Jorge Manrique

     Jorge Manrique was probably born in Paredes de Nava (Palencia), from Lara's house. He was the son of Rodrigo Manrique (1406-1476), Maestre of Santiago and amateur poet, cousin of Gómez Manrique and Juan Manrique, who were all artists and writers. In 1470 he was married to Guiomar Meneses, sister of his stepmother. He fought for the Catholic Kings, who made him Captain of Holly Brotherhood -a kind of Police- in Toledo. He was deadly wounded in a battle, buried in Ucles Monastery and, finally taken to Pedro Manrique beside his fahter.
   The most part of his love poetry can be read in General Cancionero (1511 y 1514). They show war images: love as conquest; lover as prisoner... He plays with his wife's name in acrostics or enchained syllabs; he writes sacred-prophane hyiperboles and allusions to Fortune.
   The Verses for the Death of his Father (h.1476-79) were published for the first time in Zamora, 1483.
   Its forty double sextillas of broke foot -half a verse- talk about an ascetic renounce to this world (cc.I-XIII) in a clear lenguage. They treat the Vbi sunt? (cc. XVI-XXIV) topic referred to contemporary characters: the old king Juan II, Pedro Girón, Alvaro de Luna or the king Enrique IV. Manrique's father, Rodrigo (c.XXV) is compared to greek or latin heroes. He deals with his christian death between his relatives in Ocaña.
   The Verses show the readings of Ancient History of his author and his knowledge of Cicero and Seneca. They deal of time and death in a familiar style. That is why Jorge Manrique is the most important of spanish medieval poets today.

D.Miguel Pérez Rosado.
Ph. D. in Hispanic Philology.