Retrato

And now we are going to read and listen to one of  the best known poems:
Retrato, which is Machado's  self-portrait


IES Llanes' Choir: Portrait

Portrait




 Retrato
Antonio Machado

Mi infancia son recuerdos de un patio de Sevilla,
y un huerto claro donde madura el limonero;
mi juventud, veinte años en tierra de Castilla;
mi historia, algunos casos que recordar no quiero.

Ni un seductor Mañara , ni un Bradomín he sido
-ya conocéis mi torpe aliño indumentario-,
mas recibí la flecha que me asignó Cupido,
y amé cuanto ellas puedan tener de hospitalario.

Hay en mis venas gotas de sangre jacobina,
pero mi verso brota de manantial sereno;
y, más que un hombre al uso que sabe su doctrina,
soy, en el buen sentido de la palabra, bueno.

Adoro la hermosura, y en la moderna estética
corté las viejas rosas del huerto de Ronsard;
mas no amo los afeites de la actual cosmética,
ni soy un ave de esas del nuevo gay-trinar.

Desdeño las romanzas de los tenores huecos
y el coro de los grillos que cantan a la luna.
A distinguir me paro las voces de los ecos,
y escucho solamente, entre las voces, una.

¿Soy clásico o romántico? No sé. Dejar quisiera
mi verso, como deja el capitán su espada:
famosa por la mano viril que la blandiera,
no por el docto oficio del forjador preciada.

Converso con el hombre que siempre va conmigo
-quien habla solo espera hablar a Dios un día-;
mi soliloquio es plática con ese buen amigo
que me enseñó el secreto de la filantropía.

Y al cabo, nada os debo; me debéis cuanto he escrito.
A mi trabajo acudo, con mi dinero pago
el traje que me cubre y la mansión que habito,
el pan que me alimenta y el lecho en donde yago.

Y cuando llegue el día del último viaje,
y esté al partir la nave que nunca ha de tornar,
me encontraréis a bordo ligero de equipaje,
casi desnudo, como los hijos de la mar.
 
 
Working with the poem:
 1.  Read the two translations of the poem in English and choose the best one.
Justify your answer
                   2.  Write a description of Antonio Machado using your own words. (150 words aproximately) 

 
  Portrait 

TRANSLATED BY PATRICK H. SHEERIN

My childhood is a memory of a patio in Seville,

and a bright orchard where the lemon trees grew tall;

my youth, twenty years in the land of Castile ;

my life story, some events I don’t wish to recall.

I am no great ladies’ man like Mañara or Bradomín

- everyone knows my rough and ready style of dress-

but Cupid’s arrow found me none the less,

bringing as much love as such things ever bring.

In my veins there flow drops of Jacobin blood,

but my verse spurts free from springs serene,

and, rather than the average man who knows his creed,

I am good in the way that good is supposed to mean.

I worship beauty and in modern esthetics

I pluck the old roses of the garden of Ronsard,

but I don’t think much of modern-day cosmetics,

nor am I one of those new happy-warbler bards.

I despise the singers of vacuous chants

and the chorus of crickets that chirp at the moon,

I try to distinguish the real voices from the cant

and of all the voices I listen but to one.

Am I a classic or a romantic? I don’t know;

I should like to leave my verse as the captain leaves his sword;

famous for the hand with which it deals the blow,

and not for its maker’s learned craft revered.

I converse with the man who is always by my side

- he who talks to himself hopes to talk to God later on -;

my monologue is a chat with this good friend and guide

who showed me the secret of being kind to everyone.

To sum up, you owe me for what I’ve written. I owe you nothing.

I turn up daily to my work and with my own money I pay

for the clothes on my back and the house in which I’m living,

the bread which is my food and the bed on which I lie.

And when the day of the last journey comes into sight,

and the boat which never returns is casting free,

you’ll find me on board and I’ll be travelling light,

almost naked, like the children of the sea.



 Self-Portrait

TRANSLATED BY A Z Foreman

My childhood is all memories of a patio in Seville,
An orchard in the light where lemons ripened every fall,
My life as a young man- some twenty years about Castille,
My adult life- a few events I'd rather not recall.

I've never gone Lothario or played at Don Juan at parties.
It's obvious from my slovenly apparel that I can't.
Still, I endured the arrow meted out to me by Cupid
And loved as much as women's hospitality could grant.

Though my veins boil with drops of revolutionary blood,
My verse has bubbled from a peaceful spring through all my days
And more so than good boys who follow all the holy strictures,
I stand as a good man, and in the good sense of the phrase.

I give myself to beauty. In contemporary custom
I've cut some classic roses from the garden of Ronsard
But I have no love for the fads of Modernistic makeup
And do not flock with birds that sing in high-flown avant-garde.

I've had it with the balladry of hollow lovelorn tenors,
The cricket-choirs and tweety-birds who warble at the moon.
I cock my ear to try and tell the voices from their echos,
And of the many voices I just listen for the one.

A classic or romantic? Couldn't tell you. But I'd rather
Leave all my verse exactly as a fighter leaves his blade
Famed for the manly hand that held and brandished it in battle
And not the learnèd smithy's anvil where the steel was made.

I hold a conversation with a man who's always with me.
(Whoever banters with himself may one day hear God's mind.)
All my soliloquies are conversations with this fellow
Who taught me all I need to be a lover of mankind.

And in the end, I owe you nothing. You owe me for writing.
I go about my work with care, and what I earn I keep
To buy the suit that keeps me clothed, the roof that keeps me sheltered,
The bread that keeps the life in me, the bed on which I sleep.

And when I reach the day of the last voyage, come that moment
The ship of no return is set to cast the anchor free, 
You'll find me boarded with the crew, with barely any luggage
My body bare beneath the sun like children of the sea.




Working with the poem:
 

3. Once you have seen two examples of the Portrait, you will have to write your own self-portrait. The beginning of the self-portrait will have to be a little bit similar to Antonio Machado's poem,
the rest will be your own production.


    Start with this incomplete poem and then continue  your description  freely:

My childhood is a memory of …........................................................
A ….............................. where …....................................................
My life as a teenager, …..................................................................
My young life ….............................................................................


I've never …........................ or …...................................................
It's obvious that I ….......................................................................
Still, I ….......................................................................................
And loved …..................................................................................



GOOD LUCK
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