Madrid Front

Madrid, November-December 1936 (Madrid, Noviembre-Diciembre de 1936). Robert Capa
Madrid, November-December 1936 (Madrid, Noviembre-Diciembre de 1936). Robert Capa

Black afternoon, rain and mud,
streetcars and militiamen.
The avenue a tangle
of carts without horses,
mules packed with the villagers’
paltry household wares.
Lusterless faces of those who flee
Toledo’s countryside;
children and the old,
women who were somebody,
once the village rose,
now a withered garland.
Nothing is spoken. All of them,
all of us headed
to war, for war,
rushing onward, or drifting
by the thousands, like leaves
in golden autumn.
Vehicles of war and rows
of militiamen storm
through zones of cease-fire,
through rain and mud.

The front of automobiles
flicker with red pennants
in a frenzy, threadbare,
like harbingers of victory
while women stand waiting
in line for milk, garbanzos,
charcoal, lentils, bread.
The ground is sown
with glass, and buildings
that gleamed with bright, clear eyes
now stare from gelid caverns,
tragic cavities.

There are streetcar tracks
like upraised horns,
streets cordoned off
where smoke now rises in tufts,
stone barricades
where we would sit
and watch the gossamer sky
of an unsuspecting Madrid
open to all breezes
and human sentiments.Troubled, like a fish
encased in water, I efface
my footsteps through the streets.
I walk up, I walk down
into a metro station. The bundled sack
of homeless families sleeping there.
The stench is thick;
it’s hard to breathe.
I come up, I leave
returning to the clouded
afternoon. I feel encircled
by Madrid, now an island,
alone beneath the asphalt sky,
where ravens soar across
in search of children and the old.
Black afternoon; rain, rain,
streetcars and militiamen.

FUENTE: HEART OF SPAIN. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 1991 (ISBN ED. en español: 84-8026-117-X)

3 comentarios


  1. alguien me podría confirmar si esta calle es blasco de garay?
    r.capa pasaría por ella de camino del centro a ciudad universitaria.
    se puede saber cuales son las fotos anterior y siguiente a esta en ese carrete?
    podría ser mi abuela con mi padre en brazos en la puerta de la taberna que regentaban.
    la conservadora de la coleccion en el museo no me ha hecho caso

    salud

    Responder

  2. You can know what the previous and next photos to this in that film?
    could be my grandmother with my father arms at the door who ran the tavern.

    Responder

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