Another meeting point for Machado was the old Casino de Artesanos, which has now disappeared. This casino witnessed some of the most unique episodes of Machado’s passage through Baeza and it is here where, one evening, he met a young Federico García Lorca who was still more of a musician than a writer.
One of these episodes occurred as soon as he arrived in this city and went to introduce himself to the director of the institute at his home. Upon arrival, they told him that he was in “agony” and Machado replied: “I am deeply sorry”; until they clarify that they were referring to the Casino de los Artesanos. They called the casino “the agony” because its members, mostly farmers, spent their time predicting ruins due to the poor state of the crops and the lack of rain.
The second episode, artistically more profound, occurred when he met a young Federico García Lorca at the Casino de los Artesanos, still more of a musician than a writer. The poet from Granada visited Baeza in both 1916 and 1917 as a member of the group of students at the University of Granada led by Domínguez Berrueta, professor of Theory of Literature and the Arts. One soiree was held in one of the Casino´s rooms, in which Antonio Machado recited verses by Rubén Darío and fragments of La Tierra de Alvargonzález for the travelers, while the young student Federico García Lorca played Andalusian pieces on the piano such as the Danza de la Vida Breve de Failure.
The Land of Alvargonzález. Antonio Machado
They approached the spring.
As the clear water flowed,
it sounded as though it were
telling an old story, told
a thousand times, and then
repeated a thousand times. (…)