Luis de Góngora

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Luis de Góngora
BornLuis de Argote y Góngora
(1561-07-11)11 July 1561
Córdoba, Spain
Died23 April 1627(1627-04-23) (aged 65)
Córdoba, Spain
OccupationPoet, cleric

Luis de Góngora y Argote (born Luis de Argote y Góngora) was a Spanish poet and Catholic priest. Góngora and his lifelong rival, Francisco de Quevedo, are widely considered the most prominent Spanish poets of all time.

Biography[change | change source]

Góngora was born to a noble family in Córdoba, where his father, Francisco de Argote, was a corregidor (judge). He adopted the surname of his mother, Leonor de Góngora, to preserve his Christian lineage (limpieza de sangre). In 1586, at 25 years old, Góngora became a prebendary of Córdoba Cathedral, taking the post of his uncle, Don Francisco. In 1605, he was ordained priest, and afterwards, lived at Valladolid and Madrid. Then, in 1617, he was appointed honorary chaplain to King Philip III of Spain.

He maintained a long feud with Francisco de Quevedo, with both poets writing many pieces attacking one another. Quevedo criticized him for his large nose, passion for gambling, and even accused Góngora of Sodomy, which was a capital crime in 17th century Spain. This angry feud ended when Quevedo bought the house Góngora lived in solely to eject him from it. In 1626, a severe illness which impaired Góngora's memory forced him to return to Córdoba, where he died the following year. An edition of his poems was published almost immediately after his death by Juan López de Vicuña.