Antonio Machado

Antonio Machado

About Antonio Machado

Antonio Machado, (July 26, 1875 in Seville - February 22, 1939 in Collioure, France), was a Spanish poet. He is one of the figures of the Spanish literary movement of the Generation of 98. He mixes melancholy and refined daydreaming with earthly inspiration.
In 1901, he published his first poems, in the literary journal Electra. His first book of poetry was published in 1903 under the title Soledades. A new, completed edition will appear in 1907 under the title Soledades. Galleries. Other Poems. In Soledades the imprint of Rubendarian modernism is evidently present but at the same time one can notice the tension towards an apparently simple language and the intense introversion. The same title, Solitudes, announces the intimate essence of the book: solitudes not only of man but also of space, inhabited only by the subject who converses in an autobiographical way with the ghosts of his past. In Soledades everything appears veiled in melancholy and nostalgia; the images are typical of decadence: the abandoned gardens, the old parks, the fountains. These images, as symbolic keys, represent the mood of the poet.
In 1912, he published Campos de Castilla. A new edition of Campos de Castilla was published in 1916, including poems relating to the death of his wife Leonor. In this book, the poet evokes with essential features the solemnity of the surrounding landscape, evoked with an almost visionary perspective. This book marks the detachment from Soledades' extreme subjectivity thanks to the introduction of the historical dimension. In fact, in many passages of the book there are references to past events in the history of Spain and to the debate connected to them.
In 1924 he published another collection of verses, Nuevas canciones. In this book, Machado presents a remarkable plurality of styles and themes, developing above all reflections on poetry in which he contrasts the natural and authentic inspiration with the abstract one.
When the Spanish Civil War began in July 1936, Antonio Machado was in Madrid. He found himself separated forever from his brother, who was in a nationalist zone and had chosen to support the Francoist camp. Antonio himself put his pen to the service of the Republican Party. He wrote a poem evoking the execution of Federico Garcia Lorca (El crimen fue en Granada). Machado was evacuated with his mother, Ana Ruiz, and two of his brothers, Joaquim and José, to Valencia, then in 1938 to Barcelona. When the Second Spanish Republic fell, they were forced to flee to France. Arriving in Collioure, a few kilometers from the border, exhausted, Antonio Machado died there on February 22, 1939, three days before his mother.
Antonio Machado is buried in Collioure.

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