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This review is taken from PN Review 37, Volume 10 Number 5, March - April 1984.

SPRUNG FROM THE HEART Antonio Machado, Selected Poems, translated with an introduction by Alan S. Trueblood (Harvard University Press) £20.


Oh light-struck evening!
The air is spellbound.
The white stork
dozes in flight,
and the crisscrossing swallows
. . .
. . . dream and soar . . .
(19, LXXVI)


Professor Trueblood has chosen over sixty of the poems of Machado (1875-1939), among them many of the most memorable, including all nine of the masterly sequence 'Campos de Soria' ('The Soria Country'), not previously available in English translation to this reviewer's knowledge. Trueblood has had the benefit of the reminiscences of the late Don Tomás Navarro, one of Machado's close associates, and the co-operation of his literary heir, Dr. José Rollán Riesco of Madrid. The volume is handsomely produced, with a comprehensive introduction, English translations facing the Spanish text, and separate notes to the introduction and the poems. There is also a helpful key to the poem numbers and an index of titles and first lines. (The arabic numbers alongside the excerpts in this review are from the Trueblood 'canon', the roman numerals being the standard numbering of the poems done by the poet himself).

Machado's early life was enlivened by visits to France where he met Oscar Wilde, Jean Moréas and the Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario. After a career as a teacher in various parts of Spain, during which his wife died tragically young, he himself died in France in 1939, having just left Spain as a refugee from the Civil War. ...


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