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Fields of Castilla de MACHADO

Campos de Castilla: summary and analysis

Castile fieldsit's a poems written by Antonio Machado in 1912. Throughout the work an evolution of the more intimate verse that appeared in his previous writings is reflected, as well as more crude in its composition and less pompous verses. The wide-ranging theme covers a large number of topics that pass through the portrait of the vision of Castile that the writer adopts even his political concern for Spain. Thus, in order to synthesize the main ideas of the work, in a Professor we have decided to carry out a summary and brief analysis of Castile fields by Antonio Machado.

As we said, the work of Castile fields from Antonio Machado It is a collection of poems where, initially, 54 poems of various themes are collected. Over time, Machado added new content throughout the different revisions that were made to the compendium of poems, finally being made up of 123 units. Far from being autonomous, these poems are unified in several chapters, among which we highlight:

  • Fields of Soria: composed of 9 poems and of which it is believed that its farewell tone refers to the neighboring country France, after returning from a trip to its capital a couple of years before its publication.
  • The land of Alvargonzález: It is composed of 10 poems with a supernatural and dark tone. Next to Fields of Soria, these poems form the bulk of the work in terms of subject matter. The main plot follows in the footsteps of Alvargonzález, a peasant murdered at the hands of his two first-born sons, leading to ruin all the fortune collected throughout his entire life. These boys are described in these poems as beings corrupted by greed and wickedness, stained by the "blood of Cain." Finally, after the youngest son comes to save the situation, he suffers the same fate as his father, reaching the complete end of the fortune of Alvargonzález's estate.
  • Proverbs and songs: it would finally be composed of 53 short poems (initially in its first edition it had 29). These verses contain various themes of various kinds. Among them we can highlight the figure of God as a human need, in addition to the criticism of the darkest features of society, as in The land of Alvargonzález¸ where envy and evil stand out. On the other hand, the existence of the human being is described as a path that must be traveled and decisions are the footprints that we leave behind.
  • Compliments: on Castile fields we also find a series of compliments to various authors. Among them we highlight those dedicated to Rubén Darío, José Ortega y Gasset, Unamuno and Juan Ramón Jiménez (to whom he dedicates 712 verses separated in several poems), among others, dedicating some verses to his trajectories and significance in the life or work of his own Machado.
  • Independent poems: finally, there are also a series of poems that are not included in any of the aforementioned chapters, which are independent of the others. Of course, and following in the wake of the rest of the poems, the verses collected in these poems deal with a great number of themes and metrics that go from the political to the longing, as well as the reflection of the society of its epoch.

As for the formal analysis of the work, we can start with the verses, in general, and their rhyme.

Normally most poems are structured as follows: ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GHGH... Although we also found many Alexandrian verses of 14 syllables in more parallel structures, with rhyme in couplet, such as AABBCCDD, etc.

The rhyme, in turn, tends to take the form consonant, so following its structure is very simple. As an example of this consonant rhyme and the most common form of structuring we can take the beginning of the poem Between Olmos, which appears in this collection of poems:

To the old elm, split by lightning
and in its rotten half,
with the April rains and the May sun
some green leaves have come out.

The hundred-year-old elm on the hill
that licks the Duero! A yellowish moss
stains the whitish bark
to the rotten and dusty trunk.

Or the one belonging to On the banks of the Duero as a perfect example of those Alexandrians with a paired consonant structure:

It was the middle of July. It was a beautiful day.
I, alone, by the bankruptcies of the stony ground,
looking for the shadowy corners, slowly.
I would stop at times to wipe my forehead
and give some breathing to the panting chest;

What is the theme of Campos de Castilla?

Thematically we have already introduced the multidisciplinary nature of Campos de Castilla, but the reflection of society as a corrupted element in our nature. Thus, envy and pride predominate in the human beings described by Machado in this work.

As we anticipated, the figure of Cain appears repeatedly throughout the poems as a cult to the sins and evil of the society that he describes, thus also making references to the Paradise destroyed by these humans and their greed.

With everything, this love of nature and disappointment the behavior of the human being characterizes the first part of the work, while the second is totally different in theme from the previous one. In this second part, melancholy and sadness reigns, influenced by the death of Machado's wife, which occurred between the first edition and the revisions. Therefore, we can affirm that this second part consists of reviews and poems added later, so there would be an important contrast, in terms of topics, between the poems of the first edition and those introduced later.

Finally, as for your symbology, and briefly, we should especially point out the use of natural elements as metaphors of the virtues, sins and similes of life. Certain trees, such as oak, holm oak, elm or poplars, symbolize human virtues, while that the water cycle represents the life of these, where this matter flows through the rivers until it dies in the sea.

Campos de Castilla: summary and analysis - Brief analysis of Campos de Castilla
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