Biography of Antonio Machado y Ruiz (1875-1939)

Poet, playwright and storyteller Spanish, born in Seville on July 26, 1875 and died on February 22, 1939 in Collioure (France). Simplicity, sobriety and depth of his poetic voice, United in his prose reflections that located it close to the spirit of its people, have made him one of the greatest poets in Spanish, emblematic, with a clear, simple, vibrant tone in his poetry.

.Antonio Machado.


Son of the marriage of Antonio Machado Álvarez folklorist, called "Demófilo", and Ana Ruiz and Hernández. He/She was born in the Palacio de las Dueñas de Sevilla, owned by the family of Alba, where they rented rooms on the ground floor, was the second of five children. The meeting of parents, Machado tells, through his character Juan de Mairena, to ".. .unos dolphins, mistaken their way, and in favour of the tide, had ventured by the Guadalquivir River, reaching Seville hastra." Citywide went many people, attracted by the unusual spectacle, on the banks of the River, bridesmaids and Gallants, including those who were my parents, who were there for the first time. It was a sunny afternoon that I have believed or have dreamed about recall ever".

After spending his childhood in his hometown ("my childhood is memories of a patio of Seville / and gardening clear where it matures the lemon tree"), traveled with his family to Madrid, to the age of eight, where his grandfather, Antonio Machado Núñez, physician and Professor of natural sciences, had been appointed Professor of the Central University, ("my youth, twenty years in the land of Castile; / my childhood")some cases remember do not want"). The figure of an uncle, was also influential Agustín Durán, Member of the Royal Spanish Academy, author of collection of ancient romance, compilation with which the poet stated that they had helped him to learn to read.

He studied in the Institución Libre de Enseñanza, whose founder always professed the greatest veneration and whose death dedicated To Don Francisco Giner of the Ríoselegy, published in Campos de Castilla. The school was a pioneer in their teaching methods: it was mixed, it encouraged the practice of physical education, (non-existent in Spanish schools), dialogue with the teachers, it fostered a love of nature and an attitude of openness towards the arts and foreign cultures. There is where the poet forged his character, shaping his love for truth, tolerance, the feeling of equality among men, the austerity as a principle and respect for the work. Subsequently, he/she completed his studies at the San Isidro and Cardinal Cisneros institutes.

In 1888 his brother Manuel and Antonio attend Theatre Spanish, whose main actor, Rafael Calvo, is a friend of his father. The son of the actor Ricardo Calvo and Antonio Zayas, form a group of friends inseparable, related to art, along with the Machado brothers.

In these years Machado met Valle-Inclán. They were years of economic hardship: his father had to emigrate to America, destiny that followed, later, one of his brothers. His father returned in 1893, ill with tuberculosis, to Seville, where it died at the age of 46, without returning to see his children, who stayed beside his mother.

The same year of the death of his father, Antonio first published a literary text, in prose, which appeared, as other subsequent collaborations, in the newspaper La caricature, signed with the pseudonym of "Hair". His brother Manuel signed with the pseudonym "Moth", and together, when they recorded the authorship of a work of theatre, they did it with the name "Tablante Ricamonte". Until 1901 does not see the light of his first poems, appearing in magazines such as Electra and Helios.

Antonio Machado, "Portrait" (Campos de Castilla).

In 1899 he/she traveled first to Paris, where his brother, the poet Manuel lived. In that city he/she made translations for the publishing house Garnier. There is where it will come into contact with prominent writers such as Oscar Wilde, Pío Baroja, and have the opportunity to attend classes of the philosopher Henri Bergson, whereby you feel impressed. He/She returned to Spain and obtained his Bachelor's degree in 1900.

In 1902, he/she made a second trip to Paris, during which he/she met Rubén Darío, poet who led a new style of writing, of great influence. Antonio dares to show her poems, to which the teacher responds with a single word: "wonderful!".

In 1903 he/she published the first version of solitudes, a collection of poems, reflecting the search for an intimate, steeped in modernist style, where already are discovered in his early compositions a personification of the landscape and a tone of melancholy voice. While participating in the literary and theatrical world of Madrid. He/She met Unamuno, Juan Ramón Jiménez, cultivated relationships with Valle Inclán, Azorín, Benavente, and was a member for a few months of the theatrical company of María Guerrero and Fernando Díaz de Mendoza. It publishes in Helios, magazine led by Juan Ramón Jiménez, also at the Alma Española, in the journal, in the country, and in the Republic of letters.

Collaborations in magazines and the publication of the book did not provide a financial support, and with the Council of Giner of the Ríos began preparing for opposition to French language, obtained in 1907, choosing as destination Soria. He/She wrote his first poem of soriano theme, on banks of the Duero.

He held the Chair of French for the Institute of Soria and published the second edition of loneliness, poetry book now expanded in solitudes, galleries and other poems. 42 poems of solitude, only 29 passes to the new book, some corrected, and added 76 new up to the amount of 95 in this edition. It still owes something to the modernist aesthetic, but recent poems, minor tone, van profiling, however, the emerging roots of a later, more mature and relevant, of realism or a refined Objectivism style.

Antonio Machado, "I'm dreaming roads". (Loneliness. Galleries. Other poems).

It was in that city that he/she met his wife, Leonor Izquierdo, daughter of the owners of the Inn, which married on July 30, 1909. Youth of the wife (only sixteen years compared with more than thirty of the poet) did not prevent it from TB he/she contracted in 1911. It happened during a trip to Paris with the scholarship that Machado had gotten large Board of studies to study philosophy with Bergson and Bedier. He/She died on August 1, 1912, shortly after the publication of the first edition of Campos de Castilla. The despair which caused the death of his wife (which so many poems dedicated in the expanded edition of Campos de Castilla, already published in the complete poems) the poet, prompted him to ask the transfer to Baeza, where taught French between 1912 and 1919, the date on which moved to Segovia seeking the proximity of Madrid, destination which will finally arrive in 1932. "Lord, I already started what I wanted / hear again, my God, my heart cry out / your will was made, Sir, against mine / Lord, we are alone my heart and the sea."

Antonio Machado. A stork has appeared. (Loneliness. Galleries. Other poems).

With Campos de Castilla repeats the same publishing vicissitude that with loneliness, in which a later version expands the first edition. In this work, the importance of the landscape takes on significance, and the elements of Spanish nature translates into symbols of intimate realities. It is gradually incorporating the notion of homeland, deep feeling for the homeland, reflects on the manifest and social justice the desire to awaken the country from its lethargy. Already in 1908 it had published in the press soriana... "we know that the homeland is an inherited estate of our grandparents, good no more to be defended at the time of the foreign invasion. We know that the homeland is something that is done constantly and is preserved only by the culture and work. ...We know that soil that is depressed, but soil is styling; is not homeland It is not enough to live on it, but for it; where there is no trace of human endeavour there is no homeland".

In the poem to a dry Elm Machado expresses anguish against the impending outcome of love loss, and their hope in the final sentence "my heart expected / also, towards the light and life, / another miracle of spring", against all odds, greenup's life, which already will not accompany him, except as I remember, in the penalty. The image of Elm, as a symbol of the soul, will be repeated in following compositions, and other trees are also that characterization (holm oaks, Oaks, poplars, beech trees, lemon trees, orange trees, Palm trees, pine trees and olive trees will see specific skills through chosen adjectives ("robust, haughty, humble, dusty, old singers"), which evoke different connotations, but they highlight all aspects of deep intimacy.)

.Antonio Machado with his wife on their wedding day.

The death of Leonor, moves as soon as possible, to avoid painful memories, Baeza, where returns to reunite with the Andalusian landscape. On the train that carries it the poet places the writing of memories, poem by contrast of landscapes, "·In despair and melancholy / of your memory, Soria, my heart is waters... "." On November 1, 1912 it takes possession of the French square in the Institute of General and technical of Baeza. A month later, his mother comes to live with him.

There Machado begins studies of philosophy and letters, and each summer, according to tests in Madrid, graduating in 1917. Also study Greek to read the philosophers in their original language. He/She started writing his reflections, creating characters apocryphal, in notebooks that will be then called the complementary. In letters he/she writes to Unamuno, declares that it suffers by being away from the cultural life of big cities.

His portrait of the Spanish becomes more sour, in Spain by land description speaks for itself "...These fields man who burns pine forests...Today sees poor children fleeing their Lares...Abundant evil field and village man, / capable of unhealthy vices and bestial crimes, / under the brown coat hides an ugly soul, / slave of the seven deadly sins. Always turbid eye of envy or sadness, / save their prey and cries that the neighbor reached; / for his misfortune nor enjoys his wealth... "." El Dios Iberian, abounds with the image of the poor man, brought to heel by the work, leading to their God "Oh owner of fortune and poverty, / ventura and misfortune, / the rich give favours and laziness / and the poor his fatigue and his hope!", and speaks of a hollow man, without transcendence, ".. .and a sad expression, which is not sadness"", / but something more and less: vacuum / world in the hollow of his head." These poems contrast strongly with the complimentary tone towards poets, writers and Spanish educators of the era.

In 1917 he/she published selected pages and the first edition of Poesías Completas. In the autumn of 1919 Machado obtained the transfer to Segovia as Professor of philosophy and letters in the Central University, traveling on weekends to Madrid, to visit the family of his brother José, who had embraced his mother. During the years Segovia, he/she collaborated in the Segovia Popular University founded recently, went to gatherings of intellectuals on the left and published articles in Segovia and Madrid press.

The following years are noting profound changes in Spain, facts that the poet follows closely, with the banishment of Unamuno, the creation of the Communist Party, the dictatorship of primo de Rivera, and in the midst of these events, is appointed member of the Royal Academy, in 1927, armchair that ever came to occupy.

His book new songs appeared in 1924. In principle, they included poems from 1917 to 1920, who then, with subsequent editions, in 1928 and 1933, came to include compositions until 1930. The tone of its style amounts to a poetic lyricism, where reality and fantasy (the memory, the dream), merge against the anguish of the time and solitude, and the perennial feeling of loss that infused the death of Eleanor combines between images of presence/absence.

In 1928 he/she met the second love of his life: the poetess Pilar Valderrama, "Guiomar" of his poems, which maintained secret relations for years. Later, and until the death of Guiomar in 1979, only discussed this with half words, given that he/she was married with three children, and the identity of the beloved began to reveal to 1950, with the publication of Concha Espina of some letters of the poet to his lady love. Machado retained his rooms in Segovia, in calle Desamparados, even after moving to live in Madrid, for encounters with her.

War is that forces them to separate, in 1935 he/she moved with her family to Estoril, and Machado writes poems first from Madrid, and then, being evacuated from Valencia. In poems dedicated to her, Guiomar songs, and other songs to Guiomar, initially published in Revista de Occidente, Machado is revealed as a poet moved by love, effusive, with brief flashes of joy, but gradually, tone is shadows, is anguished by his absence sensing final... "" always you! / Guiomar, Guiomar, / look at me punished ti: / reo have you created, / already you can not forget ", and then..." "I will write on your fan: / you want to forget about, / to love you you oblivion. / you abanicarás / with a madrigal saying: / in love oblivion puts salt".

Poetic philosophy

In 1936 he/she published prose, Juan de Mairena. Judgments, donaires, notes and memories of an apocryphal Professor, which uses as spokesman for his thinking to one of its two poets "Apocrypha", invented at the end of the 1920s as a way of expressing their ideas, collected over the years in notebooks. In the manner of Fernando Pessoa, his characters represent it and explained his concept of "the otherness of being", as it named to the belief that the soul of poetry can be found at the I more deep with the other person. The collection had appeared in the press in 1934, and continued in time to Spain in 1937. He/She invents to Abel Martín as a philosopher and Juan de Mairena as his disciple. First it gives you life in Seville, in 1840, and makes it die in Madrid, in 1898. Ascribed him a critique of Liebniz and a subscription to the ideas of Giordano Bruno about a force Active conscious ("A large plenum or integral consciousness"), and describes him as a man erotic, when you say "the woman/is the universe of being", or "without love, ideas / are like ugly women, / or difficult copies / bodies of the goddesses", and reflection culminates with... "without woman / there is no breed or know".

Juan de Mairena describes as... "poet, philosopher, rhetorician and inventor of a singing machine." He/She was born in Seville (1865). He/She died in Tapia de Casariego (1909). He/She is the author of "A life of Abel Martín", of a poetic art, a collection of poems: "Coplas mechanical", and a treatise of metaphysics: "Reverse seven". Poesías Completas, Machado devotes a section titled apocryphal Songbook, and publishes in the press articles that mention it, between 1934 and 1938. For his mouth, Machado meditates on profound concepts of poetry,... "all the arts, - says Juan de Mairena in his first lesson of poetic art, aspire to permanent products, in fact, timeless fruits. The so-called arts of the time, such as music and poetry are no exception". Philosophy about the value of the temporary factor,... "but let's not forget that, precisely, is the time... what the poet intended intemporalizar, say it with pomp: eternal." The poem that is not very marked temporary accent is closer to the logic that lyric."

Last years

During the course of the civil war, he/she remained in Madrid by participating in Republican publications. His stance in favour of the second Republic, radicalized to raise the Republican flag on the balcony of the Town Hall of Segovia, caused their early evacuation and her family to Valencia, in 1936. There wrote in the Republican journal time to Spain and participated in the International Congress of writers for the defense of culture, broad international impact, with the closing speech entitled on defence and the dissemination of culture.

Then he/she had to go to Barcelona, along with other intellectuals, from where the Group was forced to cross the French border, with his mother, walk in several stretches. He/She had confessed before traveling,... "I am sure that the foreigner would mean my death". The stories of this journey - the best known is due to Corpus Barga-, say that Machado refused to talk about the war and becoming to reflect on poets and writers, such as Valle Inclán and Cervantes. The March was slow, very long and risky; the Group of family and friends slept by the side of the road or in a wagon, railway, until finally arriving at Collioure. His mother, decrepit and diseased asked "Will we soon to Seville?".They arrive in the quiet French town on January 28, 1939, and staying at the hotel Bougnol-Quintana. His mother is not already raised bed, and Antonio takes care of her, until himself, from pneumonia, complicated with gastroenteritis must be resting. With his eyes closed he/she repeated "Merci, Monsieur;" "merci, madame", thanking the attentions of the mistress of the House. He/She stopped breathing at 4 o'clock in the afternoon of 22 February. Previously only said 'Goodbye, mother'. He/She was followed by 3 days later.

Antonio Machado has been the subject of numerous investigations and studies, both his work and his life. You can stand out among them lightweight luggage. The life of Antonio Machado, a rigorous work on the life of the poet and his eternal journey, carried out by the prestigious Irish hispanist, Ian Gibson, published in April 2006. Also it should be noted the publication in May of that same year of six volumes of manuscripts of the poet, where unpublished prose texts are collected.


The work of Antonio Machado is primarily poetic, despite incursions into the theatre, also essentially poetic, along with his brother Manuel, and in the essays and newspaper articles also maintains a high lyrical tone. However, it is necessary to establish two sections devoted to poetry and theatre.


The poetic formation of Machado can be summarized in three points: the intellectual environment of his early years, first marked by the figure of his father, scholar of Andalusian folklore, and later by the spirit of the Institución Libre de Enseñanza. the influence of the philosophical lectures, among which noteworthy are Bergson and Unamuno; and, third, its reflection on the Spain of his time. This will be added the influence of Rubén Darius, he/she would know in his triumphal years in Paris.

Machado began as a poet, therefore adding to the poetry driven model Campoamor - marking the second half of the 19th Spanish - the aesthetics of French symbolism - the poet know first hand, and not through the Art Nouveau-. That is why Symbolist elements of his poetry is not due both to findings of modernism, with which, however, have obvious similarities such as convergence in models, which would explain what often has been called the "peculiar" modernism of Machado. So, galleries is rich sensory elements that modernist poetry used to adorn is taciturn, but abounds in symbolic elements, usually related to the passage of time, constant obsession of the poetry of Machado and ultimate cause of deep melancholy that pervades his work. So, loneliness is presented as a book that breaks with the prose of Spanish poetry, but not embraces fully triumphant modernist aesthetic:

"[...] As forgotten dog not tienehuella nor smell and yerrapor roads, no way, as the child than on the night of a party

lost among the dusty air gentioy and the candelaschispeantes, stunned, and asombrasu heart of music and Peña,

"so am I, drunken melancholy, guitarist-lunatic, poet, and poor man dreams, always looking for God in the mist".

Campos de Castilla is a total change of perspective: the poet of the interior galleries turns to the outside world. Coinciding with the reflection on Spain of the authors of the 98 and as a result of his encounter with the landscape of Castile, the poet turns toward nature and makes, from her, a reflection on the reality Spanish who, like the other authors on the ninety eight, aspire to change. Highlights in this regard poems such as "land of Spain", "Campos de Soria" or "The Iberian God", although no missing poems of descriptive character, as the beautiful "to banks of the Duero", or others in which bound the reflection on the Hispanic siblicide with his love of folklore instilled by his father. It is the case of their adaptation to the romance of the legend collected from the lips of a Carter, and also transcribed in prose, entitled "The land of Alvargonzález". Other times, finally, contemplation of the landscape or any of its elements gives rise to a sincere introspection that discovers the deepest concerns of the poet:

Antonio Machado, an elm tree to dry. (Campos de Castilla).

The book met an enlargement which appeared poems already written in Baeza in memory of the land of Soria and, above all, Leonor. These include the Envoy to José María Palacio: "Palacio, good friend, / is spring / already wearing the Poplar branches / River and roads?" In the steppe / alto Douro, it takes spring, / but is so beautiful and sweet when it comes...! "."

Until 1924 not published Machado another title, new songs. This delay seems to indicate a desire for variation and search for new roads within the traditional aesthetics, every time that the avant-garde experiments did not meet it. The heterogeneity of the content is, moreover, shows Machado by not recur desire. Along with the presence of the Andalusian landscape and the traditional verses, in which begins to pour thoughts of a philosophical nature ("put attention: / a solitary heart / isn't a heart"), are notable, in the successive enlargements, the first songs to Guiomar. Thanks to her inspiration for her, the love theme comes new pujos in the machadiana work:


"One evening, he/she rode sour mountain range, between Cinderella rock."The leaden ball of the tormentade mount to mount bounce could be heard.

Sudden, vivid radiance of the beam, is reared, under a high pine, on the edge of the penalty, his horse.To hard rein it became him to the road.

And there was seen the cloud of torn, and, inside, the sharp cresteriade other saw more luene and lifted

-Stone lightning seemed-. and saw the face of God? He/She saw his lover's.He shouted: die in this cold saw! "."

The poetry of Machado, in the absence of the lost verses during the flight to France, concludes with a group of poems known as "War poems", which added a last link to its chain creative showing the vision of Spain at war in different aspects such as love (see, in this regard, the shuddering sonnet "from sea to sea between the two war")directed from Valencia, but never sent, Guiomar, refugee in Portugal), or the fate of the innocent (thus "The death of the injured child" or elegy by García Lorca "the crime occurred in Granada"). Memories of the land of Soria or verses that reflect popular environment that was experienced in the days of the war are also. In your pocket, after his death, found the only verse "these blue days and this Sun of childhood", which is usually almost always close the editions of his poetry. In 2005 they came to light, published in notebook 0, three new songs dedicated to Guiomar.


Written by the Machado brothers Theatre is written and premiered between 1926 (misfortunes of fortune or Julianillo Valcárcel) and 1932 (La duquesa de Benamejí) and consists of five structures, in addition to the above two. They are these: Juan de Mañara (1927), Las Adelfas (1928), La Lola is going to ports (1929) and La prima Fernanda (1931), written in verse, as well as Julianillo Valcárcel, and the man who died in the war, written in prose and not premiered until 1941. La Duquesa de Benamejí is written in prose and verse. In addition, the Machado brothers adapted for the stage comedies of Lope de Vega as the dog in the Manger or the silver girl, as well as Víctor Hugo's Hernani.

His dramaturgy remains within the limits of the commercial theatre of the moment, but with the undoubted success of the poetic language of both brothers.

Antonio Machado. Juan de Mairena.

Also worth mentioning is the invaluable contribution that the disclosure of the work of Antonio Machado was performed by the poet and singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat, especially with the Edition in 1969 for the album dedicated to Antonio Machado, poet, who immediately had a wide diffusion in Spain and Latin America. Its version Sung flies either Walker sentences reading, there is no way... have been inextricably linked to the melody which you sobreimpuso song.

Links on the Internet


ALVAR, Manuel. Edition of Poesías Completas (Madrid: 1982, 8th ed).

AULLÓN DE HARO, Pedro. "Poetry in the 20th century (until 1939)", in criticism of the literature Hispanic history, 20. (Madrid: Taurus, 1989).

GUERRA, Manuel H. The theatre of Manuel and Antonio Machado. (Madrid: 1966).

GULLÓN, Ricardo. A Poética para Antonio Machado. (Madrid: 1970).

ZUBIRIA, r. de. The poetry of Antonio Machado. (Madrid: 1955).