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John Howard Reid

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The Plaza Held a Tower by Antonio Machado
by John Howard Reid
Friday, August 06, 2010
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Here is another poem from my proposed follow-up book to "A Salute to Spanish Poetry". One of the characteristics of Spanish poetry is that layers of meaning are often hidden behind a seemingly simple premise. In this particular case, I'll give you a clue: Machado wrote these verses during the Spanish Civil War.



La plaza tiene una torre


 por Antonio Machado




La plaza tiene una torre,

la torre tiene un balcón,

el balcón tiene una dama,

la dama una blanca flor.


Ha pasada una caballero –

¡quién sabe por qué pasó! –

y se ha llevado la plaza,

con su torre y su balcón.

con su balcón y su dama,

su dama y su blanca flor.



The Plaza Held a Tower


 translated from the Spanish of Antonio Machado




The plaza held a tower,

the tower held a balcony,

the balcony held a lady,

the lady, a white flower.


A bold caballero passed that way –

who knows how or why? –

and he leveled the plaza,

with its tower and its balcony,

with its balcony and its lady,

its lady and her white flower.



John Howard Reid
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