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This article is taken from PN Review 248, Volume 45 Number 6, July - August 2019.

Campos de Soria translated by Virginia Falconer
Campos de Soria CXIII
translated from the Spanish by Virginia Falconer
Antonio Machado
The land of Soria is arid and cold.
Spring passes through
over bare hills and mountain ranges,
over little green fields and ashy-grey heights,
leaving tiny white daisies
scattered among the wild herbs.
The earth does not revive; it sleeps and dreams.
At the beginning of April there is snow
across the top of the Moncayo;
walkers cover their faces with scarves,
and shepherds go by
muffled up in their long cloaks.

The ploughed fields,
like snippets of brown serge,
the little orchard, the beehive, the scraps
of dark green, where sheep graze
between leaden crags, in all of these grow
joyful dreams of childhood Arcadia.
Far off, the branches of the roadside poplars
are still stiff with cold, and seem to smoke
with a pale green mist – their new leaves –
and the cracks of valleys and ravines
are lit with the white of bramble flowers
and perfumed with violets.

In this rolling countryside, the roads
at first hide the travellers, riding
on small tired brown donkeys,
then, in the crimson flush of evening
they lift up the little peasant figures
to sully the golden canvas of sunset.
But if you climb up high and look at the land
from the cliffs where the eagles live,
you see an iridescence ...

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