Poetry and insurance would appear to belong to two parallel worlds never intended to meet. However, stubbornly set as always, reality makes sure it surprises us every once in a while.
TEXT: ANA SOJO IMAGES: ISTOCK
1914 saw the publication in Spain of a unique book entitled El poema del seguro [The Insurance Poem]. Written by José Ignacio S. de Urbina, this book devotes over 104 pages to discussing insurance in verse form.
José Ignacio Suarez de Urbina (1856-1928) worked in both the legal and journalistic professions. Catholic, conservative and convinced Carlist, not without reason was he the provincial head of the Comunión Tradicionalista in Cordoba and he had a long-lasting friendship with Juan Vázquez de Mella.
El poema del seguro was published by the Patronato Social de Buenas Lecturas within its collection “Library of Popular Culture”, a selection of conservative-leaning works. The prologue written by an exceptional figure in Spanish literature, the Countess of Pardo Bazán, was a notable collaboration.
Emilia Pardo Bazán (1851- 1921), a remarkable novelist and journalist, considered today a forerunner of literary naturalism in Spain, affords this work its most interesting aspect from a literary standpoint.
El poema del seguro is not the sole example of the fusion of literature and insurance. Mario Benedetti likewise brought these two worlds together in his verses. We are referring to the poem “Ode to Pacification” by Mario Benedetti.
Mario Benedetti (1920-2009), Uruguayan writer and journalist of the so-called Generation of 45, author of over 80 works, some translated into 20 languages, wrote this poem within his collection Letras de emergencia. Written between 1969 and 1973, the curious thing is that it mentions both insurance policies and brokers
Oda a la pacificación (fragmento)
I don’t know how far the peacemakers will take their metallic roar of peace
but there are certain insurance brokers who have already sold policies against
pacification and there are those who’ll seek the death penalty for those who don’t
want to be pacified when the peacemakers take aim, of course they fire to pacify
and sometimes even pacify two birds with one stone clearly there’s always some fool
who refuses to be pacified behind his back or some idiot who resists a gradual peace
process we really are such a strange country that whoever pacifies the peacemakers
a good peacemaker will be.
Insurance Museum. Fundación MAPFRE
Located in Madrid, at Calle Bárbara de Braganza 14, it has 600 pieces on display and a total of 1,300 preserved in the institution’s collection.
In addition, all of them can be viewed on a virtual tour of the museum at www.museovirtualdelseguro.com. Free guided tours for groups may be reserved in advance by completing the form on our website.