Machado’s advice on keeping your own voice

from Antonio Machado “Portrait”

In my passion for beauty, out of modern aesthetics
I’ve cut old-fashioned roses in gardens of Ronsard,
but I’ve felt no great love for the latest in cosmetics
nor will you find me trilling the stylish airs.

I’m not impressed by those puffed-up tenors’ ballads
or the cricket chorus crooning to the moon.
I’ve learned to tell the voices from the echoes
and of all the voices listen to only one.

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