Eighty Poems of Antonio Machado. Translations by Willis Barnstone. Published by Las Americas Publishers in 1959.
The Spanish text with translations by Willis Barnstone. Drawings by William Bailey. With an introduction by John Dos Passos and a reminiscence by Juan Ramon Jimenez. Bilingual edition.

Antonio Machado, like Rainer Maria Rilke, was a poet of solitude and landscape. Machado described in pure color planes the landscapes of monastic Castile and fertile Andalusia. Here he saw the soul of Spain; but more important, these outer landscapes were also an accurate mirror of the silent fiery landscape of his solitude.

Machado was born in Seville in 1875. At eight he went to Madrid where he was educated at the Institucion Libre de Ensenanza, a pioneer school of enlightened education directed by Giner de los Rios. After several trips to France, he became, in his words, "a humble teacher in a rural institute." His years as a French teacher in Spanish high schools took him from Soria in Castile-where he was married and where three years later his young wife Leonor died-to Baeza in upper Andalusia, to Segovia, the ancient walled city of Old Castile, and finally to Madrid. In later life Machado finished a doctoral degree in philosophy at the University of Madrid and in 1927 was elected to the Spanish Academy. When the Civil War broke out, he remained loyal to the republic. During the last days of January 1939, he crossed the Pyrenees, to die a month later, in exile, in the French village of Collioure.

When the Nobel Prize was awarded to Juan Ramon Jimenez in 1956, Anders Osterling, Secretary of the Swedish Academy, said of Machado and Garcia Lorca (both disqualified as possible recipients by their death): "Juan Ramon Jimenez represents the high Spanish tradition and to crown him with laurel is also to crown Antonio Machado and Garcia Lorca." Antonio Machado is one of the great figures of modern European literature. In Spain and the Spanish-speaking world he is today esteemed as the greatest poet who has written in Spanish in this century-a century which has been a new siglo de oro of Spanish poetry.


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