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TIMES ALON E

OTHER BOOK S B Y ROBER T EL Y

POETRY

Silence in th e Snowy Fields


The Ligh t Aroun d th e Body
Sleepers Joinin g Hand s
Old Man Rubbing Hi s Eyes (with Franz Richter)
The Mornin g Glor y
This Bod y Is Mad e o f Campho r an d Gopherwoo d
This Tree Will Be Here fo r a Thousand Years
Talking Al l Mornin g
The Ma n in the Black Coat Turns

TRANSLATIONS AN D EDITE D WORK S

Knut Hamsun , Hunge r (from th e Norwegian)


Neruda an d Vallejo : Selecte d Poems (from th e Spanish)
Friends, Yo u Drank Som e Darkness: Thre e Swedis h Poets : Martinson ,
Ekelof, an d Transtrome r
Leaping Poetry : An Idea wit h Poem s and Translation s
News of th e Universe : Poem s of Twofol d Consciousness
David Ignatow: Selected Poems
Rolf Jacobsen : Twent y Poem s o f R.J . (from th e Norwegian)
The Kabi r Book: Forty-Four o f the Ecstati c Poems of Kabir
Gunnar Ekelof : I D o Bes t Alon e a t Nigh t (from th e Swedish)
Rumi, Nigh t an d Slee p (from th e Persian with Coleman Barks)
Tomas Transtromer: Trut h Barriers: Poem s by T.T. (from th e Swedish)
Selected Poem s of Rainer Mari a Rilk e (from th e German)
TIMES ALONE

SELECTED POEM S O F
ANTONIO MAGHADO

CHOSEN AN D TRANSLATE D B Y

ROBERT EL Y

WESLEYAN UNIVERSIT Y PRES S


Middletown, Connecticu t
WESLEYAN UNIVERSIT Y PRES S
Middletown, CT 06459
Copyright Antonio Machado
Translation 1983 by Robert Ely
All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America 1 0 9 8

Acknowledgments:
The translato r i s gratefu l t o th e editor s o f th e followin g journals , who pub -
lished som e of thes e translations : Tennessee Poetry Journal, Ironwood, Michi-
gan Quarterly, Doones, Creative Arts Journal, The Nation, Massachusetts
Review, White Pine Press, River Styx, Plainsong, an d th e Harvard Advocate.
A few of the poem s wer e also published earlie r in thre e chapbooks: Condones,
Toothpaste Press ; / Never Wanted Fame, All y Press ; Times Alone, Coppe r
Canyon Press .

L I B R A R Y O F CONGRES S C A T A L O G I N G I N P U B L I C A T I O N DAT A

Machado, Antonio , 1875-1939 .


Times alone .
English an d Spanish .
i. Ely , Robert . II . Title .
PQ6623.A3A243 198 3 Sai'.G a 83-695 5
ISBN 0-8195-5087- 6
ISBN 0-8195-6081- 2 (pbk. )
to James Wright
(1927-1980)
Making things well
is more important than making them
(A. Machado)
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CONTENTS

A FE W NOTE S O N ANTONIO MACHAD O 1

From Times Alone, Passageways in the House, and


Other Poems (Soldedades, Galerias y Otros Poemas) g
He andad o muchos caminos 1 6
I hav e walked along many roads 1 7
Recuerdo infanti l 1 8
Memory from Childhoo d 1 9
La plaz a y los naranjos encendido s 2 0
The squar e and the brilliant orange trees 2 1
En el entierro d e un amig o 2 2
The Buria l of a Friend 2 3
Yo escucho los cantos 2 4
I listen to the songs 2 5
Daba el reloj las doce . .. 2 8
The clock struck twelve times ... 2 9
Sobre l a tierr a amarga 3 0
Dreams have winding 3 1
Tenue rumor de tunicas que pasan 3 2
Faint soun d o f robes brushing 3 3
Crece en l a plaza en sombr a 3 4
In th e shady parts of the square 3 5
Al borde del sendero un di a nos sen tamos 3 6
Close to the road w e sit down one day 3 7
La noria 3 8
The Wate r Wheel s o
Glosa 4 0
Commentary 4 1
Anoche cuando dormia 4 2
Last night, as I was sleeping 4 3
<iMi corazon se ha dormido ? 4 4
Is my soul asleep? 4 5
Desgarrada la nube 4 6
Clouds ripped open 4 7
Y era el demonic de mi sueno . .. 4 8
And he was the demon o f m y dreams . .. 4 9
Desde el umbral de un suen o me llamaron 5 0
From the door sill of a dream they called my name 5 1
Si yo fuera un poet a 5 2
If I were a poet 5 3
Y nada importa ya que e l vino de oro 5 4
It doesn' t matter now if the golde n win e 5 5
Llamo a mi corazon, un clar o dia 5 6
The wind , one brilliant day , called 5 7
La casa tan querid a 5 8
The hous e I love d so much 5 9
Yo, como Anacreonte 6 0
Like Anacreonte 6 1
[Oh tarde luminosa! 6 2
Oh, evenin g full o f light! 6 3
Es una tard e cenicienta y mustia 6 4
The evenin g is greyish and gloom y 6 5
Campo 6 6
Field 6 7
Renacimiento 6 8
Rebirth 6 9
Tal vez la mano, en suenos 7 0
It's possible that while sleeping the hand 7 1
Y podras conocerte recordando 7 2
You can know yourself, i f yo u bring up 7 3
From The Countryside o f Castile (Campos de Castillo) 7 5
Retrato 8 2
Portrait 8 3
(iEres tu, Guadarrama , viejo amigo 8 6
Oh, Guadarram a Range 8 7
Amanecer de otofio 8 8
Fall Daw n 8 9
Campos de Soria 9 0
Two Poem s from "Th e Countrysid e of Soria" 9 1
Caminos 9 4
Country Road s 9 5
Senor, ya me arrancaste lo que y o mds queria 9 6
Lord, You Have Ripped Awa y 9 7
Dice la esperanza: un di a 9 8
Hope says : Someda y you wil l 9 9
Alia, en las tierras altas 10 0
There, i n tha t hig h platea u 10 1
Sofie que t u m e llevabas 10 2
I dreamt you guided me 10 3
Una noch e de verano 10 4
One summe r night 10 5
Proverbios y can tares 10 6
Fourteen Poems Chosen from "Mora l Proverb s
and Folk Songs" 10 7
A don Francisc o Gine r d e lo s Rios 11 4
For Don Francisco Giner de los Rios 11 5
From New Poems (Nuevas Canciones) and Th e Collected
Works of a Poet Who Never Lived (De un can-
cionero apocrifo) an d Poems from th e Civil Wa r
(Poemas d e guerra) 11 7
Galerias 12 6
Passageways 12 7
Iris de la noche 13 2
Rainbow at Night 13 3
Canciones 13 4
Songs 13 5
Proverbios y cantares 14 2
Forty Poem s Chosen fro m "Mora l Proverb s an d
Folk Songs" 14 3
Al Gran Cero 15 4
To th e Great Circle of Nothing 15 5
IJltimas lamentaciones de Abel Martin 15 6
Abel Martin' s Las t Lamentations 15 7
Siesta 16 0
Siesta 16 1
La Muerte del nifio herido 16 2
The Deat h of the Wounded Chil d 16 3
Coplas 16 4
Coplas 16 5
Meditacion de l df a 16 6
Today's Meditatio n 16 7
AFTERWORD: A N HOMAGE T O MACHAD O I N 196 6 169
TRANSLATIONS O F MACHADO AVAILABL E I N ENGLIS H 173
TIMES ALON E
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A FE W N O T E S O N
ANTONIO MACHAD O

A roNio MACHAD O i s the mos t thoughtful , modest , an d


lovable poe t o f th e twentiet h century . Hi s quie t labo r
on soun d an d rhyth m ove r man y years , hi s emphasi s o n th e
suffering o f others rather tha n hi s own , th e passageway s tha t
he create s insid e hi s poem s tha t lea d bac k t o th e ancien t
Mediterranean past , hi s inne r calm , eve n joyfumessal l o f
these gifts nouris h peopl e whereve r he i s read.

His poetry secretes in itself th e rhythm of the walker. When


John Do s Passes, just out o f college, travele d t o se e Machad o
in Segovia , he found an awkward man with a deep voice , "a n
old-fashioned teacher, " dresse d i n a blac k double-breaste d
suit, wh o walke d fo r hour s i n Segovi a an d th e countryside .
When a person walks , he experience s objects one b y one a t a
pace agreeabl e t o th e body . An d ever y walk ends ; soone r o r
later th e wal k is over and w e are bac k home .

Yeats connected tru e poetr y with trance . An d whe n Lorc a


says:
one day . . . the enraged ants
will throw themselves on the yellow skies that have
taken refuge in the eyes of cows
we fall int o a trance immediately. But Machado has vowed not
to soar too much; h e wants to "g o down t o the hells " o r stick
to the lo w and ordinary : flies, blind mule s working the wate r
wheels, ston y earth , dogs , ol d me n wh o star e straigh t ahea d
for hour s astonishe d b y nothing , borin g schoolrooms , un -
solvable philosophical problems . How does he help th e reade r
to fal l int o a tranc e then ? B y hi s vowe l sounds , exquisite ,
astonishing, magical, and by his care in measuring time inside
the line. Sometime s a hypnotist swings a watch; Machad o does
that: th e beat s return regularly , th e vowels come again, tim e
passes so slowly it ca n b e measured ; w e listen. The tranc e of
ordinary life , chaotic , give s wa y t o a n ordere d trance , an d
water goe s o n flowin g whil e w e ar e asleep . Perhap s wate r
flows bes t in th e river while we are asleep. Water throug h th e
fountain lift s itsel f i n th e air . Bu t w e are asleep .

Machado had an answer to what poetry is: "la palabra e n el


tiempo." We could translat e thi s cryptic phrase as: "the wor d
in time, " "huma n languag e i n whic h we fee l tim e passing, "
or "word s tha t pic k u p th e energ y o f time, " o r "word s tha t
take thei r place , lik e drumbeats , i n tim e alread y counted. "
He love d t o ge t a phrase lik e "l a palabr a e n e l tiempo" an d
repeat i t unti l n o on e coul d understan d wha t i t meant . O f
course h e adore d narrativ e i n poems , which contains time as
a jar o f water contains water .
And doesn' t for m move through time ? "A Chines e jar stil l
moves perpetually i n it s stillness." Doesn't a snail develop its
gorgeous logorhythmi c shell-curv e b y movin g throug h time ?
We could sa y that only when the snail agrees not to be eternal,
when it accepts the descent into earth time that unfolds slowly,
only the n doe s the snai l achieve that for m which we foolishl y
associate with eternity. Machado adored th e well-made thing:
Form your letters slowly and well:
making things well
is more important than making them.

One o f th e firs t poem s of Machado' s tha t attracte d me was


his poe m on the bea n fields, whic h I saw in 195 9 in Willi s
Barnstone's translation :
The blue mountain, the river, the erect
coppery staffs of slender aspens,
and the white of the almond tree on the hill.
O flowering snow and butterfly on the tree!

[*]
With the aroma of the bean plants, the wind
runs in the joyful solitude of the fields!
We fee l tha t Machad o i s layin g a relativel y ligh t han d o n
nature here . I wa s more accustome d t o poem s i n whic h th e
author use s natur e t o mak e philosophica l points : Wha t a
certain ape did i s brought i n to bolster an argument, th e swan
sailing become s a symbol o f pride, th e snak e is either evi l or
wisdom, but seldo m a real snake. John Donn e writes well, but
his fleas always seem to fit into some elaborate human system ,
alchemical, Christian , o r occult . There is nothing th e matte r
with that, except that we may not hav e asked the snake or th e
flea how he feels about it .
It seem s that i n th e West, in general , when we write abou t
a field, we bring th e field into ou r stud y an d clos e th e door .
Not all poets do, of course. But one feels that Machado doesn't
ask th e field to com e to his poem, but h e brings hi s poem t o
the bean field . . . and eve n more amazing , he leaves it there I
With the aroma of the bean plants, the wind
runs in the joyful solitude of the fields!
That doesn't mea n that Machado is a nature Romantic ; (h e is
in fac t suspiciou s of the Romantics; ) nor tha t h e undervalues
the intellect ; (h e took i n fac t hi s advanced degre e in philoso -
phy). I thin k i t mean s tha t h e wishe s t o giv e t o th e fields a
respect simila r t o th e respec t he give s to an idea .

His favorit e philosophe r wa s Pythagoras . Pythagora s ap -


pears i n hi s poetr y fro m beginnin g t o end . Pythagoras ' doc -
trine o f the "musi c o f the spheres " i s probably present , alon g
with God, i n the early poem:
It's possible that while sleeping the hand
that sows the seeds of stars
started the ancient music going again

like a note from a great harp


and the frail wave came to our lips
as one or two honest words.

[3]
Pythagoras gav e hi m confidenc e t o writ e brie f poems , fo r
Pythagoras lef t onl y sayings . An d ye t hi s saying s sugges t a
secret bon d betwee n th e "sowe r o f th e stars, " an d th e lyre -
player o n earth . W e se e a gestur e o f someon e sowin g grain ,
whose hand sweep s the string s of a lyre, and fro m i t come s a
wave o f musi c tha t reache s eve n t o Spain . Whe n Spai n los t
the remain s o f he r empir e i n 1898 , th e writer s o f tha t gen -
eration realize d tha t th e ol d rhetorica l bluf f wa s over , an d
they had t o live now with reduced expectations , a diminishe d
thing, sadness , grief , limite d resources , a few words that wer e
honest.

Reading Machado, on e i s moved b y his firm and persisten t


efforts t o se e and t o listen . H e doe s no t wan t t o be caugh t as
the narcissis t is , i n a n interio r world , alon e wit h hi s con -
sciousness, but h e wants to cros s to other people , t o th e stars,
to the world :
To talk with someone,
ask a question first,
thenlisten.
Daydreaming i s not usefu l for crossing, bu t eye s are. "Today ,
just a s yesterday, the jo b o f the eyes , th e eye s i n th e hea d an d
in the mind, i s to see." The landscap e around Sori a he studies
with fierce attention. Ho w t o stud y th e oute r worl d withou t
losing inward richnesstha t is the issue Rilke and Pong e lived.
If we look only at our problems, Machado said, the inner world
dissolves; i f w e loo k onl y a t th e world , i t begin s t o dissolve .
If w e want t o create art , w e have t o stitc h togethe r th e inne r
world an d th e oute r world . Ho w t o d o that ? Machad o con -
cludes, well , w e could alway s use ou r eyes .
One o f his earliest memories, whic h he included i n Juan d e
Mairena's notebooks , i s this : "I' d lik e t o tel l yo u th e mos t
important thin g tha t eve r happene d t o me . On e da y when I
was stil l quit e young , m y mother an d I wer e ou t walking . I
had a piece o f sugar cane i n m y hand , I rememberi t wa s in
Seville, i n som e vanished Christma s season . Just ahea d o f u s

[4]
were anothe r mothe r an d childh e ha d a stic k o f suga r can e
too. I wa s sure min e wa s bigger I kne w i t was ! Eve n so , I
asked my motherbecause children alway s ask questions they
already kno w the answer to: 'Mine' s bigger, isn' t it? ' And she
said, 'No , m y boy , it' s not . Wha t hav e yo u don e wit h you r
eyes?' I'v e bee n asking myself tha t questio n eve r since."
The Ch'a n teacher s tel l a stor y abou t a ma n o f th e worl d
who one day confronts a master, and ask s him t o sum up wha t
he ha s learne d i n hi s lif e a s a Buddhis t monk . Th e maste r
hands hi m a piec e o f pape r wit h on e wor d writte n o n it :
"Attention!" The worldl y man no w insists that he is a serious
student, and implie s that the master i s holding back. He takes
the paper bac k and writes "Attention. Attention. " Th e world -
ly ma n no w appeal s t o th e master' s humanity , point s ou t
that h e to o has a soul , an d the y wil l bot h di e soon ; i t i s the
master's duty to tell hi m what h e needs to know. The maste r
says: "You'r e right." Taking the pape r he writes three words:
"Attention! Attention ! Attention! " Muc h o f Machado' s lif e
he spen t i n thi s effort o f attention .

Machado in hi s work makes clear tha t we in th e West hav e


our ow n traditio n o f attention . Pythagoras , fo r example ,
listened t o vibrations . H e usuall y bega n a lectur e wit h th e
monochord, which he plucked s o that his listeners could hea r
the note clearly; then , breakin g th e strin g at it s nodes, h e let
them hea r th e overtones . H e the n pointe d ou t tha t th e rela -
tionships betwee n th e vibration s the y ha d jus t hear d corre -
sponded to the relationships between the speeds of the planets .
Paying attention, in th e toug h sense of the phrase, mean s pay-
ing attentio n t o nonhuman vibrations , th e lif e o f cat-gut and
planets. Pythagora s said, "When yo u ge t up i n th e morning ,
smooth out th e shape of your body from th e bed. "
When Machad o pay s attention , h e pay s attention t o time ,
which surely existed before human beings; to landscape, whose
rhythm Machad o sai d i s slower tha n huma n rhythm ; t o th e
past of each city he lived in, fo r each city's life extend s beyon d
our individua l life ; t o th e wa y colors unfol d (Goeth e studie d

[5]
color also) ; t o synchronicity , tha t i s occasiona l identit y o f
human and natural events ; and to the curious world of dreams.
"Pythagoras' lyr e goes on resonating i n dreams, " he said .
Yet h e di d no t wan t t o los e "we" . H e kne w tha t a secre t
"you" wa s present i n th e feeling s evoke d b y a landscape . I n
poetry ever y feeling , h e said , "need s fo r it s creatio n th e dis-
tress o f othe r frightene d heart s amon g a natur e no t under -
stood. . .. In short , m y feeling i s not onl y mine , bu t ours."

Antonio Machad o wa s born o n Jul y 26 , 1875 , i n Seville .


Until h e wa s eight, h e live d i n th e enormou s Palaci o d e la s
Duenas, where his father , a teache r and earl y collector o f fol k
poetry an d fol k musi c in Spain , live d a s a kin d o f caretake r
for th e Duke of Alba. It had long passageways. When Antoni o
was eight , th e famil y move d t o Madrid ; ther e Antoni o an d
his brothers attende d th e Fre e Institution o f Learning, whos e
founder, Francisc o Gine r d e lo s Rios , ha d a profoun d effec t
on tw o o r thre e generation s o f Spanis h intellectual s an d
writers. Antoni o tende d t o b e torpi d an d slow ; h e too k te n
extra year s to get his B.A. He published his first book when he
was twenty-eight . Eventually he chos e a caree r a s secondary-
school teache r o f French , passe d the examination , an d whe n
he was thirty-two got his first job at Soria, a poor and exhauste d
town in th e grazed-out mountainous area o f Castile. He stayed
there fiv e years . Durin g th e secon d yea r h e marrie d th e
daughter o f the family in whose pension he lived, Leonor, then
fifteen. H e watche d he r sicke n o f tuberculosi s an d di e afte r
two mor e years , in th e fal l o f 1911 . "Sh e i s always wit h me, "
he said ; h e addresse d he r ofte n i n late r poems , and neve r re -
married. H e abandone d th e ide a o f suicide, wit h argument s
rather lik e Frost's : H e wrot e to Jimenez that h e did no t wan t
to annihilat e whateve r in hi m wa s helpful an d constructive .
He resigne d hi s position at Soria , and transferre d to Baeza, in
the south , neare r hi s first home, an d staye d there seven years.
During 1912 , hi s las t yea r i n Soria , hi s secon d book , Th e
Countryside o f Castile, cam e out ; an d h e continue d t o ad d

[6]
poems to it during hi s years in Baeza . In 1919 , he transferre d
again, this time to Segovia, which is only an hour from Madrid.
He wa s able no w on weekends to escape from provincia l life ,
which he complained was boring and deadening; and he began
writing plays and takin g part in the intellectual life of Madrid.
He live d in Segovi a from 191 9 to 1932 , thirteen years, during
which he fell i n lov e with a married woma n he called "Guio -
mar," invente d tw o poet-philosopher s name d Abe l Marti n
and Juan d e Mairena, an d publishe d hi s third book , Nuevas
canciones (New Poems). H e becam e mor e an d mor e activ e
in publi c life , writin g i n th e paper s o n politica l an d mora l
issues durin g th e excitin g perio d tha t le d i n 193 1 t o th e
proclamation o f th e Secon d Spanis h Republic . H e live d i n
Madrid afte r 193 2 with his brother Jose " and wrote , disguised
playfully a s Juan de Mairena, many articles in the newspapers
defending th e Republi c an d it s plans . Afte r th e civi l wa r
began i n 1936 , he continued t o write prose, bu t littl e poetry ,
and finally , January 28 , 1939, moving ahead of Franco's army ,
crossed th e Pyrenee s as a passenger in a n ol d car , holding hi s
mother o n his lap. H e died at Collioure, jus t over the border ,
on February 22 , and a s the gravestone s make clear, his mother
survived hi m b y only a few days. His attitude towar d hi s own
life resembled James Wright's towar d his: that it was a bookish
life, and th e event s were not to o important .

What abou t liveliness ? Everything is to be lively. When h e


was living at Segovia, he began to feed his made-up philosopher
Juan de Mairena bits of prose that he had written earlier. Here
is a little scene :
"Mr. Perez, please go to th e board and write:
The dail y occurrence s unfoldin g o n th e avenue."
The studen t did a s he was told.
"Now g o ahead and pu t tha t into poetic language."
The student , afte r som e thought, wrote:
What is going on in th e streets.
"Not bad!"

[7]
So Machado, thoug h h e wante d poetr y t o hav e nobilit y an d
beauty, refused t o achieve tha t throug h poeti c or archai c lan -
guage, which he kne w involve d a misus e o f time.
"Mr. Martinez , g o to the board and write :
Those olde n sword s of the glorious times . . . "
The studen t obeyed .
"To whic h tim e do you think th e poet was alluding here?"
"To th e tim e whe n th e sword s were no t old. "
"Every day , gentlemen , literatur e i s mor e 'written ' an d les s
spoken. Th e resul t i s tha t ever y da y w e writ e worse , i n a chill y
prose, withou t grace, howeve r correct i t ma y be: ou r eloquenc e i s
merely th e writte n wor d frie d again , i n whic h th e spoke n wor d
has alread y been encased . Inside ever y orator o f our tim e ther e i s
always a clumsy journalist. The importan t thin g i s to spea k well :
with liveliness , thought, an d grace . Th e res t will be given u s as a
gift."
He distrusts ancient eloquence:
"The trut h i s th e truth,"perhap s Agamemno n sai d i t o r hi s
swineherd.
Agamemnon: "Absolutel y clear. "
Swineherd: "I' m no t sur e about that . . . ."

[8]
FROM

TIMES ALON E
PASSAGEWAYS I N T H E H O U S E
AND O T H E R P O E M S

SOLDEDADES
GALERIAS
Y OTRO S P O E M A S

FIRST EDITIO N IQO g

ENLARGED I N IQO ^
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A PONIO MACHAD O wrot e som e o f hi s drea m poem s i n
his first book, Soledades, in 1899 ; Freud publishe d his
Interpretation o f Dreams th e sam e year. Machad o indepen -
dently makes dreams a primary subject of his poems, descends
into them, looks to them for guidance, goes downward, farther
and farthe r unti l h e find s water . Th e wate r h e ha s foun d
makes Soledades refreshing . One coul d sa y that "th e world "
exerts tremendou s pressure on th e psyche , collective opinio n
terrorizes the soul; the demands of the world obsess the pysche,
and th e worl d and it s attractions offer t o use up al l th e tim e
available. Eac h person need s then, earl y on, t o g o inside, fa r
enough inside to water the plants, awaken the animals, become
friends wit h th e desires , an d sens e what Machad o calls "th e
living pulse of the spirit," start the fire in the hearth, and close
the door so that what is inside us has sufficient powe r to hol d
its ow n agains t th e force s longin g t o invade . Machad o ha s
achieved thi s inner strengthenin g b y the tim e he finishes his
first book, and hi s praise of dreams is clear:
Memory is valuable for one thing,
astonishing: it brings dreams back.
His deep-lyin g confidence he perhap s received a s a reward
for hi s labor , o r perhap s i t wa s given a s a gift ; w e can't tell .
But th e confidence is unmistakable:
There the good and silent spirits
of life are waiting for you,
and one day they will carry you
to a garden of eternal spring.

But She will not fail to come.

["]
In the golden poplars
far off, the shadow of love is waiting for you.
It's clea r tha t hi s confidenc e rise s fro m som e sourc e fa r
below th e intellect , fa r belo w eve n th e securit y provided b y
the healthy mind i n th e healthy body. This sort o f confidence
seems t o spring from earlies t infancy. The positive , energeti c
mother hold s th e chil d nea r he r heart , an d h e look s ou t o n
the world : i t seem s all blossoming , al l good , an d h e carrie s
that confidenc e with hi m al l hi s life . Machad o suggest s tha t
if h e wer e a Provenca l lov e poet , an d wrot e a poe m t o a
woman's eyes, it would probably go this way:
your clear eyes, your eyes have
the calm and good light,
the good light of the blossoming world, that I saw
one day from the arms of my mother.
Even thoug h Soledades i s the book o f a young man, h e asks
questions i n i t usuall y no t aske d unti l ol d age . On e poe m
begins:
Faint sound of robes brushing
the exhausted earth!
This i s no t a romanti c poe m abou t villag e life , a s I firs t
thought: he say s tha t i f one really wants t o be depressed, on e
can liste n t o thi s soundth e Spanis h priest' s rob e brushin g
worn-out soil . I t remind s u s o f Blake' s despai r i n London .
Machado warn s us that we are not alone :
Snowy Roman ghosts
go about lighting the stars.
And h e warn s tha t i n suc h situations , i t i s ver y eas y fo r " a
phantasm" t o come, and thro w off our sens e of reality.
And h e ask s hard question s abou t wha t i s going on inside.
What i f we , ou t o f fea r o r recklessnes s o r carelessnes s have
stopped th e soul' s growth ? Wha t i f we , havin g invite d th e
world t o be with us, have let th e lif e o f the feelin g die?

[12]
The wind, one brilliant day, called
to my soul with an aroma of jasmine.

"In return for this jasmine odor,


I'd like all the odor of your roses."

"I have no roses; I have no flowers left now


in my garden. . . . All are dead."

"Then I'll take the waters of the fountains,


and the yellow leaves, and the dried-up petals."

The wind l e f t . . . . 7 wept. I said to my soul,


"What have you done with the garden entrusted to you?"
When w e hav e finishe d th e book , w e are awar e tha t Ma -
chado has found certain passageway s that lea d inwar d o r cer-
tain path s tha t lea d downward , an d the y ar e no t collectiv e
paths; an d becaus e he ha s found thos e paths, o n hi s own, i t
doesn't matte r so much i f he i s successful o r not , i f his lif e i s
full o r not .
Kabir ended one poem:
// you want the truth, I'll tell you the truth;
Friend, listen: the God whom I love is inside.
Kabir say s tha t simpl y and flatly , wit h hi s entir e cultur e be -
hind him . Machad o calls out i n a magnificent poem, parallel
to Kabir's , a similar vision, and call s his vision a "marvellou s
error."
Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamtmarvellous error!
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart. . . .

Last night, as I slept,


I dreamtmarvellous error!
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

[13]
The Westerner , afte r centurie s o f extroverte d science , an d
determined philosophica l attempt s t o remove sou l fro m con -
versation, architecture, observation and education , sees insid e
himself, an d sees what the ancients saw, but ca n hardly believe
it. He confesses tha t he must be seeing wrong .
In 1917 , whe n Machad o pu t togethe r hi s Selected Poems,
he wrote an introductor y piece for Soledades, and thi s is what
he said :
The poem s o f thi s first book, whic h wa s published i n Januar y
of 1903 , were written betwee n 189 9 an d 1902 . Around tha t time ,
Ruben Dario , who m th e critic s the n i n fashio n attacke d wit h
mockery, wa s th e ido l o f a smal l minority . I to o admire d th e
author o f Prosas profanas (Worldly Stories'), th e grea t maste r o f
form and feeling , who later revealed the depth o f his soul in Cantos
de vida y esperanza (Poems o f Life an d Hope). Bu t I triedan d
notice I d o no t boas t o f results, but onl y of intentionsto follo w
a quit e distinc t road. I though t tha t th e substanc e of poetry doe s
not li e in th e sound value of the word, nor i n it s color, no r i n th e
metric line, nor in the complex of sensations, but i n the deep puls e
of th e spirit ; an d thi s deep pulse is what the sou l contributes, if it
contributes anything , or wha t i t says , i f i t say s anything , with it s
own voice, in a courageous answe r to the touc h o f the world. An d
I though t als o tha t a ma n ca n overtak e b y surprise som e o f th e
phrases o f his inwar d conversation s wit h himself , distinguishin g
the livin g voic e fro m th e dea d echoes ; tha t he , lookin g inward ,
can glimps e th e deep-roote d images , th e thing s o f feelin g which
all me n possess . M y boo k wa s no t th e systemati c realization o f
this proposal, bu t suc h were my artistic intentions at tha t time .
This boo k wa s republished i n 1907 , with th e additio n o f ne w
poems whic h adde d nothin g substantia l t o th e origina l work ,
under the title Soledades, galerias y otros poemas. The tw o volumes
in effec t mad e u p a single book .
ANTONIO MACHAD O
Madrid, 191 7

N]
TIMES ALON E
PASSAGEWAYS I N TH E HOUS E
AND OTHE R POEM S
1

He andado muchos caminos,


he abierto muchas veredas;
he navegado e n cien mares,
y atracad o en cie n riberas .

En todas partes he vis to


caravanas de tristeza,
soberbios y melancolicos
borrachos de sombra negra,

y pedantone s a l pan o
que miran , callan, y piensan
que saben, porque no beben
el vino de las tabernas.

Mala gent e qu e camin a


y va apestando la tierra . . .

Y en todas partes he visto


gentes qu e danza n o juegan,
cuando pueden , y labora n
sus cuatro palmo s d e tierra .

Nunca, si llegan a un sitio ,


preguntan adond e llegan .
Cuando caminan, cabalgan
a lomos de mula vieja,

y no conoce n la prisa
ni au n e n los dias de fiesta.
Donde ha y vino, beben vino ;
donde n o ha y vino, agu a fresca .

Son buenas gentes que viven ,


laboran, pasan y suenan,
y e n u n di a com o tantos,
descansan bajo la tierra.

[16]
1

I hav e walked along man y roads,


and opene d path s throug h brush ,
I hav e sailed ove r a hundred sea s
and tie d u p o n a hundred shores .

Everywhere I've gon e I'v e seen


excursions o f sadness,
angry an d melanchol y
drunkards wit h blac k shadows,

and academic s in offstag e clothe s


who watch , say nothing, an d thin k
they know , becaus e the y d o no t drin k win e
in th e ordinar y bars .

Evil me n wh o walk aroun d


polluting th e earth . . .

And everywher e I'v e bee n I'v e see n


men wh o dance an d play ,
when the y can , an d wor k
the fe w inche s o f groun d the y have .

If the y tur n u p somewhere ,


they never ask where they are.
When the y tak e trips , the y ride
on th e back s o f ol d mules .

They don't know how to hurry,


not even on holidays.
They drink wine , i f ther e i s some,
if not , coo l water .

These men ar e th e goo d ones ,


who love , work , walk and dream .
And o n a day no differen t fro m th e res t
they li e dow n beneat h th e earth .

[17]
2

RECUERDO INFANTI L

Una tard e pard a y fri a


de invierno . Lo s colegiales
estudian. Monotoni a
de lluvia tras los cristales.

Es la clase. E n u n carte l
se representa a Cain
fugitive, y muerto Abel ,
junto a una manch a carmin.

Con timbr e sonor o y hueco


truena e l maestro, un ancian o
mal vestido , enjuto y seco,
que llev a u n libr o e n l a mano .

Y tod o un cor o infanti l


va cantand o l a leccion ;
"mil veces ciento, cien mil,
mil veces mil, un millon."

Una tard e parda y fria


de invierno . Lo s colegiales
estudian. Monotoni a
de l a lluvi a e n lo s cristales.

[18]
2

MEMORY FRO M CHILDHOO D

A chilly an d overcast afternoo n


of winter. The student s
are studying. Steady boredom
of raindrop s acros s the windowpanes .

Recess over. In a poster


Cain i s shown runnin g
away, and Abel dead,
not fa r from a red spot .

The teacher , with a voice husky and hollow ,


is thundering. H e i s an ol d ma n badl y dressed,
withered and dried up ,
holding a book in his hand.

And th e whole children's choi r


is singing its lesson:
"one thousan d time s one hundred i s one hundred thousand ,
one thousand time s one thousand is one million."

A chilly and overcas t afternoon


of winter . The student s
are studying . Stead y boredom
of raindrop s acros s the windowpanes .

[>9l
3

La plaz a y los naranjo s encendido s


con sus frutas redonda s y risuenas.

Tumulto de pequenos colegiales


que, a l salir en desorden d e la escuela,
llenan e l aire de la plaza en sombra
con l a algazar a d e su s voce s nuevas.

jAlegrfa infantil en los rincones


de las ciudades muertas! . . .
|Y algo nuestro de ayer, que todavi a
vemos vagar por estas calles viejas!

[20]
3

The square and the brilliant orange tree s


with their fruit round an d joyful .

Uproar o f the youn g students


piling i n confusion out o f the school
they fill the air of the shady square
with the gladnes s of their fres h voices .

Childlike gaiet y in th e nook s


of dea d cities !
And somethin g we once were, that w e still
see walking through thes e old streets!

[i]
4
EN E L E N T I E R R O D E U N AMIG O

Tierra le dieron un a tarde horrible


del mes de julio, bajo el sol de fuego .

A un paso de la abierta sepultura,


habia rosas de podridos pe"talos,
entre geranios de aspera fraganci a
y roja flor. El cielo
puro y azul. Corri a
un air e fuerte y seco.

De los gruesos cordeles suspendido,


pesadamente, descender hicieron
el ataud al fondo de la fos a
los dos sepultureros .. .

Y al reposar sono con recio golpe,


solemne, en el silencio.

Un golp e de ataud e n tierra es algo


perfectamente serio .

Sobre la negra caja s e rompian


los pesados terrenes polvorientos . . .

El aire se llevaba
de la honda fosa e l blanquecino aliento .

Y tii , si n sombr a ya , duerme y reposa,


larga paz a tus huesos .. .

Definitivamente,
duerme un suen o tranquilo y verdadero.

[M]
4

THE B U R I A L O F A F R I E N D

They gav e hi m t o eart h on e horribl e afternoo n


in July, unde r a burning sun .

One ste p fro m th e ope n hol e


roses lay with rotting petals,
geraniums with red flowers
and pungen t fragrance . The sk y
clear an d blue. A strong
and dr y wind was blowing.

Two gravedigger s
let th e coffi n han g ther e
heavily on it s fa t rope s
and the n settl e to the bottom . . .

And when it got there it made a loud thump


soberly in the silence.

The soun d o f a coffi n hittin g eart h


is a sound utterly serious.

Dry lumps of dirt


break on the black box . . .

A whitish breath
rose fro m th e deep hole, an d th e wind took it .

"And you , with no shadow now, sleep and be ;


deep peace to your bones . . .

It i s final now,
sleep your untroubled an d tru e dream."

[S]
5

Yo escucho los cantos


de viejas cadencias,
que los ninos cantan
cuando e n cor o juegan ,
y vierten e n coro
sus almas que suenan ,
cual vierten su s aguas
las fuentes de piedra:
con monotonias
de risas eternas ,
que n o son alegres,
con lagrimas viejas,
que no son amargas
y dicen tristezas,
tristezas de amore s
de antiguas leyendas.

En los labios ninos,


las canciones llevan
confusa l a histori a
y clara l a pena;
como clara e l agua
lleva su conseja
de viejo s amores ,
que nunca se cuentan.

Jugando, a la sombra
de una plaza vieja,
los ninos cantaban ...

La fuent e d e piedr a
vertia su eterno
cristal de leyenda.

[4]
5

I liste n to the songs


in suc h old meters!
that th e children sin g
when the y play together .
They pou r ou t i n choirs
their dream y souls
as the stone fountains
pour ou t their waters:
there i s eternal merrimen t
a bi t monotonous
not reall y joyful,
and grie f very ancient,
not reall y serious.
They pou r ou t sad things,
sad things about love
and tale s from th e past .

On the children's lips


as they sing the history
is tangled bu t
the pai n i s clear;
so the clear water
tells its garbled tal e
of loves long ago
that never get said.

Playing in th e shadow s
of the ancient square ,
the children g o on singing .

The ston e fountain


was pouring ou t it s eterna l
fountain o f story .

[5l
Cantaban lo s ninos
canciones ingenuas ,
de un alg o que pasa
y que nunca llega:
la historia confus a
y clara la pena.

Seguia su cuento
la fuent e serena ;
borrada l a historia ,
contaba la pena .

[86]
The childre n wer e singin g
their innocent songs,
of somethin g whic h is in motio n
yet neve r arrives :
the histor y is tangled
but th e pain i s clear.

The peaceabl e fountain


continues tellin g it s things;
the history lost ,
the pain ha s found words.

[7]
6

Daba el reloj las doce . .. y eran doce


golpes de azada en tierra ...
... jMi hora! gritd . . .. El silencio
me respondio: No temas ;
tu no veras caer la ultima gota
que e n l a clepsidra tiembla .

Dormiras muchas horas todavia


sobre la orilla vieja ,
y encontraras una manan a pur a
amarrada t u barc a a otra ribera.

[28]
6

The cloc k struck twelv e times . . . and i t was a spade


knocked twelv e times against the earth .
. . . "It's m y turn!" I cried. . . . The silence
answered me: Do not b e afraid .
You wil l never se e the las t drop fal l
that now is trembling i n th e wate r clock.

You wil l still sleep many hours


here o n the beach ,
and one clear morning you will find
your boa t tie d t o another shore .

N]
7

Sobre l a tierra amarga ,


caminos tien e e l sueno
labermticos, senda s tortuosas,
parques e n flo r y e n sombr a y e n silencio ;

criptas hondas , escala s sobre estrellas;


retablos de esperanza s y recuerdos.
Figurillas que pasa n y sonrien
juguetes melanc61icos de viej o ;

imagenes amigas,
a la vuelta florida del sendero,
y quimera s rosada s
que hacen camino . . . lejos . . .

[30]
7

Dreams have windin g


roads going over the embittere d
earth, labyrinthin e paths ,
parks in flower, and in darkness, and in silence;

deep vaults, ladders ove r th e stars;


altarpieces of hopes and memories .
Tiny me n wh o walk past smiling
melancholy toys of old people . . .

sweet visions
at the flowery turn i n the road,
and mythica l monsters, rosy ones,
that wander . . . far away . . .

[30
8

jTenue rumor d e tunicas que pasan


sobre la infertil tierra ! . . .
|Y lagrimas sonoras
de la s campana s vie jas I

Las ascuas mortecinas


del horizonte humea n . . .
Blancos fantasma s lare s
van encendiend o estrellas.

Abre el balc6n. L a hora


de una ilusion se acerca . . .
La tarde se ha dormido,
y la s campanas suenan .

[32]
8

Faint sound of robes brushin g


the exhauste d eart h 1
And s o much grief
from th e ancien t bells !

Dying coals
smoke in the west . . .
Snowy Roma n ghost s
go about lightin g th e stars .

"Open th e balcony door . It i s tim e


for th e phantasm to come . ..
The afternoo n i s dozing
and the bells are asleep."

[33]
9

Crece en la plaza en sombra


el musgo, y en la piedra viej a y santa
de la Iglesia. E n el atrio ha y un mendig o . . .
Mas vieja qu e l a iglesi a tien e e l alma .

Sube muy lento, e n las mananas frias,


por la marmorea grada,
hasta un rincon de piedra . . . Alii aparece
su mano seca entre la rota capa.

Con las 6rbitas huecas de sus ojos


ha visto como pasan
las blancas sombras, en los claros dias,
las blancas sombra s de las horas santas.

[34]
9

In th e shady parts of the square, moss


is growing, and on the sacred old slabs
of the church. A beggar stands on the church porch. .. .
He has a soul older tha n th e church.

On cold mornings he climbs with tremendous slowness


up th e marble stairs
toward a stony nookthen th e dry hand
appears fro m hi s torn cloak .

He has seen, with the dusty sockets


of hi s eyes ,
the whit e shadows go by, in th e sun-fille d days ,
the whit e shadows of th e hol y hours.

[35]
1O

Al horde del sendero un dia nos sentamos.


Ya nuestra vida e s tiempo, y nuestra sol a cuit a
son las desperantes posturas que tomamo s
para aguardar . .. Mas Ella no faltard a la cita.

[36]
1O

Close to the road we sit down one day.


Now our life amounts t o time, and our sole concer n
the attitudes of despair we adopt
while we wait. But Sh e will not fai l t o arrive .

[37]
II

LA N O R I A

La tard e caf a
triste y polvorienta.

El agua cantaba
su copla plebeya
en los cangilones
de la noria lenta.

Sonaba la mula,
jpobre mul a vieja! ,
al compas de sombra
que e n e l agua suena .

La tard e cai a
triste y polvorienta .

Yo no se ~ que" noble,
divino poeta,
unio a la amargura
de la eterna rued a

la dulc e armoni a
del agua que suena,
y vendo tus ojos ,
jpobre mula vieja! . . .

Mas s que fu un noble,


divino poeta,
coraz6n madur o
de sombra y de ciencia.

[38]
11

THE WATE R WHEE L

The afternoo n arrive d


mournful an d dusty.

The wate r was composing


its countrifie d poe m
in th e buckets
of th e laz y water wheel.

The mul e was dreaming


old and sa d mulel
in time to the darkness
that was talking in th e water .

The afternoo n arrive d


mournful an d dusty .

I don't know which noble


and religiou s poe t
joined th e anguish
of th e endles s wheel

to the cheerful music


of th e dreaming water,
and bandaged your eyes-
old and sad mulel . . .

But i t mus t have bee n a noble


and religious poet,
a hear t mad e matur e
by darknes s an d art .

[39]
12

GLOSA

Nuestras vidas son los rios,


que van a dar a la mar,
que e s el morir. [Gra n cantar !

Entre los poetas mios


tiene Manriqu e u n altar .

Dulce goce de vivir:


mala cienci a de l pasar ,
ciego huir a la mar .

Tras e l pavor de l mori r


esta e l placer d e llegar .

jGran placer !
Mas y el horror d e volver?
]Gran pesar!

[40]
12

COMMENTARY

"Our lives are rivers


and rivers flow and move to the sea,
which i s our dying." Marvellou s lines!

Among th e poets I admir e


I lov e Manriqu e th e most .

A sweet voluptuousness of living :


tough knowledg e of leaving ,
blind flight to the sea.

After th e frigh t of dying ,


the joy of having arrived.

Great joy!
Butthe terror of returning ?
Great grief l

[4i]
13

Anoche cuando dormia


son, j bendita ilusion!,
que una fontana fluia
dentro de mi corazon.
Di, ipo r que " acequi a escondida ,
agua, vienes hasta mi,
manantial d e nueva vida
en donde nunca bebi?

Anoche cuando dormi a


sone, | bendita ilusion! ,
que una colmen a tenia
dentro de mi corazon;
y las doradas abejas
iban fabricand o en el,
con las amarguras viejas,
blanca cer a y dulc e miel .

Anoche cuand o dormi a


sone\ [bendit a ilusi6n!,
que un ardient e sol lucia
dentro d e mi corazon.
Era ardiente porqu e dab a
calores de rojo hogar,
y er a so l porque alumbrab a
y porque hacia llorar.

Anoche cuando dormi a


sone", [ bendita ilusion! ,
que er a Dios lo que tenia
dentro de mi corazon.

[43]
J
3

Last night, a s I was sleeping,


I dreamtmarvellou s error!
that a spring wa s breaking
out i n my heart.
I said : Alon g whic h secre t aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new lif e
that I have never drunk?

Last night, as I was sleeping,


I dreamtmarvellous error!
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bee s
were making white combs
and swee t honey
from m y old failures.

Last night, a s I was sleeping,


I dreamtmarvellou s error!
that a fiery sun was giving
light insid e m y heart.
It was fiery because I fel t
warmth as from a hearth,
and su n because it gav e light
and brough t tear s t o my eyes.

Last night, a s I slept ,


I dreamtmarvellou s error!
that it was God I had
here inside m y heart.

[43]
*4

dMi corazo n s e ha dormido ?


Colmenares de mis suenos,
<iya n o labrais ? <;Est a seca
la noria de l pensamiento,
los cangilones vacios,
girando, d e sombr a llenos ?

No, mi corazon no duerme.


Esta despierto , despierto .
Ni duerme ni suefia , rnira,
los claros ojos abiertos ,
senas lejanas y escucha
a orillas del gran silencio .

[44]
H

Is my soul asleep?
Have thos e beehives tha t labor
at night stopped? And the water
wheel of thought,
is it dry, the cups empty,
wheeling, carryin g onl y shadows?

No my soul is not asleep .


It i s awake, wide awake.
It neithe r sleep s nor dreams , bu t watches ,
its clear eye s open ,
far-off things , an d listen s
at the shores of the grea t silence .

[45]
15

Desgarrada la nube; el arco iris


brillando ya en el cielo,
y en un fana l d e lluvia
y sol el campo envuelto.

Desperte. (jQuien enturbi a


los magico s cristale s de m i sueno ?
Mi corazon latia
at6nito y disperse.

. . . [E l limonar florido ,
el cipresal del huerto ,
el prado verde, el sol, el agua, el iris! . . . ,
I el agua en tus cabellos! . . .

Y todo en la memoria se perdia


como una pompa de jabon al viento.

[46]
*5
Clouds ripped open ; a rainbow
gleanrng now in th e sky,
the fields entirely folded insid e
the glas s bell o f rain and sunlight .

I woke up. What i s clouding


the magica l windowpanes of my dream?
My heart bea t
astonished an d upset .

The flowering lemon tree ,


the cypres s in row s i n th e garden ,
the green field, the sun, the water, the rainbowl
drops of water in your hair . . . !

And i t all vanished back insid e


like a soap bubble i n the wind.

[47]
i6

Y era el demonio de mi sueno, el angel


mas hermoso. Brillaba n
como aceros los ojos victoriosos,
y la s sangrientas llamas
de su antorcha alumbraro n
la honda cript a del alma.

iVendras conmigo?. No, jamas; las tumbas


y los muertos me espantan.
Pero la f^rre a man o
mi diestra atenazaba.

Vendras conmigo . .. Y avanc^ en mi suefio


cegado por la roja luminaria .
Y en la cripta sent ! sonar cadenas,
y rebullir d e fieras enjauladas.

[48]
i6

And h e wa s the demo n o f m y dreams, th e mos t handsom e


of al l angels. His victorious eyes
blazed like steel,
and th e flames that fel l
from hi s torch lik e drops
lit u p th e deep dungeon of the soul.

"Will you go with me?" "No, never! Tombs


and dea d bodies frighte n me. "
But his iron han d
took mine .

"You will go with me." .. . And in my dream I walked


blinded b y his red torch .
In th e dungeon I heard th e sound of chains
and th e stirrings of beasts that were in cages.

[49]
17
Desde e l umbral d e un suen o me llamaron . . .
Eta la buena voz, la voz querida.

Dime: <;vendra s conmigo a ver el alma? . ..


Lleg6 a mi coraz6n una caricia.

Contigo siempre . . . Y avance en mi sueno


por una larga , escueta galeria,
sintiendo e l roce de la veste pura
y el palpitar suave de la mano amiga.

[5]
i?
From th e door sill of a dream the y called my name....
It wa s the good voice , the voice I loved s o much.

"Listen: will you go with me to visit the soul?. .."


A soft strok e reached up t o my heart.

"With you always" . . . And in my dream I walked


down a long an d solitary corridor,
aware of the touchin g o f the pur e robe,
and th e sof t beatin g of blood i n th e hand tha t love d me .

[5i]
i8

Si yo fuera un poeta
galante, cantari a
a vuestros ojos un canta r ta n puro
como en el marmol bianco e l agua limpia .

Y en una estrof a d e agua


todo el cantar seria:

Ya se que no responden a mis ojos ,


que ve n y no preguntan cuando miran,
los vuestros claros, vuestros ojos tiene n
la buen a lu z tranquila ,
la buen a lu z de l mund o e n flor , qu e h e visto
desde los brazos de mi madre un dfa. n

[52]
i8

If I were a poet
of love , I would make
a poem fo r your eye s as clear
as the transparen t wate r i n th e marbl e pool .

And i n m y water poe m


this is what I would say:

"I kno w you r eye s do no t answe r mine,


they loo k an d d o not questio n whe n the y look :
your clea r eyes , your eye s hav e
the calm and goo d light ,
the goo d ligh t o f th e blossomin g world , tha t I saw
one day from th e arm s of my mother."

[53]
19

Y nada importa ya que e l vino de oro


rebose de t u cop a cristalina,
o el agrio zumo enturbie e l puro vas o . . .

Tu sabe s las secretas galeria s


del alma , los caminos de los suenos,
y la tard e tranquil a
donde van a morir . .. Alii te aguardan

las hadas silenciosas de la vida,


y hacia un jardi n d e eterna primaver a
te llevaran un dfa .

[54]
19

It doesn' t matte r no w if th e golde n win e


floats abundantly i n you r crysta l cup ,
or if the bitter juice clouds th e pure glass. . . .

You kno w th e secre t passageways


of th e soul, th e roads tha t dream s take ,
and th e cal m evenin g
where the y g o to die . . . . There th e goo d an d silen t spirit s

of lif e ar e waitin g fo r you ,


and on e da y they will carr y you
to a garden o f eternal spring .

[55]
20

Llamo a mi corazon , un clar o dia,


con un perfum e d e jazmin, el viento .

A cambio de est e aroma ,


todo el aroma d e tu s rosas quiero.
No teng o rosas; flores
en mi jardin no hay ya: todas han muerto .

Me llevare " los llanto s d e la s fuentes ,


las hojas amarillas y los mustios petalos.
Y e l viento huy o . . . Mi corazon sangraba . . .
Alma, ique has hecho de tu pobre huerto?

[56]
20

The wind , on e brilliant day , calle d


to my soul with an arom a o f jasmine.

"In retur n fo r this jasmine odor,


I'd lik e al l the odo r of your roses. "

"I hav e no roses; I hav e no flowers left no w


in my garden. . . . All are dead."

"Then I'l l tak e the waters of the fountains ,


and th e yellow leaves and th e dried-u p petals. "

The wind left . . .. I wept. I said to my soul,


"What have you done with the garden entrusted t o you?"

[57]
21

La cas a ta n querid a
donde habitaba ella ,
sobre u n monto n d e escombro s arruinad a
o derruida, ensefi a
el negro y carcomido
maltrabado esquelet o de madera .

La luna esta vertiendo


su clara luz en suenos que platea
en las ventanas. Mai vestido y triste,
voy caminando por l a calle vieja .

[58]
21

The hous e I loved so much


she live d there -
rising abov e a grea t moun d o f brick s an d chunks ,
broken dow n
and collapsed , shows now
its blac k an d worm-eate n
badly lasting skeleton of wood .

The moo n i s pouring dow n


her clear ligh t in dream s that tur n
the window s silver. Poorl y dresse d an d sad ,
I g o walking along th e ol d street .

[59]
22

Yo, como Anacreonte,


quiero cantar, reir y echar al viento
las sabia s amarguras
y los graves consejos,

y quiero , sobr e todo , emborracharme ,


ya lo sabeis . . . jGrotesco!
Pura fe en el morir, pobr e alegri a
y macabro danza r antes de tiempo .

[60]
22

Like Anacreon ,
I wan t t o sing, and t o laugh, an d t o throw
to th e win d
the sophisticate d sarcasms , an d th e soberin g proverbs .

And I wan t eve n more t o get drunk


you know about itbizarre !
A true fait h i n dying , a thin joy,
strange dancing a little ahead of time.

[61]
23

[Oh tard e luminosa !


El air e est a encantado .
La blanc a cigiiena
dormita volando ,
y las golondrinas se cruzan, tendida s
las alas agudas al viento dorado,
y en l a tarde risuefia s e alejan
volando, sonand o . . .

Y hay una qu e torn a com o la saeta ,


las alas agudas tendidas a l air e sombrio .
buscando su negro rinco n de l tejado .

La blanc a cigiiena,
como un garabato ,
tranquila y disforme, [ta n disparatada! ,
sobre e l campanario .

p]
23

Oh, evenin g ful l of light !


The ai r hovers enchanted.
The whit e stork hal f
sleeps as he flies,
and th e swallow s cross and recross , th e pointe d wing s
stretched ou t i n th e golden wind ,
and i n th e gla d evenin g wheel far off
flying dreaming . . . .

And one turns back like an arrow,


his pointe d wing s stretched ou t i n th e darkenin g wind ,
finding hi s black hol e in th e roo f tiles !

And th e white stork,


shaped lik e an iro n hook ,
serene an d deformeds o absurd!
on the bell tower!

[63]
24

Es una tard e cenicienta y mustia,


destartalada, como e l alma mia ;
y es esta vieja angustia
que habita mi usual hipocondria .
La causa de esta angustia no consigo
ni vagament e comprende r siquiera ;
pero recuerdo y , recordando, digo :
Si, yo era nino, y tii, mi companera.

Y no e s verdad, dolor , y o te conozco,


tu eres nostalgia de la vida buena
y soleda d d e corazo n sombrio,
de barc o si n naufragi o y si n estrella .
Como perro olvidado qu e n o tien e
huella n i olfat o y yerra
por lo s caminos , si n camino, com o
el nino que en la noche de una fiesta
se pierde entr e e l genti o
y el aire polvoriento y la s candelas
chispeantes, atonito , y asombr a
su corazon de music a y de pena ,
asi voy yo, borracho melancolico ,
guitarrista lunatico , poeta ,
y pobre hombr e e n suenos,
siempre buscand o a Dio s entr e l a niebla .

[64]
24

The evenin g is greyish and gloomy ,


shabby, and m y spirit i s the same .
The anxiet y I have is the on e I know ,
neighbor t o my old hypochondria .

I don' t kno w wha t causes this anxiety ;


I don' t eve n have a general understanding ;
but I thin k back , and, remembering, I say:
"Yes I was a boy, an d yo u wer e my only friend. "

Sorrow, i t i s not tru e tha t I know you;


you ar e the nostalgi a for a goo d life ,
and th e alonenes s of the sou l in shadow ,
the sailin g ship withou t wreck an d withou t guide .

Like an abandoned do g who cannot find


a smell or a track and roams
along th e roads, with no road, lik e
the chil d wh o in a night of the fai r

gets los t amon g th e crowd,


and th e ai r i s dusty, an d th e candle s
fluttering,astounded, hi s hear t
weighed down by music and b y pain;

that's how I am, drunk, sad by nature,


a mad and lunar guitarist , a poet,
and a n ordinar y ma n lost i n dreams,
searching constantl y fo r Go d amon g th e mists .

[65]
25

CAMPO

La tard e est a muriendo


como un hoga r humilde que s e apaga.

Alia, sobre los montes,


quedan alguna s brasas.

Y ese arbol roto en el camino bianco


hace llora r d e lastima .

[Dos ramas en el tronco herido, y una


hoja marchita y negra en cada rama!

<>Lloras? . .. Entre los alamos de oro,


lejos, l a sombr a de l amo r t e aguarda .

[66]
25

FIELD

The afternoo n i s dying


like a simple househol d fir e tha t goe s out .

There, abov e the mountains,


a fe w coal s are left .

And tha t tre e on the white road, broken ,


makes you cr y with compassion .

Two branche s on the torn trunk, and one


leaf, withere d an d black , o n eac h branch!

Are you crying now? ... In the golden poplar s


far off , the shado w o f lov e i s waitin g fo r you .

[67]
26

RENACIMIENTO

Galerias del alma . . . ;E1 alma nifia !


Su clara lu z risuena;
y la pequena historia,
y la alegria de la vida nueva . . .

[Ah, volver a nacer, y andar camino ,


ya recobrada l a perdida sendal

Y volver a senti r e n nuestr a mano ,


aquel latid o d e l a mano buen a
de nuestra madre . . . Y caminar e n suenos
por amor d e la mano que nos lleva.

En nuestras almas tod o


por misterios a mano se gobierna.
Incomprensibles, mudas ,
nada sabemo s de las almas nuestras.

Las mas Hondas palabra s


del sabio nos ensenan,
lo que el silbar del viento cuando sopla,
o el sonar de las aguas cuando ruedan .

[68]
26

REBIRTH

Passageways of th e soul! The sou l like a young woman!


Her clear smilin g light
and th e history no t Iqng ,
and th e joy of a new life . . .

Yes, t o b e born again, an d wal k the road ,


having found the lost path !

To fee l i n our hand onc e mor e


the pulse in th e good han d
of ou r mothe r . . . And t o walk throug h lif e i n dream s
out o f lov e fo r th e han d tha t guide s us.

In ou r soul s everything
moves guided b y a mysterious hand.
We kno w nothing o f our ow n souls
that are ununderstandable an d say nothing.

The deepes t words


of th e wis e man teac h us
the same as the whistle of the wind when it blows
or th e soun d o f the wate r when i t i s flowing.

[69]
27

Tal vez la mano, e n suefios,


del sembrador d e estrellas,
hizo sonar l a rmisic a olvidad a

como una nota de la lira inmensa ,


y la ola humilde a nuestros labios vino
de unas pocas palabras verdaderas.

[7o]
27

It's possible that whil e sleeping the hand


that sow s the seed s of star s
started th e ancient musi c going agai n

like a note fro m a great harp


and th e frai l wav e came to our lip s
as one o r two honest words .

[7i]
28

Y podrd s conocert e recordand o


del pasado sonar los turbios lienzos,
en este dia trist e en que caminas
con lo s ojos abiertos .

De toda l a memoria, sol o vale


el do n preclar o d e evoca r lo s suenos .

[72]
28

You ca n kno w yourself , i f you brin g u p


those cloudy canvases from your dreams ,
today, thi s day, when yo u wal k
awake, open-eyed .

Memory i s valuable fo r on e thing ,


astonishing: i t bring s dream s back .

[73]
This page intentionally left blank
FROM

THE C O U N T R Y S I D E
OF CASTIL E

CAMPOS D E CASTILL A

FIRST EDITIO N 101 2

ENLARGED I N1 91 7
This page intentionally left blank
SILY I N lazy moments does a poet concentrate o n inter -
"opreting hi s dreams , an d pickin g things ou t o f the m
he ca n us e i n hi s poems. Dream stud y has not ye t produce d
anything of importance i n poetry . Th e poem s written whil e
we are awake, even those less successful, are more original an d
more beautiful , an d sometime s more wil d tha n thos e mad e
from ou r dreams . I can say this because I spent many years of
my lif e thinkin g jus t th e opposite . Bu t a par t o f wisdo m is
changing one's opinions."
Machado wants the conscious mind t o take part, eve n more
vigorously tha n i t di d i n Soledades, whil e th e poe m itsel f
remains mysterious and committed to depth. This idea marks
a bi g shif t fro m th e aim s of Soledades. During th e five years
that he spent in Soria, from 190 7 to 1912 , he wrote Th e Coun-
tryside o f Castile (Campos de Castillo), firs t version , an d I'l l
mention five areas in which I've noticed shifts, turns , changes,
increases in depth . H e responds, i n thi s book, t o his mother's
question: "Wha t have you done wit h your eyes? "
Living i n Soria , h e trie s t o se e the countrysid e an d t o de-
scribe wha t a daw n i n Castil e is like, rathe r tha n t o remai n
content wit h a dreamy o r poeti c versio n o f dawn. H e under -
stands tha t being spiritually awake and keeping the eyes open
are connected . "On e ha s to kee p the eye s well ope n i n orde r
to se e things as they are, an d stil l more open t o se e them as
other tha n the y are, and open the m still more widely in order
to see things as better tha n the y are. "
One also senses that he experienced somethin g entirely new
in hi s lov e for Leonor. We could sa y that Machado , wit h his
marvellous introversion , ha d me t year s befor e hi s feminine
self, o r feminin e soul, fa r insid e himself , a t th e en d o f some

[77]
passageway i n a dream . H e experience d tha t acquaintance -
ship; kne w "her. " Bu t whe n h e me t Leono r h e experience d
that feminin e soul i n anothe r person . Isn' t a man's feminin e
soul younge r tha n h e is ? The sou l tha t wa s once inside him ,
or onl y insid e him , i s no w outsid e a s well , an d wha t onc e
tended t o separat e hi m fro m other s now draw s him clos e t o
one huma n being , bond s him . Hi s fait h i n th e surprise s of
the univers e deepens .
Third, he continues t o search in his work for "the thing s of
feeling tha t al l me n possess. " H e move s to brin g th e privat e
close t o th e public , or , mor e exactly , to embod y hi s privat e
introverted perception s in poetic forms so available they could
be called public, for even the people i n Spain that can neithe r
read nor write know the coplas (the popular songs) and ballads .
He compare d th e copla s t o a commo n earthe n ju g tha t h e
once saw lying beside a spring which people could drink from.
In thi s deepenin g h e resemble s Yeats, who, shortly before he
died, referrin g t o a recent article , said that th e greatest honor
anyone coul d pa y hi m wa s t o us e th e wor d "public " abou t
his language .
In accordanc e perhaps wit h his determination t o write with
eyes open , h e take s a ste p fe w twentieth-centur y poets hav e
taken: h e ask s thinking t o ente r hi s poems . H e i s not afrai d
that thinkin g wil l evic t feeling , and i t doesn't ; an d h e recog-
nizes it a s a power, a lif e energy . Thinking often show s itself
in th e willingness t o break th e hoped-for unity. Yeats says:
The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life or of the work.
Machado says:
There are two sorts of consciousness:
one involves light, one patience.
He oppose s th e churc h becaus e it depresse s thinking :
Make noise, anvils; be silent, you church bells!
He bring s th e wides t possibl e pole s int o a smal l poem . Fo r
example: Doe s everythin g pas s away? O r i s what passe s away

[78]
only a veil , an d behin d tha t i s ther e somethin g tha t last s
forever?
All things die, and all things live forever;
but our task is to die,
to die while making roads,
roads over the sea.
His thinkin g is sprightly, an d h e take s risk s with it .
Finally, on e sense s i n Th e Countryside o f Castile tha t h e
has passed through some intense burning, some testing , a cook-
ing of some kind, which ha s changed some of his slow lead into
gold. H e n o longe r ha s a bushel-baske t ove r hi s candle , bu t
allows hi s ligh t t o radiate, an d i s very clea r abou t wha t sor t
of ligh t i t is .
I never wanted fame,
nor wanted to leave my poems
behind in the memory of men.
I love the subtle worlds,
delicate, almost without weight
like soap bubbles.
I enjoy seeing them take the color
of sunlight and scarlet, float
in the blue sky, then
suddenly quiver and break.
Here are the words he wrote about The Countryside o f Castile:
In a thir d collectio n I publishe d m y second book , Campos de
Castilla (1912) . Five years in and around Soria , which is now sacred
to me there I married and ther e I lost my wife, whom I adored
drew me, my vision an d m y feelings, int o wha t was deeply Castil-
ian. Moreover , m y se t of idea s ha d change d ver y much. W e ar e
victims, I thought , o f a double hallucination. I f we look outward ,
and concentrat e o n enterin g things , ou r externa l worl d begin s t o
lose solidity, an d i f we conclude tha t i t exists not i n an d fo r itself ,
but exist s because of us, it end s by dissolving. However, if, moved
by ou r privat e reality , w e turn ou r eye s inward , the n th e worl d
pushes in o n us , and i t i s our interio r world , our being , that dis-
appears. Wha t t o d o then ? Weave th e threa d give n t o us , dream
our drea m and live ; i t i s the onl y way we can achieve the miracl e
of growth . A ma n attentiv e t o himsel f an d tryin g t o overhea r

[79]
himself drown s th e onl y voice he coul d hear his own; but othe r
voices confuse him . Are w e then doome d t o b e merel y observers?
But whe n w e see , reason i s present, an d reaso n analyze s an d dis-
solves. Th e reaso n wil l soon brin g th e whol e theate r down , an d
finally, our shado w alone will be projected against the background.
As for the poet, I though t that his job was to create new poems out
of wha t i s eternall y human , spirite d storie s that hav e thei r ow n
life, eve n though they came from him . I considere d th e old narra -
tive romance th e suprem e expression of poetry , an d I wante d t o
write a ne w book o f them . La tierra de Alvergonzalez cam e fro m
this longing . Th e las t thin g I wan t is to resuscitat e the genr e i n
its traditional sense. Working up of old-style balladschivalrous or
moorishwas neve r t o m y taste , an d al l imitation s o f archai c
things seem ridiculous to me. It's tru e that I learned to read in the
Romancero general whic h m y uncl e Augusti n Dura n collected ;
but m y own narratives did not spring from heroi c tales, but rathe r
from th e peopl e wh o composed the m and th e part s of the country
where they were sung; my narratives look to what is fundamentally
human, to the Castilian countryside and t o the first book of Moses,
which i s calle d Genesis.
You will come on man y poems in thi s book a long way from th e
propositions I hav e jus t mentioned . Man y o f th e poem s sprin g
from a preoccupatio n wit h th e nation ; other s fro m a simpl e love
of natur e tha t i n m e i s fa r stronge r tha n th e lov e of art . Finally,
some o f th e poem s sho w th e man y hour s o f m y lif e spentsom e
would sa y wastedthinking about th e puzzle s of the human bein g
and th e oute r world .
ANTONIO MACHAD O
Madrid, 191 7

[80]
THE COUNTRYSID E
OF CASTIL E
RETRATO

Mi infancia son recuerdos de un pati o de Sevilla,


y un huert o claro donde madur a e l limonero;
mi juventud, veinte afios e n tierra de Castilla;
mi historia, alguno s casos que recorda r n o quiero .

Ni u n seducto r Mafiara , n i u n Bradomi n h e sido


ya conoceis mi torp e alino indumentario,
mas recibi la flecha que m e asigno Cupido,
y am cuanto ellas puedan tene r de hospitalario .

Hay en mis venas gotas de sangre jacobina,


pero m i verso brota de manantial sereno;
y, mas que u n hombr e al uso que sab e su doctrina,
soy, en e l buen sentido de la palabra, bueno.

Adoro l a hermosura , y en l a modern a estetic a


corte las viejas rosas del huerto de Ronsard ;
mas no amo los afeites de la actual cosmetica,
ni soy un av e de esas del nuevo gay-trinar.

Desdeno las romanzas de lo s tenores huecos


y el coro de los grilles que canta n a la luna.
A distinguir me paro las voces de los ecos,
y escuch o solamente, entre las voces, una.

(jSoy clasico o romantico? No se . Dejar quisiera


mi verso, como deja e l capitan su espada:
famosa po r la mano viril que l a blandiera,
no por e l docto oficio de l forjador preciada .

Converso con el hombre que siempr e va conmigo


quien habla solo espera hablar a Dios un dia ;
mi soliloquio es platica con este buen amigo
que me enseno el secreto de la filantropia .

[8s]
PORTRAIT

My childhood i s memories of a patio i n Seville ,


and a garden where sunlit lemons are growing yellow;
my youth twenty years on the eart h of Castile;
what I lived a few things you'll forgive me for omitting .

A great seducer I was not, nor th e lover of Juliet;


the oafish wa y I dres s is enough to sa y that
but th e arrow Cupid planned fo r me I got ,
and I love d wheneve r women foun d a hom e i n me .

A flow of leftist bloo d move s through m y body,


but m y poems rise from a calm and deep spring .
There is a man o f rule who behaves as he should, but mor e
than him , I am, in th e good sense of the word, good .

I ador e beauty , and followin g contemporary though t


have cut som e old roses from th e garde n o f Ronsard;
but th e new lotions and feather s ar e not fo r me;
I am not on e of the blue jays who sing so well.

I dislike hollow tenors who warble of love,


and th e choru s of crickets singing t o the moon .
I fal l silen t so as to separate voices from echoes,
and I liste n amon g the voices to one voice and onl y one.

Am I classic or Romantic? Who knows. I want to leave


my poetry as a fighter leave s his sword, known
for th e masculine hand tha t closed aroun d it ,
not fo r th e coded mark of the proud forger.

I tal k always to the man who walks along with me;


men who talk t o themselves hope t o tal k t o Go d someday -
My soliloquies amount t o discussions with thi s friend,
who taugh t me th e secre t of loving human beings .

[83]
Y al cabo, nada o s debo; debeism e cuanto he escrit o
A mi trabajo acudo, con mi dinero pag o
el traje que me cubre y la mansion que habito ,
el pan qu e m e alimenta y el lecho en donde yago.

Y cuando llegue el dia del ultim o viaje ,


y este al partir la nave que nunca h a de tornar,
me encontrareis a bordo liger o de equipaje,
casi desnudo, como los hijos de la mar .

[84]
In the end, I owe you nothing; you owe me what I've written.
I tur n t o my work; with what I've earned I pay
for m y clothes and hat, the house in which I live,
the food tha t feeds my body, the bed on which I sleep.

And whe n the day arrives for th e last leaving of all,


and the ship tha t never returns to port is ready to go,
you'll fin d m e o n board , light , wit h fe w belongings ,
almost naked like the children of the sea.

[85]
i E R E S TtJ , G U A D A R R A M A

(jEres tu, Guadarrama, viejo amigo,


la sierra gri s y blanca,
la sierra de mis tardes madrilenas
que y o veia e n e l azu l pintada ?

For tu s barranco s hondo s


y por tu s cumbres agrias,
mil Guadarrama s y mil soles vienen,
cabalgando conmigo, a tus entranas.

Camino de Balsam, ign

[86]
OH, GUADARRAM A RANG E

Oh, Guadarram a range, i s it you , old friend ,


that smoky bluish range,
long Madri d afternoons when I used to see
your peak s painted agains t th e blue sky ?

As I ride up your deep valleys,


and ride past your sharp-honed ridges,
a thousand suns and a thousand Guadarrama s
ride with me, as I go far, deep into you.

On the Balsam road, 1911

[87]
AMANECER D E OTON O
A Julio Romero de Torres

Una larga carretera


entre grise s penascales,
y alguna humilde prader a
donde pace n negro s toros . Zarzas , malezas , jarales .

Esta la tierra mojad a


por la s gota s del rocio ,
y la alameda dorada ,
hacia la curva del rio .

Tras los monies de violeta


quebrado e l primer albor ;
a l a espald a l a escopeta,
entre sus galgos agudos, caminando un cazador.

[88]
FALL DAW N
For Julio Romero de Torres

The roa d run s alon g


between grayis h rock spines,
and a fe w grass y spots , pastures ,
black bull s eating . Blackberries , weeds, wild roses .

Earth stil l carries moistur e


from th e night dew,
and th e poplar s have yellowed
along the river's curve.

The firs t ligh t o f dawn


lifts fro m th e viole t peaks;
a hunter walks, with his gun
shouldered, o n th e roa d betwee n his tense dogs .

[89]
CAMPOS D E SORI A

Es la tierra de Soria arida y fria .


For las colinas y las sierras calvas,
verdes pradillos , cerro s cenicientos ,
la primaver a pas a
dejando entre las hierbas olorosa s
sus diminutas margaritas blancas .
La tierra no revive, el campo suena.
Al empezar abril est a nevada
la espald a de l Moncayo ;
el caminante lleva en su bufanda
envueltos cuello y boca, y los pastore s
pasan cubierto s co n sus luengas capas .

[90]
TWO POEM S FRO M
"T H E C O U N T R Y S I D E O F S O R I A "

The groun d aroun d Sori a is washed out and cold.


Through the ridges and the bald peaks,
the miniatur e gree n meadows , the ash-colore d hills ,
spring travel s
leaving white margarita blossoms behin d
among the wild-smellin g grasses.

The eart h does not awake, the country sleeps on.


Moncayo's spine carries snow
in early April;
Those walking wear scarves
protecting throa t and mouth, and the shepherd s
go past hidden i n their trailin g capes.

[9i]
2

1 Soria fria . Soria pura,


cabeza de Extremadura,
con su castillo guerrero
arruinado, sobre el Duero;
con sus murallas roidas
y su s casas denegridas!

jMuerta ciudad de senores


soldados o cazadores;
de portales con escudos
de cie n linaje s hidalgos,
y de famelico s galgos,
de galgo s flacos y agudos,
que pulula n
por la s sordidas callejas,
y a la medianoche ululan ,
cuando grazna n las cornejasl

]Soria fria! L a campan a


de la Audiencia d a la una .
Soria, ciudad castellan a
[tan bella l baj o l a luna.

[92]
2

Cold Soria , intense Soria ,


head o f Estremadura ,
your military castle
by the Duero thrown down,
your walls eaten away ,
and house s turning black!

Dead cit y o f knights,


harquebusiers o r hunters ;
elaborate door frame s
identifying lineages ,
tense and lea n greyhounds ,
starving greyhound s as well
who bree d abundantl y
in th e filthy alleys
and how l at midnigh t
when th e crows caw!

Cold Soria ! Th e bell s


on th e courthouse announc e one .
Soria, Castilia n city
so beautiful!under th e moon .

[93]
CAMINOS

De la ciudad morun a
tras las murallas viejas,
yo contemplo la tard e silenciosa,
a solas con mi sombra y con mi pena.

El rio va corriendo,
entre sombrfas huertas
y grises olivares,
por lo s alegres campos de Baeza.

Tienen la s vides pdmpanos dorado s


sobre las rojas cepas.
Guadalquivir, como un alfanj e rot o
y disperse, reluce y espejea.

Lejos, lo s montes duermen


envueltos en la niebla,
niebla de otofio, maternal; descansan
la rudas moles de su se r de piedr a
en esta tibia tard e de noviembre,
tarde piadosa , cdrdena y violeta.

El viento ha sacudid o
los mustios olmos de la carretera,
levantando en rosados torbellinos
el polvo de la tierra .
La luna estd subiendo
amoratada, jadeante y llena.

Los caminitos blancos


se cruzan y se alejan ,
buscando lo s disperses caserios
del valle y de la sierra .
Caminos de los campos . . .
|Ay, y a n o pued o camina r co n ella !

[94]
COUNTRY ROAD S

From thi s Moorish city,


behind it s medieval ramparts,
I watch the sun quietly setting
alone with my shadow and my pain.

The Guadalquive r
between shadow-fille d orchard s
and grey olive groves
penetrates th e carefree fields of Baeza.

Grapevines show gold


above their red trunks .
The river , lik e a sword broken an d tosse d
in pieces , bit s o f a mirror, shines.

Far away, the peaks of Castile sleep


inside the grey fog, the maternal
fog o f November; stony humps
rest from thei r job o f being stone
in thi s warm evening
which is violet, mauve, and forgiving .

Wind has torn some leaves


off th e withered elms along the road,
and i t lifts rosy
whirlwinds of dust. . . .
The moo n rises ,
purple, deep-chested, and full .

The white cart paths


cross each other and wande r off
looking fo r farmhouses
in th e foothill s and lo w places.
Roads throug h th e fields -
thai I can no longer tak e with herl

[95]
SENOR, Y A M E ARRANCAST E

Senor, y a me arrancaste l o que yo mas queria.


Oye otra vez , Dios mio, m i corazo n clamar.
Tu volunta d s e hizo, Senor , contr a l a mia.
Senor, ya estamos solos mi corazon y el mar.

[96]
LORD, YO U HAV E R I P P E D AWA Y

Lord, you have ripped away from me what I loved most.


One mor e time, O God, hear me cry out inside .
"Your will be done," i t was done, and min e not.
My heart and th e sea are together, Lord, an d alone .

[97]
DICE L A ESPERANZ A

Dice la esperanza : un di a
la veras, si bien esperas.
Dice la desesperanza:
s61o t u amargur a e s ella.
Late, corazon . .. No todo
se lo ha tragad o la tierra.

[98]
H O P E SAY S

Hope says: Someday you will


see her, if you know how to wait.
Despair says :
She i s only you r bitternes s now.
Beat, heart... The earth
has not swallowe d everything .

[99]
ALLA, E N LA S TIERRA S ALTA S

Alia, en las tierras altas,


por dond e traz a el Duer o
su curv a d e ballesta
en torno a Soria, entr e plomizo s cerros
y mancha s de raido s encinares ,
mi corazon esta vagando, e n suefios . ..

<jNo ves, Leonor, lo s alamos del ri o


con su s ramajes yertos ?
Mira el Moncayo azul y bianco; dam e
tu mano y paseemos.
Por estos campos de la tierra mia,
bordados d e olivare s polvorientos ,
voy caminando solo ,
triste, cansado, pensativ o y viejo.

[100]
THERE I N THA T M O U N T A I N O U S LAN D

There, in that high plateau ,


where th e Duero Rive r draw s bac k
its crossbow
around Soria , amon g lead-colore d hills ,
and patche s o f worn-out oaks,
my heart i s walking about, daydreaming . . . .

Leonor, do you see the rive r poplar s


with thei r stil l branches?
You can see Moncayo, bluish an d white; give me
your hand , and w e will walk.
Through these fields of my country,
with their embroidery of dusty olives,
I g o walking alone,
sad, tired , thoughtfu l an d old .

[101]
SONE QU E T U M E LLEVABA S

Sone que tu me llevabas


por una blanca vereda,
en medio del campo verde,
hacia e l azu l de la s sierras,
hacia los monies azules,
una manana serena.

Senti t u man o en la mia,


tu man o d e companera,
tu voz de nina en mi oido
como un a campan a nueva,
como una campan a virgen
de un alba de primavera.
[Eran tu voz y tu mano ,
en suenos, tan verdaderasl...
Vive, esperanza , jqui n sab e
lo que s e traga la tierra !

[102]
I DREAM T

I dreamt you guided me


down a white path
leading throug h gree n fields ,
toward th e blu e o f th e mountains ,
toward th e blue mountains ;
the morning air was clear.

I fel t you r hand i n mine ,


your truly friendl y hand ,
your girlish voice in my ear
like a bell neve r used,
like a bell never touched ,
ringing i n earl y spring dawn .
It wa s your voice, you r hand ,
as I dreamt, so true and exact!
Well, hope , liv e o n .. . I s it certai n
how much the earth actuall y eats?

[103]
UNA NOCH E D E VERAN O

Una noche d e verano


estab a abierto e l balco n
y l a puert a d e m i cas a
la muerte en mi casa entro.
Se fue acercando a su lecho
n i siquier a m e mir o ,
con unos dedos muy finos,
algo muy tenue rompio.
Silenciosa y sin mirarme,
la muerte otra vez paso
delante d e mi . ^Qu e ha s hecho ?
La muerte n o respondio.
Mi nina qued o tranquila ,
dolido m i corazon.
jAy, lo que l a muerte ha roto
era un hil o entre lo s dos!

[104]
ONE SUMME R NIGH T

One summe r night


my balcony door stood ope n
and th e fron t doo r also
death entere d m y house .
He approached he r bed-
not eve n noticin g me
and wit h very fine hands
broke somethin g delicate .
Death crosse d th e roo m
a secon d time . Wha t di d yo u do?
He did not answer .
I saw no change in her ,
but m y heart fel t heavy.
I kne w wha t h e broke :
It wa s the threa d betwee n us !

[105]
P R O V E R B I O S Y C A N T A R ES

i
Nunca persegui gloria
ni dejar en la memoria
de los hombres mi cancion;
yo amo los mundos sutiles,
ingravidos y gentiles
como pompa s de jabon.
Me gusta verlos pintarse
de sol y grana, volar
bajo e l cielo azul, tembla r
subitamente y quebrarse.

2
,jPara qu e llama r camino s
a los surcos del azar? . . .
Todo el que camina anda,
como Jesus, sobre el mar.

3
Can tad conmig o en coro: Saber , nada sabemos,
de arcano mar vinimos, a ignota mar iremos . . .
Y entre los dos misterios esta el enigma grave;
tres area s cierra un a desconocid a Have .
La luz nada ilumina y el sabio nada ensena.
(iQue dice la palabra? iQue e l agua d e la pena ?

[106]
FOURTEEN POEM S CHOSE N FRO M
'MORAL PROVERB S AN D FOL K SONGS "

i
I never wanted fame ,
nor wanted t o leave my poems
behind i n th e memor y of men.
I lov e the subtl e worlds,
delicate, almos t withou t weigh t
like soap bubbles.
I enjo y seein g them tak e the colo r
of sunlight and scarlet, float
in th e blu e sky , then
suddenly quiver and break.

2
Why shoul d w e call
these accidental furrow s roads ?
Everyone who moves on walks
like Jesus, on th e sea .

3
Let us sing together: know ? W e know nothing .
We come fro m a hidden ocean , and g o to an unknown ocean .
And betwee n those tw o mysteries there i s a third seriou s
puzzle;
one ke y we know nothing o f locks three chests.
The ligh t illuminate s nothing , an d the wise man teache s
nothing.
What doe s human languag e say ? What doe s th e water i n th e
rock say ?

[107]
4
jAh, cuando yo era nino
sonaba con lo s heroes de l a Iliada!
Ayax era mas fuerte qu e Diomedes,
Hector, mas fuerte qu e Ayax ,
y Aquiles el mas fuerte; porqu e er a
el ma s fuerte . . . jlnocencia s d e la infancia!
;Ah, cuando yo era nino
sonaba con los heroes de la Iliada !

5
Poned sobr e los campos
un carbonero , u n sabi o y un poeta .
Vereis como e l poeta admira y calla,
el sabio mira y piensa . . .
Seguramente, e l carbonero busc a
las moras o las setas.
Llevadlos al teatr o
y solo el carbonero n o bosteza.
Quien prefier e l o vivo a lo pintad o
es el hombre que piensa, canta o suefia.
El carbonero tien e
llena de fantasias l a cabeza.

6
Yo amo a Jesus, que no s dijo:
Cielo y tierra pasaran .
Cuando cielo y tierra pase n
mi palabra quedara.
<jCual fue , Jesus , tu palabra ?
,;Amor? ^Perdon ? ^Caridad ?
Todas tus palabras fueron
una palabra : Velad .

[108]
4
Oh, I daydreamed a s a boy
about th e heroe s of the Iliadl
Ajax wa s stronger tha n Diomedes ,
Hector stronge r tha n Ajax,
and Achille s strongest of all; becaus e
he was the strongest! . . . Innocent idea s of boyhoodl
Yes, I daydreame d as a boy
about the heroes of the Iliadl

5
Put ou t o n the fields
a physica l laborer, a thinker, an d a poet.
You will see how th e poe t i s enthusiastic
and silent, the thinker looks and thinks. ...
The labore r look s around, probably ,
for blackberrie s an d mushrooms .
Take them t o the theatre,
and onl y the laborer isn' t bored .
The on e who prefers wha t is alive
over what is made u p
is the perso n wh o writes, dreams, or sings.
The hea d of the physical labore r
is ful l o f fantasies .

6
I lov e Jesus, who said t o us:
Heaven an d eart h wil l pas s away .
When heaven an d eart h hav e passed away,
my word wil l remain .
What wa s your word , Jesus?
Love? Affection? Forgiveness ?
All you r word s wer e
one word : Wakeup .

[109]
7
Hay dos modos de conciencia:
una e s luz, y otra, paciencia.
Una estrib a e n alumbra r
un poquit o el hondo mar ;
otra, e n hace r penitencia
con cafi a o red, y esperar
el pez, como pescador.
Dime tii : <jCua l e s mejor?
(iConciencia de visionario
que mir a e n el hondo acuari o
peces vivos,
fugitives,
que n o s e pueden pescar ,
o es a maldita faen a
de i r arrojand o a la arena ,
muertos, la s peces del mar ?

8
Bueno e s saber qu e lo s vasos
nos sirven par a beber ;
lo malo es que n o sabemos
para qu e sirv e la sed.

9
(iDices qu e nad a s e crea?
No t e importe , co n e l barro
de la tierra, ha z una cop a
para qu e beba tu hermano .

10
(jDices qu e nad a s e crea?
Alfarero, a tu s cacharros .
Haz tu copa y no te import e
si no puedes hacer barro .

[no]
7
There are tw o sorts of consciousness:
one involves light, one patience.
One has to do with piercin g
the ocean a little with light ;
the other ha s more guilt
with a net o r pole, on e waits
like a fisherman, fo r fish.
Tell me : Whic h i s better?
Religious consciousnes s
that see s in th e deep ocea n
fish alive,
going thei r way,
that wil l never b e caught?
Or thi s job I have , boring ,
picking fish from th e net
and throwing them on the sand, dead?

8
It i s good knowing that glasses
are t o drink from ;
the ba d thin g i s not t o know
what thirs t i s for.

9
You say nothing i s created new?
Don't worr y about it , wit h the mu d
of th e earth , mak e a cu p
from whic h your brothe r ca n drink .

10
You say nothing i s created new?
Potter, g o to you r shed .
Make your cup, an d don' t worr y
if yo u aren't able to mak e clay.

[111]
11
Todo pasa y todo queda,
pero l o nuestro es pasar,
pasar haciend o caminos ,
caminos sobre la mar .

12
Morir . . . ^Caer como gota
de mar e n el mar inmenso?
{O se r lo que nunc a h e sido:
uno, si n sombr a y sin sueno ,
un solitario que avanza
sin camin o y sin espejo?

13
Cuatro cosa s tiene e l hombr e
que n o sirven e n la mar:
ancla, gobernalle y remos,
y miedo de naufragar.

H
Ya hay un espano l que quier e
vivir y a vivir empieza,
entre un a Espafi a qu e muer e
y otra Espafi a qu e bosteza .
Espafiolito que vienes
al mundo, t e guarde Dios.
Una d e la s dos Espana s
ha de helart e el corazon.

[112]
11
All things die and all things live forever;
but ou r tas k is to die ,
to die making roads,
roads ove r th e sea.

12
To die . . . To fal l lik e a drop
of wate r into th e bi g ocean?
Or t o b e wha t I'v e neve r been :
a man without a shadow, without a dream,
a man all alone walking,
without a mirror, an d with no road ?

J
3
Mankind own s four thing s
that ar e no good a t sea:
rudder, anchor , oars ,
and th e fea r o f going down .

H
There i s a Spaniar d today , wh o want s
to live and i s starting t o live ,
between one Spai n dying
and anothe r Spai n yawning .
Little Spaniard just now coming
into the world, may God keep you.
One o f those tw o Spain s
will freez e you r heart .

["3]
A DO N F R A N C I S C O G I N E R D E LO S R f O S

Como s e fu e e l maestro ,
la lu z de est a maiiana
me dijo : Va n tre s dias
que m i hermano Francisc o n o trabaja .
dMurio? . . . Solo sabemos
que s e nos fue por un a send a clara,
diciendonos: Hacedm e
un duelo de labores y esperanzas.
Sed bueno s y n o mas , se d l o qu e h e sid o
entre vosotros: alma .
Vivid, l a vid a sigue ,
los muertos mueren y las sombras pasan;
lleva quien dej a y vive el que h a vivido.
jYunques, sonad; enmudeced, campanas!

Y hacia otra luz mas pura


partio el hermano d e la luz del alba,
del so l de lo s talleres,
el viejo alegre de la vida santa.
. . . [Oh, si , llevad, amigos,
su cuerpo a la montana,
a lo s azules montes
del anch o Guadarrama .
Alii hay barrancos hondos
de pinos verdes donde el viento canta.
Su corazon repos e
bajo un a encin a casta,
en tierr a d e tomillos, dond e juegan
mariposas doradas . . .
Alii el maestro un di a
sonaba un nuev o florecer de Espafia .

Baeza, 21 febrero 1915

["4]
FOR DO N FRANCISC O
G I N E R D E LO S RIO S

At th e time the master disappeared ,


the morning ligh t
said to me: "Fo r thre e days
my brother Francisc o has not worked .
Has he died?" . . . All we know
is that he has gone off on a clear road ,
telling us this: Show
your grief for me in work and hope.
Be good, forge t th e rest , b e
what I have been amon g you: a soul.
Live, life goes on,
the dea d g o on dying, the shadow s go by,
the ma n wh o abandons stil l has , an d th e ma n wh o has live d
is alive.
Make noise , anvils ; b e silent , yo u churc h bells !

So the brothe r o f the mornin g light ,


the old happy man with a holy life,
leaving the su n o f his work,
went of f toward a purer light .
. . . Oh yes, my friends, carry
his body t o the mountain !
to the blue hill s
of th e Guadarrama !
There I know deep ravines
with gree n pine s wher e th e win d sings .
His heart ca n rest
under a n ordinary oak
in the thym e fields, where the golde n
butterflies are fluttering. .. .
One da y the master ther e
imagined a new blossoming of Spain.

Baeza, February 21, 1915

(Francisco Giner de lo s Rfo s wa s the founde r o f th e Fre e Institution of Learn-


ing in Madrid , where so many writer s went. During Machado's lifetime he led
most o f th e effort s towar d reform o f education.)

[H5]
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FROM

NEW P O E M S
(NUEVAS G A N C I O N E S )
!93

THE C O L L E C T E D W O R K S O F A
POET WH O NEVE R LIVE D
(DE U N C A N C I O N E R O
APOCRIFO)
1931

P O E M S FRO M TH E CIVI L WAR


(POEMAS D E GUERRA )

WRITTEN 1936-3 9

PUBLISHED AFTE R HI S DEAT H


This page intentionally left blank
ANTONIO MACHAD O published hi s third book, Nuevas can-
L clones (New Poems), in 1930 . Eighteen years had passe d
since th e firs t version o f Campos d e Castilla, an d thirtee n
years since the enlarge d edition . Suc h patience! Some of those
years he spent in Baeza , and then , until 1932 , in Segovia. Th e
small room h e occupied is still there; hi s old landlady showed
it t o me a fe w years ago.
We notic e tw o advance s i n Ne w Poems. H e master s th e
peculiar unio n h e longe d fo r o f introverte d subjec t matte r
and public form; he brings his substance to the copla form and
the folk stanza. The proo f of his advance lies in the masterpiece
beginning "Th e hug e sea drives / against the flowering moun-
tain." I t i s one o f th e mos t beautiful poems of the twentiet h
century, derive d fro m a highly developed sensibility , and ye t
is in no wa y inaccessible. It resemble s in it s shape "Thirteen
Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."
Machado still believed deeply that the true poem is language
caught i n time . H e develope d a sentence he love d t o repeat:
"Hoy e s siempre todavia, " which we could translat e as "What
we are living i s a continuation," o r "Today is always still," or
"There i s no separatio n betwee n pas t an d present, " o r "Py -
thagoras and Christ are still alive."
"I hear old stuff now."
"Good, sharpen your ears then."

The physicis t Davi d Boh m ha s remarked tha t whe n w e tal k


with eac h other , th e word s we say are unfolde d o r explicate ,
but th e meanin g o f those words i s implicate o r folde d every-
where into the universe. In a similar way, what we experience,

["9]
instant b y instant, appear s unfolded , and wha t has led t o thi s
instant als o exists, though folde d up everywher e in space.
It is as if the past were folded up int o the outer world, which
Machado goes on strugglin g to see ; and h e suggests that i f the
human bein g does not lear n to see, he will remain a narcissist.
Machado mention s i n hi s new serie s of "Mora l Proverb s an d
Folk Songs " tha t w e are worse off now tha n i n th e nineteent h
century: th e narcissist at that time , associated with the dandy ,
obsessively looked int o a mirroring pon d t o see his face. Th e
modern narcissis t doesn't bothe r t o look i n th e pond, becaus e
he has replaced natur e wit h his own consciousness.
This Narcissus of ours
can't see his face in the mirror
because he has become the mirror.
Machado's discipline d effort s t o se e brin g man y origina l
details int o his grea t poe m "Passageways. " The inventio n o f
the stereoscop e excited him, an d i n "Passageways " he trie s t o
bring in bot h lobe s of the brain , a s we would sa y now, and b y
this doubl e presenc e create a three-dimensiona l vision. Hera -
clitus' prais e o f lightnin g come s u p i n th e thir d poem , an d
the myster y of the spectrum , of colors that unfold in a certai n
order, appears in the sixth poem of the series.
Machado wants in his new book first, to see the outer world ,
and, second, t o converse with "the othe r on e who walks by my
side." A s earl y a s 190 8 he ha d expresse d th e concep t o f th e
"other one" i n "Portrait."
I tal k alway s t o th e ma n wh o walks alon g with me.
In th e secon d serie s of "Mora l Proverb s an d Fol k Songs " h e
writes:
Look for your other half
who walks along next to you,
and tends to be what you aren't.
To find this one, we should loo k in the mirror, an d we will see
the othe r hal f of us looking back .
Now a wonderfully complicated ide a appears : th e more w e

[120]
try to see, th e mor e ou r "othe r eyes" can see us. The mor e we
try to see, the more we encourage th e "other eyes" to see us.
The eyes you're longing far-
listen now
the eyes you see yourself in
are eyes because they see you.
This kin d o f seein g doe s no t mak e u s fee l self-conscious , a s
when w e imagine tha t othe r peopl e ar e looking a t us , but o n
the contrar y i t calms us down, make s us feel seen .
The eye you see is not
an eye because you see it;
it is an eye because it sees you.

Our jo b i s to stitch ourselves and th e world together . This is


particularly necessar y after th e appearanc e i n Europ e o f th e
Cartesian spli t by which on e usuall y mean s th e separatio n of
mind an d body , o r consciousnes s and world . A ga p develop s
between th e westerne r an d th e world , an d h e fall s in . I t i s as
if th e wester n man o r woma n sees , but nothin g look s back .
I notice als o in this book a powerful advance in thinking . If
Antonio Machad o i n Campos d e Castillo, invited thinkin g t o
enter th e poem, w e could sa y that he takes a further ste p now ,
and invite s philosophica l thinkin g t o enter . H e i s not afrai d
that i t will kill feeling, an d it doesn't .
To d o philosophical thinkin g implies tha t one takes the old
philosophical argument s seriously , as if th e ol d philosopher s
were still alive, and then on e takes a stand on them. "With old
Heraclitus w e believe tha t th e world i s ruled by lightning."
Machado take s up severa l philosophical problems , an d on e
is this : I f Go d i s absolut e Being , the n ho w coul d H e hav e
created, i n u s an d th e world , somethin g incomplete ? I t ca n
also b e pu t thi s way : Sinc e creation , lik e thought , alway s
proceeds b y opposites, then God , who is absolute Being , woul d
of cours e creat e absolut e Nothing , o r Nada . Bu t th e worl d
partially a t leas t exists , s o ther e w e ar e again . Verlain e ex -
pressed the paradox, saying: "The univers e amounts to a flaw /

[121]
in th e purit y o f non-existence. " Th e mediu m Michae l Mac -
Macha once said to me that this idea is the essence of the insani-
ty tha t th e Aryans brought dow n with the m fro m th e moun -
tains aroun d 150 0 B.C.i n it s accen t o n purit y i t i s a littl e
insane. An d I lik e i t tha t Machad o when h e think s doe s no t
reject this philosophical problem passed on to us by the Aryan
past, but instea d takes it in his arms; one could say that if these
old problem s ar e ol d clothes, he washe s them. H e bring s th e
problems down to the river, and spends years washing them.
The washin g h e doe s i n tw o places : th e ne w serie s o f
"Moral Proverb s and Fol k Songs " ( I have translated fort y of
the ninety-nine in the series) and in the "Abel Martin " poems.
"Moral Proverbs an d Fol k Songs, " with swift thinkin g an d
elegant poetr y mingled , i s a genr e Machad o invented . Th e
genre derive s fro m fou r distinc t models. On e i s the popula r
Spanish copla , th e secon d the saying s of Pythagoras, the thir d
the Japanes e haiku , an d th e fourt h th e wisdo m quatrains of
Moslem an d Jewis h literature . Machad o refer s severa l time s
to Se m Tob, th e fourteenth-centur y doctor an d rabb i whose
book of seven hundred quatrain s he read. Machado points ou t
that not-thinking is no guarantee tha t you exist:
Now someone has come up with this:
Cogito ergo no n sum.
What an exaggeration!
But his late masterpieces are the "Abel Martin" poems . Abel
Martin, his invented poet-philosopher, helped him t o say cer-
tain things , an d h e compose d fo r Abe l Marti n a smal l boo k
of abou t sixt y pages , mad e u p o f literar y criticism , remem -
brances o f Martin b y his student Juan d e Mairena , poems by
both men , and commentary on the philosophical implications
of thes e poems . "I n th e theolog y o f Abe l Martin, " Mairen a
says, "God i s defined a s absolute Being, and therefor e nothing
which exist s could b e his work."
When th e i AM THA T i AM made nothing
and rested, which rest it certainly deserved,

[122]
night now accompanied day, and man
had his friend in the absence of the woman.
Nada, o r Pur e Nothing , Machad o imagine s in thi s poe m as
the zer o or empt y egg. Reason, which is able t o abstract, an d
so approach thi s empty circle, no w appears, or break s out, i n
man.
And the universal egg rose, empty,
pale, chill and not yet heavy with matter,
full of unweighable mist, in his hand.
Only the "standing animals" can see zero, and so only they are
capable of conceptual thought, on th e one hand, o r "olvido "
on th e other , whic h literall y means "forgetting," bu t whic h
implies letting something fall ou t o f the consciou s mind.
Since the wild animal's back is now your shoulder,
and since the miracle of not-being is finished,
start then, poet, a song at the edge of it all
to death, to silence, and to what does not return.
"Siesta," Juan de Mairena's elegy for Abel Martin, I think is
one of the most powerful brie f poems of the century. So much
of Machad o returns here: tim e passing returns a s the goldfish ,
the Roman an d Gree k past returns as Cupid, who "flie s away
in th e whit e stone," ar t tha t is accessible returns a s the ivor y
copla o f th e gree n cicada , an d God' s creatio n o f nothin g
returns as the siesta, which amounts to a short time of silence
in the midst of noise.
let us give honor to the Lord
the black mark of his good hand
who has arranged for silence in all this noise.
Faith doe s no t giv e birt h t o huma n thought , bu t huma n
thought is hidden insid e faith, as a sculpture is hidden insid e
a bloc k of stone.
Honor to the God of distance and of absence,
of the anchor in the seathe open sea
He frees us from the worldit's everywhere
He opens roads for us to walk on.

[123]
Because "Ho y e s siempre todavia, " al l tha t ha s live d i s stil l
living. Machado is now i n hi s fifties, but hi s childhood is still
within him , perhap s even events that took place before h e was
born. I'll en d my commentary on his work with a memory he
let Juan de Mairena tell.
Another incident , als o important, too k plac e before I was born.
There were some dolphins who lost their way, and riding the tides ,
ascended th e Guadalquive r River , arrivin g a t leas t a s fa r u p a s
Seville. Peopl e cam e dow n t o th e rive r fro m al l ove r th e city ,
drawn b y th e extraordinar y sight , young girls, lovers, and amon g
them my parents, wh o wanted to see this sight they had never seen.
It wa s a brigh t afternoon . I recal l tha t afternoo n no w and the n
. . . or perhaps I imagined i t or dreamt it.

[4]
NEW POEM S

THE C O L L E C T E D W O R K S O F A

POET WH O NEVE R LIVE D

POEMS FRO M TH E CIVI L WA R


G A L E R f AS

i
En el azul la banda
de unos pajaros negros
que Chilian , aletean y se posan
en el alamo yerto.
. . . En el desnudo alamo,
las graves chovas quietas y en silencio,
cual negras, frias nota s
escritas en l a pauta d e febrero.

ii
El monte azul, el rio, la s erectas
varas cobrizas de los finos alamos,
y el bianco del almendro en la colina,
joh nieve en flor y mariposa en arbol!
Con el aroma del habar, el viento
corre en la alegre soledad del campo.

in
Una centella blanca
en la nube de plomo culebrea.
jLos asombrados ojos
del nino, y juntas cejas
esta e l salon oscurode la madre l . . ,
;Oh cerrado balcon a la tormenta !
El viento aborrascado y el graniz o
en el limpio cristal repiquetean.

[126]
PASSAGEWAYS

i
Against the blu e sky,
birds, black, a flight
they cry, wallop their wings, and settle
in a stark poplar .
. . . The sober jackdaws
motionless, silent, in the bare popla r
are col d blac k notes
copied out o n February staves.

z
The blu e mountain , the river, th e firm
coppery twigs on the slender poplars ,
and th e white of the almond tre e on the hill!
Oh snow in the blossom and the butterfly i n the tree !
Carrying the aroma of the bean fields, the wind
runs through the joyful solitud e of the fields!

3
A white lightning bol t
snakes down th e lead-colore d cloud .
The boy' s big startled
eyesthe room i s dark
the mother's eyebrow s joining!
Oh balcony doors well closed to the storm!
The hars h wind gusts and th e grains of hail
drum again and again on the clean pane .

[127]
IV

El iri s y e l balcon .
Las siete cuerdas
de la lira de l sol vibran en suenos.
Un timpan o infanti l d a siete golpes
agua y cristal.
Acacias con jilguero s
Cigiienas e n la s torres .
En l a plaza,
lavo la lluvia el mirto polvoriento .
En el amplio rectangulo iquien puso
ese grupo de virgenes risueno,
y arriba jhosanna ! entre l a rota nube,
la palma de oro y el azu l sereno?

v
Entre montes de almagre y penas grises
el tren devor a s u rail d e acero .
La hiler a d e brillante s ventanilla s
lleva u n dobl e perfi l d e camafeo,
tras e l cristal d e plata, repetido . . .
(jQuien h a punzado el corazon del tiempo?

VI

(iQuien puso, entre las rocas de ceniza,


para l a mie l de l suefio ,
esas retamas de or o
y esas azules flores del romero ?
La sierra d e violet a
y, en e l poniente, e l azafran de l cielo ,
(jquien h a pintado? |E 1 abejar, la ermita .
el taj o sobre e l rio, e l sempitern o
rodar de l agua entr e las hondas pefias ,
y el rubio verde de los campos nuevos,
y todo, hast a l a tierr a blanc a y rosa
al pie d e los almendros!

[128]
4
The balcon y and the rainbow.
The sun' s lyre,
that ha s seven strings, resonates in dreams .
A childlike drum give s seven strokes-
rain and windowpane
Acacias and finches.
Storks o n th e towers .
Rain falle n
in th e plaz a has washed the dust y myrtle trees.
And th e ampl e squarewho has placed
there tha t smiling group o f virgins?
And higher uphosanna! a break in the clouds,
the palm branch o f gold and th e calm blue!

5
Going betwee n heaps of grey rocks and ochr e earth ,
the train eats up its steel rails.
The ro w of train window s that reflect sunlight
carries profiles, as on a cameo, but double ,
behind th e silver glass, more and more appear....
Who pierced the heart of time?

6
Who placed ther e among the cindery rocks,
for th e beehiv e of dreams,
these yellow furze blossoms ,
and thes e blue rosemarys?
Who painted th e mountains
violet, an d th e sky saffro n
far t o the west ? The hive , th e hermit's hut ,
the saddleback over the river, the eterna l
water soun d belo w th e hig h boulders ,
and th e lemony green of the new oats,
all of iteve n th e ground whit e and ros y
around th e trun k o f th e almonds!

[129]
VII

En e l silencio sigu e
la lira pitagoric a vibrando ,
el iris e n l a luz, la lu z que llen a
mi estereoscopi o vano .
Han cegad o mi s ojo s la s cenizas
del fuego heraclitano .
El mundo es, un momento ,
transparente, vacio, ciego, alado.

M
7
The har p o f Pythagoras goes on
resonating in the silence,
the rainbow resonates in th e sunlight, the same light that
enters
the stereoscope I can't quit e master .
The ashe s lef t fro m Heraclitus '
fire have put ou t m y eyes.
The whol e world this instant
is transparent, empty, blind, flying.

[3i]
IRIS D E L A NOCH E

A D . Ramo n de l Valle-Incla n

Hacia Madrid, una noche,


va el tren po r e l Guadarrama.
En e l cielo, e l arco iris
que hacen la lun a y el agua.
|Oh lun a de abril, serena,
que empuj a las nubes blancas!
La madr e lleva a su nino ,
dormido, sobr e la falda .
Duerme e l nin o y , todavia,
ve el campo verde que pasa,
y arbolillos soleados,
y mariposas doradas .
La madre , cefi o sombri o
entre un aye r y un mafiana ,
ve unas ascuas mortecinas
y una hornill a con arafias .
Hay un tragic o viajero,
que deb e ver cosa s raras,
y habla solo y, cuando mira,
nos borr a co n l a mirada .
Yo piens o en campos de niev e
y en pino s de otra s montanas.
Y tii, Senor, por quien todos
vemos y que ve s las almas,
dinos s i todos, u n dia ,
hemos de verte la cara.

[!32]
RAINBOW A T NIGH T

for Do n Ramo n de l Valle-Inclan

The trai n move s throug h th e Guadarram a


one night on th e way to Madrid .
The moo n and th e fog create
high up a rainbow.
Oh Apri l moon, so calm,
driving the whit e clouds I

The mothe r holds her boy


sleeping on her lap .
The bo y sleeps, and nevertheles s
sees th e gree n field s outside ,
and trees lit up by sun,
and th e golden butterflies .

The mother , he r forehea d dar k


between a day gone and a day to come,
sees a fire nearly ou t
and an oven with spiders.

There's a travele r ma d wit h grief ,


no doub t seein g odd things ;
he talk s t o himself, an d whe n he looks
wipes us out with his look.

I remembe r fields under snow ,


and pin e tree s of other mountains.

And you , Lord, throug h who m we all


have eyes, and wh o sees souls,
tell u s i f we all on e
day will see your face .

l>33]
CANCIONES

i
Junto a l a sierr a florida ,
bulle el ancho mar.
El panal de mis abejas
tiene granite s d e sal.

ii
Junto a l agu a negra .
Olor de mar y jazmines.
Noche malaguena.

in
La primavera ha venido.
Nadie sab e como ha sido .

IV
La primavera ha venido.
[Aleluyas blancas
de los zarzales floridos!

v
jLuna llena, luna llena,
tan oronda , ta n redond a
en esta noche serena
de marzo , pana l d e lu z
que labra n blanca s abejas l

VI
Noche castellana;
la cancion se dice,
o, mejor, s e calla.
Cuando duerma n todos ,
saldre" a la ventana.

['34]
SONGS

i
The hug e sea drives
against the flowering mountain.
The comb of my honeybees
holds tiny grains of salt.

ii
Not fa r fro m th e blac k water.
Odor o f the se a and o f jasmine flowers.
Night o f Malaga .

in
The sprin g has arrived.
No one knows what happened .

IV
The sprin g has arrived.
Snow-white hallelujah s
from th e flowering blackberry bushes l

v
Full moon , ful l moon ,
so great, so round
in thi s tranquil nigh t
of March , honeycomb of ligh t
that th e white bees have madel

VI
Night o f Castille ;
the poe m i s spoken,
or, better, no t spoken .
When everyon e is sleeping,
I'll g o to the window.

[i35]
VII
Canta, canta en claro rimo,
el almendro en verde rama
y el doble sauce del rio.

Canta d e la parda encina


la rama que e l hacha corta ,
y la flor que nadi e mira .

De lo s perale s del huert o


la blanc a flor, la rosad a
flor del melocotonero .

Y este olor
que arranc a e l viento mojado
a lo s habares en flor .

VIII
La fuent e y las cuatro
acacias e n flo r
de l a plazoleta.
Ya no quema el sol.
[Tardecita alegre !
Canta, ruisenor .
Es la misma hora
de mi corazon.

IX
i Blanca hospederia,
celda d e viajero,
con l a sombra mia !

x
El acueducto roman o
cant a un a vo z d e m i tierr a
y e l querer qu e no s tenemos ,
chiquilla, jvay a firmeza!

[136]
VII
Sing, sing in crisp sound
the almond tre e leafed out ,
and th e doubl e willow s by th e river .

Sing of th e ordinar y oak ,


the branc h cut of f by the ax,
and th e flower no on e looks at.

And th e whit e blossom


on th e pear tree , the ros y
flower of th e peac h tree .

And thi s perfume


which th e damp win d i s pulling
from the blossoming bean patch .

VIII
The fountai n and th e four
acacias in flower
in th e garden .
The su n doesn't burn now.
Wonderful dusk !
Nightingale, sing .
The sam e hour ha s come
inside m y body.

IX
White inn ,
the traveler' s room ,
with m y shadow!

x
"The Roma n aqueduct "
murmurs a voice in m y dialect
"and th e lov e w e have fo r eac h other ,
my darling , ther e i s steadiness! "

[^37]
XI
A las palabras de amor
les sienta bien s u poquit o
de exageracion.

XII
En Santo Domingo,
la mis a mayor.
Aunque me declan
hereje y mason,
rezando contigo,
jcuanta devocion!

XIII
Hay fiesta en el prado verde
pifan o y tambo r .
Con s u cayado florid o
y abarca s de or o vin o u n pastor .

Del mont e baje ,


solo po r baila r co n ella ;
al monte me tornare.

En lo s arboles del huert o


hay u n ruisenor ;
canta d e noche y de dia ,
canta a la luna y al sol.

Ronco de cantar:
al huerto vendra la nina
y una ros a cortara.

Entre la s negras encinas,


hay una fuent e de piedra,
y un cantarillo de barro
que nunc a s e llena.

Por e l encinar ,
con la blanca luna ,
ella volvera.
[138]
XI
In word s of love
a tin y bi t o f exaggeratio n
feels right .

XII
High mass
in Sant o Domingo .
Though the y call m e
heretic an d Mason ,
praying with you,
what devotion !

XIII
There i s a fiest a i n th e gree n fiel d
fife an d drum .
With his flowery shepherd croo k
and gold sandal s a shepherd came.

I came down from the mountain ,


solely t o dance with her ;
and I'll return t o the mountain .

There is a nightingal e
in th e garden trees ;
it sings night and day,
it sings to the moon an d the sun.
Hoarse fro m singing , i t sings;
the gir l wil l com e t o th e garde n
and pic k a rose.

Among th e blac k oak s


there i s a stone fountain ,
and a tin y ju g o f cla y ther e
which never gets full.

She will retur n


through th e black oaks
when th e whit e moon come s out .
[S9l
XIV
Contigo e n Valonsadero ,
fiesta de San Juan,
manana e n l a Pampa ,
del otr o lad o de l mar .
Guardame la fe,
que y o volvere.

Manana ser e pampero ,


y se me ira el corazon
a orilla s de l Alt o Duero .

xv
Mientras danzai s e n corro ,
nifias, cantad :
Ya estan los prados verdes,
ya vino abril galan.

A la orilla de l rio,
por e l negro encinar ,
sus abarcas de plata
hemos vist o brillar.
Ya esta n los prados verdes ,
ya vin o abri l galan .

[140]
XIV
With yo u i n Valonsadero ,
fiesta of St . John ,
tomorrow to Argentina
on th e othe r sid e o the sea.
Keep believing in me ,
for I will return .

Tomorrow I'l l b e a ranchero,


and m y heart will go
to th e bank s of th e hig h Duero .

xv
While yo u ar e dancin g i n a ring ,
girls, sing:
Now th e fields are green ,
now bonny April has come.

Along the riverban k


by the blac k oaks,
we hav e watched his silvery
sandals flash.
Now th e fields are green ,
now handsome April ha s come.

[i4i]
PROVERBIOSY CANTARE S

A Jos e Orteg a y Gasset

I
El ojo que ve s no es
ojo porque tv i l o veas;
es ojo porque t e ve.

ii
Para dialogar ,
preguntad primero ;
despue"s . . . escuchad.

in
Todo narcisismo
es un vici o feo,
y ya viejo vicio.

IV
Mas busca en t u espej o al otro,
al otro que v a contigo.

v
Entre el vivir y el sonar
hay una tercer a cosa.
Adivinala.

VI
Ese tu Narciso
ya no s e ve en e l espejo
porque e s el espejo mismo.

[i4]
FORTY POEMS CHOSEN
FROM "MORAL PROVERBS
AND FOLK SONGS"
Dedicated t o Jose Ortega y Gasset

i
The ey e you see is not
an ey e because yo u se e it ;
it i s an eye because it sees you.

ii
To tal k with someone ,
ask a question first ,
thenlisten.

in
Narcissism
is an ugl y fault,
and no w it's a boring faul t too .

IV
But look in your mirror for the other one,
the othe r on e who walks by your side .

v
Between livin g an d dreamin g
there is a third thing .
Guess it .

VI
This Narcissus of ours
can't see his face i n th e mirror
because he has become th e mirror.

[M3]
VII
iSiglo nuevo? <;Todavia
llamea l a misma fragua ?
(jCorre todavi a e l agu a
por e l cauce que tenia ?

VIII
Hoy e s siempre todavia.

IX
Sol en Aries. Mi ventana
esta abierta al aire frio.
jO h rumo r d e agu a lejana !
La tarde despierta a l rio .

x
En el viejo caserio
jo h anchas torres con cigiiefias ! ,
enmudece e l son gregario,
y en e l campo solitario
suena e l agua entr e la s penas.

XI
Como otr a vez , mi atencio n
esta del agua cautiva;
pero de l agu a e n l a viva
roca d e mi corazon.

XII
(jSabes, cuand o e l agua suena,
si es agua de cumbre o valle,
de plaza, jardin o huerta?

XIII
Encuentro l o que n o busco:
las hojas del toronji l
huelen a limon maduro .

I>44]
VII
New century ? Still
firing up th e same forge ?
Is th e wate r stil l goin g alon g i n it s bed ?

VIII
Every instant is Still.

IX
The su n in Aries. My window
is open to the cool air.
Oh th e soun d o f the wate r far off !
The evenin g awakens the river .

x
In th e ol d farmhous e
a high towe r with storks!
the gregarious sound fall s silent,
and i n th e field where no on e is,
water makes a sound among the rocks.

XI
Just as before, I'm intereste d
in water held in ;
but no w water in the living
rock o f my chest.

XII
When yo u hear water, does its sound tel l you
if it' s from mountai n o r farm,
city street, formal garden, o r orchard ?

XIII
What I find surprises me:
leaves o f th e garde n bal m
smell o f lemonwood .

[*45]
XIV
Nunca traces tu frontera,
ni cuides de tu perfil ;
todo es o es cosa de fuera .

xv
Busca a t u complementario ,
que march a siempr e contigo,
y suele ser tu contrario .

XVI
Si vino la primavera,
volad a las flores;
no chup& s cera .

XVII
En mi soledad
he visto cosas muy claras,
que n o son verdad.

XVIII
Buena es el agua y la sed ;
buena e s la sombra y el sol;
la miel de flor de romero,
la miel de campo sin flor.

XIX
Solo quede un simbolo :
quod elixum est ne asato.
No aseis lo que esta cocido.

XX
Canta, canta, canta,
junto a su tomate,
el grillo en s u jaula.

[146]
XIV
Don't trac e ou t you r profile,
forget you r sid e view-
all tha t i s outer stuff .

xv
Look fo r your other half
who walks always next t o you
and tend s to be what you aren't.

XVI
When sprin g comes,
go to the flowers -
why keep on sucking wax?

XVII
In m y solitude
I have seen things very clearly
that wer e not true .

XVIII
Water i s good, s o is thirst;
shadow is good, so is sun;
the honey from th e rosemarys
and th e honey of the bare fields.

XIX
Only one creed stands :
quod elixum est ne asato.
Don't roas t what's already boiled .

xx
Sing on, sing on, sing on,
the cricket in his cage
near his darling tomato .

['471
XXI
Despacito y buena letra:
el hacer la s cosas bien
importa ma s que e l hacerlas.

XXII
Sin embargo . . .
[Ah!, si n embargo ,
importa aviva r lo s remos,
dijo e l caracol a l galgo.

XXIII
[Ya ha y hombres activos!
Sonaba l a charca
con sus mosquitos.

XXIV
Despertad, cantores:
acaben los ecos,
empiecen las voces.

xxv
Mas no busque"i s disonancias;
porque, a l fin, nada disuena ,
siempre al son que toca n bailan.

XXVI
No e s el y o fundamental
eso que busc a el poeta,
sino el tu esencial .

XXVII
Los ojos po r qu e suspiras ,
sdbelo bien,
los ojos en que t e miras
son ojos porqu e t e ven.

[148]
XXI
Form you r letter s slowl y and well :
making things well
is more important tha n making them.

XXII
All th e same . . .
Ah yes ! All th e same ,
moving the leg s fast i s important ,
as th e snai l sai d t o th e greyhound .

XXIII
There are really men o f action now!
The mars h was dreaming
of it s mosquitoes.

XXIV
Wake up , yo u poets :
let echoe s end,
and voice s begin.

XXV
But don't hunt fo r dissonance;
because, in th e end, ther e is no dissonance .
When th e sound i s heard peopl e dance .

XXVI
What th e poe t i s searching fo r
is not th e fundamental I
but th e deep you.

XXVII
The eye s you're longin g for
listen now
the eye s you se e yourself in
are eye s because they see you.

[49]
XXVIII
Tras el vivir y el sonar,
esta lo que mas importa:
despertar.

XXIX
Ya hubo quien penso:
cogito ergo non sum.
I Que exageracion!

XXX
Crei mi hoga r apagado ,
y revolvi la ceniza . . .
Me queme la mano.

XXXI
Poned atencion :
un coraz6n solitario
no es un coraz6n .

XXXII
Lo ha visto pasar en suenos . . .
Buen cazador de si mismo,
siempre e n acecho.

XXXIII
Cazo a su hombre malo,
el de lo s dias azules,
siempre cabizbajo.

xxxiv
Mas no t e importe s i rueda
y pasa de mano en mano:
del oro se hace moneda.

[150]
XXVIII
Beyond livin g an d dreamin g
there i s something mor e important :
waking up.

XXIX
Now someone has come up with this!
Cogito ergo non sum.
What a n exaggeration !

XXX
I though t m y fire was out,
and stirre d th e ashes. . . .
I burn t m y fingers .

XXXI
Pay attention now :
a heart that' s al l by itself
is not a heart.

XXXII
I've caugh t a glimpse of him i n dreams :
expert hunte r o f himself,
every minute in ambush.

XXXIII
He caugh t his bad man :
the on e who on sunny days
walks with head down.

XXXIV
If a poem become s common,
passed around, hand to hand, it' s OK:
gold i s chosen fo r coins .

[151]
XXXV

Si vivir e s bueno,
es mejor sonar ,
y mejor qu e todo ,
madre, despertar .

xxxvi
No e l sol, sino la campana,
cuando t e despierta, es
lo mejor de la manana .

XXXVII
Entre la s brevas so y blando;
entre la s rocas, de piedra .
[Malo!

XXXVIII
Tengo a mi s amigo s
en mi soledad ;
cuando esto y con ello s
ique lejos estan !

XXXIX

Tu profecia , poeta .
Manana hablara n lo s mudos:
el corazo n y la piedra .

XL
<j Mas el arte? . ..
Es pur o juego ,
que e s igual a pura vida,
que e s igual a puro fuego ,
Vereis el ascua encendida .

[152]
XXXV
If it' s goo d t o live ,
then it' s bette r t o be asleep dreaming,
and bes t of all ,
mother, i s to awake.

xxxvi
Sunlight i s good for waking,
but I prefe r bells
the best thing about morning .

XXXVII
Among the figs I am soft ,
Among the rocks I am hard .
That's bad !

XXXVIII
When I am alone
how close my friends are ;
when I am with the m
how distant the y are !

XXXIX
Now, poet , you r prophecy?
"Tomorrow what is dumb will speak,
the human hear t an d th e stone. "

XL
But art?
It i s pure an d intens e play ,
so it is like pure an d intens e life ,
so it i s like pure an d intens e fire.
You'll se e the coa l burning .

t'53]
AL GRA N CER O

Cuando e l Ser que s e es hizo la nada


y repos6, que bie n l o merecia,
ya tuvo el dia noche, y compania
tuvo el hombre en la ausencia de la amada.

Fiat umbra! Brot o el pensar humano.


Y el huevo universal alzo , vacio,
ya sin color , desustanciad o y frio ,
lleno de niebla ingravida, en su mano.

Toma el cero integral, l a hueca esfera ,


que has de mirar, si lo has de ver, erguido.
Hoy que es espalda el lomo de tu fiera,

y es el milagro del no ser cumplido,


brinda, poeta, un canto de fronter a
a la muerte, al silencio y al olvido.

t'54]
TO TH E GREA T CIRCL E O F N O T H I N G

When the i AM THAT i AM made nothing


and rested , which res t it certainly deserved,
night now accompanied day, and man
had his friend in the absence of the woman.

Let there be shadow! Human thinkin g brok e out .


And th e universa l eg g rose, empty ,
pale, chil l an d no t ye t heavy with matter,
full o f unweighable mist, in hi s hand .

Take the numerical zero , the sphere with nothing in it:


it has to be seen, if you have to see it, standing .
Since th e wil d animal' s bac k no w i s your shoulder ,

and sinc e the miracl e o f not-being i s finished,


start then , poet , a song at the edg e of it al l
to death, t o silence, and t o what doe s not return .

[155]
0LTIMAS LAMENTACIONE S D E
ABEL MARTI N

(Cancionero apocrifo)

Hoy, co n la primavera ,
son que u n fino cuerpo m e seguf a
cual docil sombra. Era
mi cuerpo juvenil , e l que subi a
de tre s en tre s peldano s la escalera.
Hola, galg o de ayer . (Su luz de acuario
trocaba e l hondo espej o
por agria luz sobre u n rinco n de osario. )
Tu conmigo , rapaz ?
Contigo, viejo .
Sone l a galeri a
al huerto d e cipres y limonero;
tibias paloma s e n l a piedr a fria ,
en e l cielo de ani l roj o pandero .
y en la magica angustia de la infanci a
la vigili a de l ange l ma s austero .
La ausenci a y la distanci a
volvi a sonar co n tunica s de aurora ;
firme e n e l arco tens o l a saeta
del mafiana , l a vista aterrador a
de la llama prendida en la espoleta
de su granada.
jOh Tiempo , o h Todavia
prefiado d e inminencias !
Tu m e acompanas e n l a send a fria ,
tejedor d e esperanza s e impaciencias .

[El tiempo y sus banderas desplegadas l


(^Yo, capitan? Mas yo no vo y contigo.)
jHacia lejana s torre s soleada s
el perdurable asalt o por castigo !

[56]
ABEL M A R T I N ' S LAS T L A M E N T A T I O N S

Today it wa s spring;
I dream t tha t a slender bod y followe d me
like an obedien t shadow . It was
my boyish body, the on e who used to leap
the stairs three at a time.
"Hello there , ol d runner!" (Th e dee p mirror
altered th e aquariu m ligh t
to a harsh light ove r th e bone yard.)
"Are yo u with me, speedy?"
"With you, old man. "
Then I seemed to see the rows
of cypres s and lemo n tree s in th e garden ;
chill cobblestone s with war m pigeons,
and th e red kit e high in th e blu e sky,
and som e stern angel wh o watched
over th e magi c anguish of childhood .
Everything distan t an d disappeare d
came back , as I dreamed, as fresh a s dawn;
in th e bo w drawn back , firm, the arrow
of tomorrow , th e terrifyin g sigh t
of th e flam e that i s moving in th e fus e
toward it s charge. . . .
Oh Time, the past still present,
pregnant wit h al l abou t t o come ,
you wal k with me o n th e cold path ,
weaver o f th e thread s of hope an d impatience !

Time and its flags blowing i n the wind!


(Me, Captain ? But I' m no t goin g along.)
Sent ou t fo r punishment t o attac k constantly
the sunli t tower s far i n th e distance !

[i57]
Hoy, como un dia , en la ancha mar violet a
hunde e l sueno su petrea escalinata,
y hace camino l a infanti l goleta,
y le salta el delfin d e bronc e y plata.
La hazan a y la aventur a
cercando un corazon entelerid o . . .
Monies de piedra dur a
eco y ecomi voz ban repetido .

[Oh, descansar en e l azul del di a


como descansa el aguila e n e l viento ,
sobre la sierra fria ,
segura de sus alas y su alientol
La august a confianz a
a ti, Naturaleza, y paz te pido,
mi tregua de temor y de esperanza,
un grano de alegria, un mar de olvido . . .

[158]
Today as once before, the dream lets down its stone
stairs into the deep and violet ocean,
and th e child' s sailboat makes its way
as the dolphin of silver and bronz e leaps out.

Heroic acts and adventures


hover aroun d th e fearful soul . . . .
Cliffs o f impenetrabl e rock
send bac k my voiceech o afte r echo .

How marvellou s t o lie back o n the blu e air ,


as the eagl e lies back on the wind,
over the cold peaks,
certain o f his wings and hi s breath !

What I as k from you , Nature,


is a deeply interfused confidence and peace ,
a reprieve from fea r and fro m hop e
a sand grain of joy, an ocean of oblivion . . .

[159]
SIESTA

En memoria de Abel Martin

Mientras traza su curva el pez de fuego ,


junto a l cipres , bajo el supremo anil,
y vuela en blanca piedra e l nino ciego,
y en el olmo la copla de marnl
de l a verde cigarra late y suena,
honremos a l Seno r
la negra estampa de s u mano buena
que h a dictad o el silencio en el clamor.

Al dios de la distancia y de la ausencia,


del ancora en el mar, la plena mar . . .
1 nos libra del mundoomnipresencia,
nos abre senda para caminar .

Con la copa d e sombra bie n colmada,


con este nunca lleno corazon,
honremos al Senor qu e hiz o la Nada
y ha esculpid o e n l a f e nuestra razon .

[160]
SIESTA

In Memory of Abel Martin

While th e burning fish is tracing his arc


near th e cypress, beneath th e highes t blu e o f all ,
and th e blind bo y flies away in th e white stone,
and th e ivor y poe m o f the gree n cicad a
beats an d reverberate s i n th e elm ,
let us giv e honor t o the Lord
the blac k mark o f his goo d hand
who has arranged fo r silence in all this noise.

Honor to the god of distance and of absence,


of th e anchor in the seath e open sea . . .
He free s u s fro m th e worldit' s everywhere
he opens roads for us to walk on.

With ou r cu p of darkness filled to the brim,


with our hear t tha t alway s knows some hunger,
let us give honor t o the Lord who created th e zero
and carve d our though t ou t o f the bloc k of faith.

[161]
LA MUERT E DE L NIN O HERID O

Otra vez es la noche . . . Es el martillo


de la fiebre en las sienes bien vendadas
del nifio . Madr e je l pajar o amarillo !
jlas mariposas negras y moradas!

Duerme, hijo mio . Y la manita oprim e


la madre junto al lecho. jOh flor de fuego !
(jQuien ha de helarte, flor de sangre, dime?
Hay e n l a pobre alcob a olo r de espliego;

fuera, l a oronda lun a que blanque a


ciipula y torre a la ciudad sombria .
Invisible avi6n moscardonea .

(jDuermes, o h dulce flor de sangre mia?


El cristal del balcon repiquetea .
;Oh, fria , fria , fria , fria , fria !

[i6s]
THE DEAT H O F TH E WOUNDE D CHIL D

In th e night onc e more . .. It i s the fever-


hammer i n th e bandage d temple s
of the boy. "Mother! The yello w bird !
The butterflie s ar e black and purple! "

"Sleep, m y son." Th e mothe r by the bed


squeezes th e tin y hand . "M y burning flower,
my bloodflower , wh o freeze s you ? Tell me!"
There is an odor o f lavender in the stark bedroom;

outside th e swolle n moon i s turning white


the cupol a an d steepl e of the darkene d city.
An invisibl e aeroplane hums.

"Are you asleep, sweet flower of my blood?"


The pan e o n th e balcony window shivers.
"Oh cold , cold , cold, cold, cold. "

[163]
COPLAS

En lo s yermos altos
veo unos chopos de fri o
y un camin o bianco .

En aquella piedr a
(jtierras d e la luna!)
<madie lo recuerda?

Azotan el limona r
las rafagas d e febrero.
No duermo por no sonar .

[164]
COPLAS

In th e hig h wildernes s
I se e some cold poplar s
and a white road .

In tha t stony place


(landscape of th e moo n I)
does no one remember it ?

The gust s of Februar y


rip throug h th e lemon trees .
I don' t slee p so I won' t dream .

[165]
MEDITACI6N DE L Df A

Frente a la palma de fueg o


que dej a el sol que s e va,
en la tarde silenciosa
y en est e jardin d e paz,
mientras Valencia florida
se bebe el Guadalaviar
Valencia d e finas torres,
en e l lirico cielo de Ausias March,
trocando su rio e n rosas
antes que llegu e a la mar,
pienso en la guerra. La guerr a
viene como un huraca n
por los paramas del alto Duero,
por la s llanuras de pan llevar,
desde la frtil Extremadur a
a estos jardines de limonar ,
desde los grises cielos astures
a las marismas de luz y sal.
Pienso e n Espana vendida tod a
de rio a rio, de monte a monte, de mar a mar.

[166]
TODAY'S M E D I T A T I O N

The fiery palm tree in front of me,


that th e setting sun is just now leaving,
this late and silent afternoon,
inside our peaceful garden ,
while flowery old Valencia
drinks the Guadalaviar waters-
Valencia o f delicate towers,
in th e joyfu l sk y of Ausias March,
her river turns entirel y into roses
before i t arrives at the sea
I thin k of the war. The war
is like a tornado movin g
through th e bleak foothills of the Duero ,
through the plains of standing wheat,
from th e farmland s o f Extremadur a
to thes e garden s wit h private lemons ,
from th e gre y skies of the nort h
to thes e salty marshes ful l o f light .
I thin k o f Spain, all of it sold out ,
river by river, mountain b y mountain, se a to sea.

[167]
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AFTERWORD
A N H O M A G E T O M A C H A D O I N 19 6 6

A DAY se t asid e t o hono r Antoni o Machado , th e grea t


Spanish poe t wh o died i n exil e i n souther n Franc e i n
1939, had been announced for th e aot h of Februar y 1966 . Th e
homage, notic e o f whic h wa s give n al l governmen t bureau s
concerned, wa s to consis t of the unveilin g of a monument t o
Machadoa bronze head made by the sculptor Pablo Serrono .
The bus t woul d b e unveile d i n th e tow n o f Baez a (Jae n
Province), where Machado had taught French for several years
in th e loca l school ; th e monumen t wa s to be place d a t a spot
outside town , a particularl y lovel y spo t ofte n visite d b y
Machado in his walks. The homag e was announced unde r th e
title "Walk s wit h Antonio Machado. "
The committe e tha t organize d i t wa s heterogeneous , in -
cluding th e judge i n Baez a as well as many writers and artist s
living in Madrid . Th e Spanis h press gave considerable publi -
city t o th e plan s fo r th e homage . Severa l day s before it , th e
weekly Triunfo in Madrid published a full-page photograph
of th e bronz e bust , no w finished , a s illustration t o a n articl e
written b y Moren o Galvan ; a t th e sam e tim e a numbe r o f
papers publishe d declaration s of support for the homage, plu s
various othe r testimonie s o f public sympath y for th e project .
The da y before the homage, a brief note appeared i n several
papers, it s origi n unknown , declarin g tha t th e homag e ha d
been canceled . By that time , mos t o f the peopl e wh o ha d in -
tended t o be there were already on the way from variou s parts
of Spainfro m Alicante , Seville , Cordoba , Valencia , Bar -
celona, Bilbao , Madrid. . . .
The Guardi a Civil , arme d wit h submachin e guns , waite d
for th e car s on al l th e road s aroun d Baeza , several kilometer s
from th e cit y limits . The y stoppe d al l buses , bu t le t privat e

[169]
cars go through, at least in the beginning, though not without
noting dow n th e licens e numbers. Man y people walke d into
town from tha t spot later, when private cars were halted .
Under thes e circumstance s some 2,50 0 peopl e arrive d i n
Baeza on the twentieth, not counting another large group that
did no t succee d i n breakin g throug h th e polic e line . Th e
daily paper Jaen declared : "Today Baez a will render a n hom-
age t o Machado. " Th e crow d o f peopl e move d ou t o f tow n
toward th e are a o f th e monument . Th e lin e wa s long an d
silent, but th e mood was a mood o f affection an d camaraderi e
among the admirers of the poet. Shortly before the line arrived
at the spot , some Armed Polic e (popularl y called "th e Greys "
because o f thei r uniform ) appeare d an d blocke d th e road .
Several participants walked forward t o ask for an explanation ,
which the police refused. A lieutenant arrived, and soon police
reinforcements. Ther e was great tension . Th e polic e lieuten -
ant sai d flatly that th e gatherin g wa s canceled, and tha t the y
had order s t o kee p peopl e awa y fro m th e plac e i n question .
He sai d h e di d no t kno w the reason s why. He wa s asked t o
make known t o some authoritythe mayo r of the cit y or th e
governor o f th e provinceth e unanimou s desir e o f thos e
present tha t som e explanatio n b e give n the m fo r wha t was
taking place . Th e lieutenan t refuse d thi s an d threatene d t o
charge th e group. Thos e present pressed together in lines and
made know n thei r decisio n t o wai t ther e fo r th e arriva l o f
someone in powe r wh o would give them a good explanation .
The effor t thes e people ha d gon e throug h t o get here, man y
from place s fa r away, should not b e made to end i n a simple
return home under th e arbitrary order of some member of the
state police or an officia l o f the constabulary.
The lieutenan t too k a ste p backwar d an d ble w a whistle .
The polic e dre w u p i n line s an d too k ou t thei r clubs . Th e
lieutenant rea d a paragrap h referrin g t o "violation s o f th e
laws of Public Order " and announce d tha t a t th e third blo w
of th e whistle , th e polic e "woul d charge " agains t person s
present. Thos e present linke d arm s tightly , prepared t o hol d

[170]
to thei r decisio n to wait for a decen t explanation o f the can -
cellation.
The charg e began . Th e Grey s hel d bac k a moment . Th e
officer dre w hi s pisto l an d shouted , "Charge ! Charge! " A
policeman, als o fro m th e Political-Socia l Brigade, wave d his
pistol as if he were fencing, furious, absolutely out o f his mind.
"Charge! Charge! "
From the n o n i t wa s brutality an d violence . Th e crow d
cried: "Murderer ! Murderer! " Man y fel l dow n unde r th e
blows. Groans , cries ; youn g peopl e sobbe d wit h fear . Th e
Greys savagel y pursued th e fe w people wh o ran i n th e first
moments, an d continue d t o bea t thos e who remained stand -
ing, bot h thos e facin g th e polic e an d thos e tryin g t o hel p
others on the ground .
The larg e mas s of people, afte r returnin g tw o kilometers ,
back to town, filed into the mai n plaz a of Baeza in a mood of
rage, exasperation and fear . Some took shelter in bars or cafs ,
from whic h th e polic e expelle d the m b y force , bac k t o th e
street, where they were met with more violence; blows, insults
and various indignities. Man y arrests took place and the track-
ing beganthe pursuit of people into every nook of town: new
arrests an d high-handedness .
The tow n watched this sight astonished. "Get t o your cars!"
the Grey s shouted, pushing heavily against anyone and every -
one. Th e deputie s from th e Politica l Socia l Brigade assiste d
them on all sides . Those who had no car s to leave town with
were thwacked , chased, hunte d int o an y shelter the y coul d
take. A long parade of cars fled by all the highways leading out,
and thos e who arrive d i n Ubed a ( a nearby town ) could se e
the officer s i n the Guardia Civi l barracks waiting for the order
to go to Baeza.
This is what happened t o the homage for Antonio Machado
in Baez a the aot h of February 1966 .
Twenty-seven peopl e wer e arrested , amon g the m Jos
Moreno Galva n (autho r o f th e articl e mentione d above) ;
Pedro Cab a (doctor) ; Eduard o Urcul o (painter) ; Manue l

[^1]
Aguilar (publisher) ; Robert o Pui g (architect) ; Cortij o
(painter); Ripolle s (painter) ; Alfred o Flore s (lawyer) ; J. A .
Ramos Herran z (engineer) ; Pedro Dicent a (teacher) ; Carlo s
Alvarez (poet) , etc.
Of th e twenty-seve n arrested , sixtee n wer e release d jus t
before dawn. Eleven remained i n jail, and wer e taken t o Jae"n
and released there the next day, after the y had paid fines vary-
ing according to th e cas e from 5,00 0 pesetas to 10,000 , 15,00 0
and 25,00 0 pesetas.
The repor t o f an eyewitness
Translated fro m th e Spanish by Robert Ely

[172]
TRANSLATIONS O F MACHAD O
AVAILABLE I N ENGLIS H

Barnstone, Willis . Th e Dream Below th e Sun. Trumansberg , N.Y.:


The Crossin g Press , 1981 . A reissue , with man y additiona l
poems, of next entry.
. Eighty Poems o f Antonio Machado. Ne w York: Las Americ-
as, 1959 . Include s Juan Ramo n Jimenez ' reminiscenc e o f
Machado.
Belitt, Ben . Juan de Mairena: Epigrams, Maxims, Memoranda, and
Memoirs o f an Apocryphal Professor. Berkeley : University of Cali-
fornia Press , 1963 . Includes an Appendix o f Poems from th e
"Apocryphal Songbooks." Illustrated.
Craige, Betty Jean. Selected Poems of Antonio Machado. Bato n Rouge:
Louisiana State University Press, 1978 . Highly academic.
Falck, Colin . Th e Garden i n th e Evening. 14 poems . Oxford , Eng -
land: Th e Review, No. 13 , 1965 .
Maloney, Dennis. The Landscape ofSoria. Buffalo : White Pine Press,
1985-
Predmore, Richard L. Solitudes, Galleries, and Other Poems. Durham:
Duke University Press, 1987 .
Rexroth, Kenneth. Thirty Spanish Poems of Love and Exile. San Fran -
cisco: City Lights, 1955 . Severa l brilliant translations.
Scholes, Carmen, an d Willia m Witherup. I G o Dreaming Roads. 2 2
poems. Monterey , Ca.: Peters Gate Press, 1973 .
Trueblood, Ala n S . Antonio Machado: Selected Poems. Cambridge ,
Ma.: Harvar d Universit y Press, 1982 . A generous selection ,
sixty-four poems , with marvelous notes.

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Robert El y i s th e autho r o f te n book s o f poetry .
Antonio Machad o wa s a stron g influenc e o n hi s firs t
book o f poetry , Silence i n th e Snowy Fields. Ely ha s
edited an d translate d works of Swedish, German, Nor -
wegian, an d Persia n poetry , including tha t of Neruba
and Rilke . He receive d the Nationa l Boo k Award for
poetry in 1968 . His home is in Moose Lake, Minnesota.