Posted by Fran Exojo
on Jul 22, 2013
Translation checked by
Rafael Alberti through history II
After he had established himself as a poet foreground and after he had overcome premature depression, Rafael Alberti confronted the new decade of the ’30s with energy and conviction. He was positioned as a revolutionary communist and began to use poetry as a weapon of social awareness.
That same year he met the woman who would be the love of his life: María Teresa de León, who will accompany him to death. Following the establishment of the Second Republic, the young couple founded the revolutionary journal “Octubre”, and had time to travel to the USSR before the outbreak of the Civil War.
Rafael Alberti tirelessly defended the Republican side. It is well known for his involvement in the rescue of the paintings from the Prado Museum and broke the resistance of a Madrid about to give up. His verses achieved battlefields between Republicans and supporters of Franco.
As is well known, the Civil War decided the latter side and many intellectuals and Republicans had to leave the country. Rafael Alberti was one of them. Accompanied by his wife, he moved to Paris.
However, he could not be established in the French capital due to the proximity of a new war. In 1940, he exiled to America accompanied by Pablo Neruda. After visiting Chile, he lived a long exile in Buenos Aires with his beloved wife. There was born his only daughter: Aitana.
At that time, Rafael Alberti had published twenty books, including books of poetry and theater scripts. In his exile no longer continue to contribute to the literature, reporting poems of political character, theatrical scripts and prose works.
In 1963 he settled in Rome, returning to Europe after 23 years of tour of the Americas. In 1965, Rafael Alberti was awarded with the Lenin Peace Prize, distinguishing a life dedicated to freedom and social awareness.
After the death of Franco, the poet returned to his country in 1977. Here he was reunited with old comrades with shouting and applauses. He realized that his land had not forgotten him. His poetry had spread out like a wave of the sea and many young people avidly devoured his verses. Rafael Alberti himself said at that time: “I went with a closed fist and I come back with my opened hand.”
Then he began a period of recitals, lectures, conferences and tributes to Rafael Alberti. His poetic and dramatic work alternated with receiving various awards. In 1980 he won the National Theatre and three years later the prestigious Cervantes Prize. In 1989 he gave up the chance to receive the Prince of Asturias for their republican convictions.
That same year he published his last book of poems: “Canciones para Altair”, from marked erotic nature. Previously, he had edited a magnificent prose work that he covered his memoirs, entitled “La arboleda perdida”.
The October 28, 1999 Rafael Alberti died in his hometown, in El Puerto de Santa Maria. He died one of the greatest poets of universal Spanish literature after leaving an extensive work of poetry, theater and prose. Today Rafael Alberti remains a landmark of human endurance, political awareness and literary genius.