician language, and translated other poems which became valuable as far as aesthetics is concerned. After his death, the Galician Academy would publish Queixume dos pinos again in 1935. There were 38 poems more, some unpublished, others unknown. OTHER ACTIVITIES He usually took part in Spanish and foreign magazines like Revista de las Provincias, Boletín de la Biblioteca-Museo Balaguer, la España Regional, and many others that were published in America. He was a member of the Galician Academy. In 1900 he was nominated honorary member by the Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País de Santiago (Friends of Santiago Economic Society) because of his wonderful work. In 1910, he also got an honour title by the Spanish Poetry Academy.

 Other Interesting Aspects

The Galician Academy dedicated him ?O Día das Letras Galegas? (The Day of the Galcian Letters) in 1965.