So a while back I came across a few lines from the Spanish poet Antonio Machado, used them for an epigraph for a chapter in my theology thesis and then, as one does, forgot all about him. Then a few days ago, I was digging around on my desk and found another line I had written down and then presumably used as a bookmark until it worked itself loose and found me again, which I wrote about a few days ago. That made me look into him further and I found this bit of a poem.
Wanderer, your footsteps are
the road and nothing more;
wanderer, there is no road,
the road is made by walking.
Walking makes the road,
and turning to look behind
you see the path that you
will never tread again.
Wanderer, there is no road,
only foam trails on the sea.
Given that every writer of application essays EVER tends to use The Journey as their Metaphor of Choice (this is a professional opinion), I rather like the idea that there is no road, only the walking. And this guy Machado reminds me less of other Spanish poets like Lorca than of the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard for some reason.
And this is a bit odd, because Bachelard says, “What a dynamic, handsome object is a path! How precise the familiar hill paths remain for our muscular consciousness! “Oh, my roads and their cadence.” I don’t know what it means, but I like it.
Bachelard, Gaston. probably The Poetics of Space.
Machado, Antonio. “Proverbios y cantares.” Campos de Castilla, 1912.