Antonio Machado in Soria

I loved this documentary about Antonio Machado in Soria shown on Escarabajo Verde last Sunday.

Ian Gibson explains how Machado’s visit to Soria was to have a great impact on the poet’s work. The poems he wrote here were published as “Campos de Castilla”, a collection lyricising the beauty of the Castilian countryside. His first work in Soria expressed the poverty and ruggedness of the region, but his writings were to soften when he met, fell in love and married Leonor Izquierdo, daughter of the owners of the boarding house Machado was staying in. Sadly, Leonor soon fell ill and died from tuberculosis, just a few weeks after the publication of Campos de Castilla. Machado was devastated and left Soria, never to return. He moved to Baeza where he wrote a series of poems dealing with the death of Leonor which were added to a new edition of Campos de Castilla published in 1916 , which now saw the Sorian landscape full of melancholy and sadness. The documentary also mentions the articles Machado wrote for the local press expressing an early environmental concern and denouncing the burning of pinewoods for pasture. (Escarabajo Verde, TVE2 from Forestman)

Fields of Soria (extract)

Hills of silver plate,
grey heights, dark red rocks
through which the Duero bends
its crossbow arc
round Soria, shadowed oaks,
stone dry-lands, naked mountains,
white roads and river poplars,
twilights of Soria, warlike and mystical,
today I feel, for you,
in my hearts depths, sadness,
sadness of love! Fields of Soria,
where it seems the stones have dreams,
you go with me! Hills of silver plate,
grey heights, dark red rocks.

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3 Responses to “Antonio Machado in Soria”

  1. nick says:

    PS Didn’t know about the 100th anniversary

  2. nick says:

    Hi Alfredo,

    You can watch it here above on youtube – but you need cookies enabled.


  3. Alfredo says:

    Shame i never got to see this documentary it sounds really interesting. We have been on the Route of Machado in the province of Soria to the places where he wrote some of his famous pieces. Although he was from Seville it was the Sorian landscape and his lovely wife, that was the inspiration for most of his work. Its sad that his wishes to be buried in Soria were ignored and he now lies in France.

    His memory is well and truly here, this year (2007) Soria is celebrating 100 years of Machado connection with the province.

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