Museo Alfonso Cortez - Remembering the Crazy Poet
The Museo Alfonso Cortèz is located in mastic buildings that are more than 200 years old. This attraction in the city of Leon is the story of a well-respected poet who was loved by the people and who lived in the same room that was previously occupied by Rubèn Dario, another well known Nicaraguan poet. The story of Alfonso Cortèz is largely tragic, but is nonetheless a reflection of true literary genius.
Even though both poets occupied the same room during their childhood, their lives ended remarkably different. Dario gained recognition as a poetic genius, while Cortèz spent the rest of his life on the brink of insanity. Alfonso Cortèz was born in 1892 and was, as some describe him, crazy by the year 1927. The four-post bed that is still in the bedroom in the Rubèn Dario Museum stands next to the grill that shows the scars and bends of Cortèz trying to free himself from the chains that bound him. He would often get uncontrollable fits of rage, and yet he was still able to write beautiful pieces of poetry during his lucid moments. His family published his work, and close to the end of his life, it was clear that the poetic genius of his mind had slowly slipped away from him. Cortèz’s poetry reflected his near obsession with time and space. He was later committed to the Manicomio of Managua, where for twenty five years of his life, he was locked up in the confines of depressing cell walls. He later moved to his sister's house, where he quietly lived out the remainder of his days till 1969.
The Museo Alfonso Cortèz has a wide variety of personal items that were once owned by the Nicaraguan poet, Alfonso Cortèz. These include newspapers, where he has written some of his works in between the articles or on the edges, photographs of the poet, his slippers, hat and suits that he wore when taking a stroll. This is one of the attractions in Nicaragua that depends on the donations from the public, as the monthly funds that are received from the government are not adequate to see to restorations and the upkeep of the museum. Even though Cortèz is not known to many outside Nicaragua, he is viewed as one of the country's most gifted poets.