Border of a Dream: Selected Poems

Antonio Machado, Willis Barnstone, trans.

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 bilingual collection, the unparalleled translator Willis Barnstone returns to the poet with whom he first started his distinguished career, offering 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. Born near Seville, Spain, Machado turned to a career in writing and translating in order to help support his family after the death of his father. He fled Spain after the outbreak of civil war and died in exile in France.

ISBN: 9781556591983

Format: Paperback

You will know yourself

You will know yourself
by remembering the clouded canvases of old dreams
on a grim day when you walk
with your eyes open.

What counts in memory
is the clean gift of evoking dreams.

About the Author

Born in Palacio de las Dueñas, near Seville, Spain, Antonio Machado (1875–1939) moved with his family to Madrid, where his father had obtained a professorship. When his father’s sudden death in 1893 left the family without financial support, Machado and his brother turned to writing and acting to support themselves. In 1899, the brothers traveled to Paris, where they found work as translators. Around this time, Machado’s growing reputation as a poet led to teaching posts in various cities in …

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About the Translator

Willis Barnstone is the translator of Antonio Machado’s Border of a Dream: Selected Poems. Barnstone was born in Lewiston, Maine, and educated at Bowdoin College, Columbia, and Yale. Barnstone is a Distinguished Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Indiana University.

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“At last! A Comprehensive volume of one of Spain’s and the 20th century’s greatest poets. Antonio Machado uncovers the keys to human experience through his constant explorations of the natural world. His landscapes are the alphabet of human desire and loss. His short lyrics make the connection between the earth and its inhabitants and sustain the universal need to speak to our origins… Translated by a premier translator of Spanish, this volume assures us that Machado’s journeys never come to an end.” —Bloomsbury Review

“Few poets worldwide have produced such an impressive corpus of poetry, and thankfully the finest of Machado’s poems are now available in excellent English-language translations within a single, indisputably indispensable book.” —Ted Olson, Rapid River

“One can only approach Antonio Machado’s poetry with a reverential and grateful heart… Reading Machado is like jumping into a purifying flame… Machado uses language that vibrates with so much clarity, and images that are so purely observed, that his poetry cannot be described as anything but passionate.” —Foreword

“The poetry of Antonio Machado… has a brilliance all its own.” —Santa Fe New Mexican

“This well-selected and well-translated collection of Machado’s verse, prepared by the poet Willis Barnstone, is a welcome addition to any poetry lover’s bookshelf.” —Virginia Quarterly Review