Soledades, 1902 (dated 1903)
Soledades, galerías, y otros poemas, 1907 (Solitudes, Galleries, and Other Poems, 1987)
Campos de Castilla, 1912 (The Castilian Camp, 1982)
Poesías completas, 1917
Nuevas canciones, 1924
De un cancionero apócrifo, 1926
Eighty Poems of Antonio Machado, 1959
Antonio Machado, 1973
Selected Poems of Antonio Machado, 1978
Selected Poems, 1982
Times Alone: Selected Poems of Antonio Machado, 1983
Roads Dreamed Clear Afternoons: An Anthology of the Poetry of Antonio Machado, 1994
Lands of Castile/Campos de Castilla, and Other Poems, 2002 (bilingual)
Desdichas de la fortuna, o Julianillo Valcárcel, pr., pb. 1926 (with Manuel Machado)
Juan de Mañara, pr., pb. 1927 (with Manuel Machado)
Las adelfas, pr., pb. 1928 (with Manuel Machado)
El hombre que murió en la guerra, wr. 1928
pr. 1941 (with Manuel Machado)
La Lola se va a los puertos, pr., pb. 1929 (with Manuel Machado)
La prima Fernanda, pr., pb. 1931 (with Manuel Machado)
La duquesa de Benamejí, pr., pb. 1932 (with Manuel Machado)
Juan de Mairena, 1936 (English translation, 1963)
Obras completas de Manuel y Antonio Machado, 1946 (includes De un cancionero apócrifo)
Among the writers of the so-called Generation of ’98, Antonio Machado (mah-CHAH-doh) takes the highest place as a poet. His work is not particularly extensive, but it has depth, soberness, and intensity.
Born Antonio Machado y Ruiz in Seville on July 26, 1875, he moved at an early age to Madrid, entered the famous Instituto Libre de Ensenanza, and later studied at the University of Madrid, where he graduated in philosophy and letters. He lived in Paris between 1898 and 1901, writing translations and serving in the post of vice consul of Guatemala. After returning to Spain, he was appointed teacher of French in the Institute of Soria, married in that town, and took his wife to Paris, where he attended courses in literature and philosophy until his return to Soria. There, after three years of marriage, his wife died, leaving him “a remembrance that would be always with him.” Finding life unbearable in Soria, he moved successively to Baeza, Segovia, and Madrid, devoting himself to teaching and literature. At the end of the Civil War, he left Spain with his mother and other relatives, and he died some days later in a hotel at Collioure, France, on February 22, 1939.
Rubén Darío spoke of Antonio Machado as “silent, proud, luminous, profound,” and that description also fits his poetry, from the first poem to the last, in a progression not of change but of intensification. Though his first book, Soledades, is marked by the picturesque world of Andalusia and the opulence of Modernism, the gravity, seriousness, and simplicity of his message dominate the book. These last characteristics are intensified in Campos de Castilla. His stays in Madrid and Soria oriented him toward the essence of the Spanish spirit, expressed in a poetry of meditation. The Castilian landscape, beloved by the writers of the Generation of ’98, inspired Machado’s best work. He saw Castile as poor, sad, and somber, yet also as noble and dreaming, capable of rebirth. The bitter tone of these poems (shared by nearly all the artists of his generation, contemporaries of the political fall of Spain during the last decade of the nineteenth century) appears as a ritornello in a series of poems in which dusty roads, poor farmers, familiar tragedies, and fearful lives form a world of pessimism. His beloved wife is also evoked in sorrowful verse, and the book closes with poems of delicate expression but profound intention.
Nuevas canciones is a collection of poems of the same tone and subject as Campos de Castilla but of a greater condensation. Now idea takes first place in the poetry; external form is put aside or not taken into account at all. The “Proverbios y Cantares” are good examples of this style and structure. They are short, sententious, conceptual poems, sometimes as brief as four words.
De un cancionero apócrifo was Machado’s final book of poems. In the 1930’s, making use of two fictitious characters, Abel Martín and Juan de Mairena, Machado broached his end-of-Modernity philosophical reflections, his aesthetic ideas about the poem, its principles, and its components. These thoughts are reaffirmed and expanded in two books in epigrammatic prose, Abel Martín and Juan de Mairena, that carry as titles the names of his alter egos.
Machado wrote that his childhood was “a remembrance of a patio of Seville” and his youth “twenty years in Castile.” His mature life could well be represented by the entire Spanish land, because his love for his country made him a poet of pungent and painful message in days of bitterness and the decay of the Spanish soul. Machado also collaborated with his brother, Manuel Machado, on six plays. The best of these are Desdichas de la fortuna, o Julianillo Valcárcel and La Lola se va a los puertos.