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Clementina Arderiu

Clementina Arderiu i Voltas (Barcelona, 1889-1976).


Critics place her within Postsymbolism, a movement born in 1915 with the aim of revitalizing the existing Noucentisme movement. In 1913 she was included in l’Antologia de poetes catalans d’avui (Anthology of Today’s Catalan Poets) of the influential cultural magazine L’Avenç. Thus was recognized a poetry that Maria Mercè Marçal, perhaps the critic who best and most closely approached Arderiu’s work, said seduced us “when she was speaking against the light.” She married poet Carles Riba in 1916, but her poetry seemed more akin to another of the great names of the period, Josep Carner.

The first book she published was Cançons i elegies (Songs and Elegies – 1916). It was followed by such titles as Sempre i ara (Always and Now – 1946), which won the Joaquim Folguera Prize in 1938, És a dir (That is to Say – 1958) and L’esperança encara (Hope Yet – 1969). The most characteristic form of her work is the song, while her thematic material, as Enric Bou has noted, oscillates between love, a certain kind of religious sentiment and femininity.