Spanish poet from Seville, Antonio Machado, died in Collioure, the little fishing village in southern France on 22nd February 1939.
As a boy and without financial support, he and his young brother were driven to write and to act to make money. Later as a supporter of the loyalist cause, and living in Madrid at the outbreak of The Spanish Civil War, he was subsequently forced into exile. He and his family joined thousands of refugees on a long, perilous journey on foot over the Pyrenees. One month later he passed away, aged 63.
No, my soul is not asleep.
It’s awake, wide awake.
It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches,
it’s eyes wide open
far-off things, and listens
at the shores of the great silence.
From ‘Is my soul asleep?’ by Antonio Machado, translated by Robert Bly.
A his grave is a site of pilgrimage for the Spanish, French and Catalan communities. All year this man, this poet, is visited and adored; his resting place is a shrine of devotion, emotion, and poetry…
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