Manuel Machado (poet and playwright)

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Manuel Machado y Ruiz (29 August 1874 in Seville – 19 January 1947 in Madrid) was a Spanish poet and a prominent member of the Generation of 98.

Manuel Machado was the son of Antonio Machado Álvarez, known folklorist Seville nicknamed "Demófilo", and Ana Ruiz. His brothers were also a poet Antonio Machado and José Machado. Inherited his father's love of popular Andalusian character. Born in San Pedro Martir Street No. 20, his childhood was spent in the Palacio de las Dueñas, where his family had rented one of the zones reserved for individuals. When Manuel was 9, the whole family moved to Madrid, because the paternal grandfather had obtained a professorship at the Universidad Central. The desire of all the three brothers was studying in the Free Institution of Teaching, led by Francisco Giner de los Ríos, a great friend of the grandfather Manuel.

The family moved to Madrid where he developed his studies, culminating with a Bachelor of Arts. Since then, his family returned to Seville in few occasions, but Seville and Andalusia remained for him a living reference, though distant, for the love of his parents towards their land.

In Madrid, Manuel began to publicize his first poetry and contributed to several literary life in Madrid along with writers like Francis and Juan Ramón Jiménez Villaespesa.

He was co-founder, on February 11, 1933 of the Association of Friends of the Soviet Union, created in an era when the right hold a condemnatory tone to the stories about the achievements and problems of socialism in the USSR.

Over the years, he became director of Madrid's Municipal Library (now the Municipal Historical Library) and Municipal Museum. He created several short-lived literary magazines and worked in daily newspapers in Europe and America.

Contributed strongly to the modernist poetry, understood in its most colorful, decadent, cosmopolitan, giving a hint of Andalusian poetry makes something unique.

It has often been opposed to the modernist side of the 98 Generation.

In 1936-during the civil war, was appointed to a seat in the Royal Spanish Academy.

Brothers Manuel and Antonio wrote together several dramatic works of Andalusian. Manuel's most notable work is La Lola se va a los puertos, filmed twice.

Other dramatic works of Machado were the La duquesa de Benamejí, La prima Fernanda, Juan de Mañara, El hombre que murió en la guerra and Desdichas de la fortuna o Julianillo Valcárcel.

Although the poetry of both is very different, we can see certain parallels. Thus, both paths composed autobiographical poems ("Adelfos" Manuel, and "Portrait", by Antonio) using Alexandrine verses organized in serventesios. The civil war separated the brothers, placing them on opposite sides.

Upon arrival in Madrid Franco's revolt in 1939, Manuel gave the military an encomiastic poetry, "The sword of the Caudillo." This earned him the recognition of the regime. After the war he returned to his post as director of the Newspaper Library and the Municipal Museum of Madrid, who retired shortly thereafter. He continued to write poetry, mostly religious in nature. His Catholic faith was rekindled during your stay in Burgos thanks to the devotion of his wife and the influence of certain priests, as Bonifacio Zamora. The poet continued to write eulogies to various figures and symbols of Franco, which earned him the scorn of critics and later poets, who considered him a traitor to the Republican cause.

On January 19, 1947 died in Madrid. After the poet's death, his widow entered a religious order dedicated to caring for abandoned and sick children.

Then came the Spanish openness of the 60 and 70, where already glimpsed the end of the Franco dictatorship. Franco gave the youth side to the poets covered by the regime and embraced those who died, or still living-in-exile. Thus, the work and the figure of Manuel Machado were eclipsed by those of Antonio Machado, more akin to the taste of time.

Some of Manuel Machado poems are as famous as these ones:

CANTARES
Vino, sentimiento, guitarra y poesía
hacen los cantares de la patria mía.
Quien dice cantares dice Andalucía.
A la sombra fresca de la vieja parra,
un mozo moreno rasguea la guitarra...
Cantares...
Algo que acaricia y algo que desgarra.
La prima que canta y el bordón que llora...
Y el tiempo callado se va hora tras hora.
Cantares...
Son dejos fatales de la raza mora.
No importa la vida, que ya está perdida,
y, después de todo, ¿qué es eso, la vida?...
Cantares...
Cantando la pena, la pena se olvida.
Madre, pena, suerte, pena, madre, muerte,
ojos negros, negros, y negra la suerte...
Cantares...
En ellos el alma del alma se vierte.
Cantares. Cantares de la patria mía,
quien dice cantares dice Andalucía.
Cantares...
No tiene más notas la guitarra mía.
CASTILLA
El ciego sol se estrella
en las duras aristas de las armas,
llaga de luz los petos y espaldares
y flamea en las puntas de las lanzas.
El ciego sol, la sed y la fatiga.
Por la terrible estepa castellana,
al destierro, con doce de los suyos
—polvo, sudor y hierro—, el Cid cabalga.
Cerrado está el mesón a piedra y lodo.
Nadie responde. Al pomo de la espada
y al cuento de las picas el postigo
va a ceder... ¡Quema el sol, el aire abrasa!
A los terribles golpes,
de eco ronco, una voz pura, de plata
y de cristal responde... Hay una niña
muy débil y muy blanca
en el umbral. Es toda
ojos azules y en los ojos lágrimas.
Oro pálido nimba
su carita curiosa y asustada.
«¡Buen Cid, pasad...! El rey nos dará muerte,
arruinará la casa,
y sembrará de sal el pobre campo
que mi padre trabaja...
Idos. El cielo os colme de venturas...
¡En nuestro mal, oh Cid no ganáis nada!»
Calla la niña y llora sin gemido...
Un sollozo infantil cruza la escuadra
de feroces guerreros,
y una voz inflexible grita «¡En marcha!»
El ciego sol, la sed y la fatiga.
Por la terrible estepa castellana,
al destierro, con doce de los suyos
—polvo, sudor y hierro—, el Cid cabalga.

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