Border of a dream: selected poems of Antonio Machado

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Copper Canyon Press, 2004 - History - 516 pages
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Antonio Machado (1875–1939) is Spain’s master poet, the explorer of dream and landscape, and of consciousness below language. Widely regarded as the greatest twentieth century poet who wrote in Spanish, Machado—like his contemporary Rilke—is intensely introspective and meditative. In this collection, the unparalleled translator Willis Barnstone, returns to the poet with whom he first started his distinguished career, offering a new bilingual edition which provides a sweeping assessment of Machado’s work. In addition, Border of a Dream includes a reminiscence by Nobel Laureate Juan Ramón Jiménez and a foreword by John Dos Passos.

from "Proverbs and Songs"

Absolute faith. We neither are nor will be.
Our whole life is borrowed
We brought nothing. With nothing we leave.
*
You say nothing is created?
Don’t worry. With clay
of the earth make a cup
so your brother can drink.

Born near Seville, Spain, Antonio Machado turned to a career in writing and translating in order to help support his family after the death of his father in 1893. His growing reputation as a poet led to teaching posts in various cities in Spain and, eventually, he returned to finish his degree from the University of Madrid in 1918. He remained in Madrid after the outbreak of civil war, committed to the Republican cause, but the violence finally forced him to flee. He died an exile in France.

Willis Barnstone is one of America’s foremost translator-poets, bringing into English an extraordinary range of work, from Mao Tse-tung to the New Testament.

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Contents

Foreword xm
xiii
Introduction
xix
New Songs 19171930
xxvii
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Antonio Machado (1875-1939) is regarded as one of the greatest Spanish poets of the 20th century. He is considered along with Juan Ramon Jimenez, and Miguel de Unamuno part of the influential generation of 1898 which ushered in a new Spanish poetics.

Willis Barnstone was born in Lewiston, Maine. He attended Bowdoin, Columbia, and Yale, earning his doctorate. Barnstone taught in Greece from 1949 to 1951, and in Buenos Aires during the Dirty War. He went to China during the Cultural Revolution, where he was later a Fulbright Professor of American Literature at Beijing Foreign Studies University from 1984 to 1985. Barnstone has authored more than forty books, poetry collections, poetry translations, philosophical and religious texts. He is a former O'Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University, is a Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and is in the Institute of Biblical and Literary Studies at Indiana University. He has received numerous awards for his work, among them the Emily Dickinson Award, the W. H. Auden Award, and a PEN/Book-of-the-Month-Club Special Citation for translation. Barnstone was also a Guggenheim Fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry.

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