Antonio Machado in Soria

November 13th, 2007 | by nick |

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.

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/fields-of-soria/

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