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In the newspapers before and during the Spanish Civil War, he wrote of political and moral issues, and, in 1939, fled from Franco's army into the Pyrenees, dying in exile a month later. When in 1966 a bronze bust of Machado was to be unveiled in a town here he had taught school, thousands of people came in pilgrimage only to find the Civil Guard with clubs and submachine guns blocking their way.
This selection of Machado's poetry, beautifully translated by Bly, begins with the Spanish master's first book, Times Alone, Passageways in the House, and Other Poems (1903), and follows his work to the poems published after his death: Poems from the Civil War (written during 1936-1939).
Bly "gives Machado with all of his tremendous sensitivity. He captures Machado's subtle sense of humor. He traces his stylistic and poetic experiments aimed at, as Machado put it, 'stitching the inner and the outer worlds together through poetry.' And finally, he sculpts for us the story of Machado's quiet though deeply passionate life. It was a life whose synthesis of joy and loss produced an uncommon blend of optimism and hope." --San Francisco Chronicle Review