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Joan Maragall

The Poet of Modernisme (and his house)

Portrait of Maragall by Ramon Casas

Tens aquest rambla que és una hermosura...
I allí, a quatre passes, febrosa de sobres, més ampla que l'Altra, La rambla dels pobres
tremola en la fosca ses llumns infernals

(You have one Rambla, a place of delight.../And there, four steps away, feverish with excess/broader than the other, the Rambla (the Barrí Xinès) of the poor/shudders in the gloom of its hellish lights.)Joan Maragall, Oda Nova a Barcelona

Born in Barcelona, the youngest child and only son of an upper middle class family of textile merchants, Joan Maragall i Gorina (1860-1911) was taken out of school at age 16 and put into the family business but had no heart for it, and instead spent every spare moment filling notebooks with verse. then went to law school but left before getting his degree, and married his sweetheart Clara Noble. Like his contemporary, Jacint Verdaguer, he entered his poetry in the Jocs Florals starting in 1881 and quickly became a Mestre en Gai Sabor.

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Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by PD Art