Miquel Martí i Pol literary route
The life of Miquel Martí i Pol and part of his verses are totally linked to this Osonenca town, since that was where he opened his eyes, where he studied, where he worked, where he lived and where he rests. With the itinerary that we now begin, we will discover some of the important corners in the poet's life trajectory and others that are described in his verses.
The village poet
As soon as you are interested in Catalan literature or poetry, you will know who Miquel Martí i Pol was. For many, baptized as the town's poet, he was born in Roda de Ter on March 19, 1929, and died in Vic on March 11 November 2003, leaving an important written work, especially in the genre of poetry, but also as a writer and as a translator. Among his best-known books are Palabras al viento (1954), The factory (1972), The scope of all fields (1981), Book of loneliness (1997) and, above all, Dear Marta (1978), of which they carry sold more than 100,000 copies, an extraordinary figure for a poetic book written in Catalan. The image of him in recent decades is linked to that of a wheelchair and difficulties in movement and speech, due to multiple sclerosis. Collaborations with the singer-songwriter Lluís Llach, and many other artists who have played poems by Martí i Pol, increased even more, if possible, the popularity of the poet.
So, we are going to know the places of Miquel Martí i Pol in his hometown, Roda de Ter. The municipality is located 8 kilometers from the capital of the region, Vic, and is joined by the C-153 road. To expand in Osona you can do it through the C-17 and the C-25. It can also be reached by bus from Vic and from other municipalities in Osona.
The itinerary runs entirely on urban land, so you do not need any special footwear, other than one that is comfortable for walking.
The factory and the birth house
Perhaps the most logical thing would be to start the journey through the house where he was born and lived the first years, but it is much better for us to do it in the factory where he worked, and thus we will not have to go back and forth. In fact, this will not exactly be an itinerary following the chronology of the life of Martí i Pol.
The textile factory known as La Azul (the name of the company was Tecla Sala e Hijos) is located on Calle de la Costa del Ter. We are by the river. The poet entered the factory every morning for 29 years, working as a clerk, until the advance of the disease prevented him from doing so.
La Azul was inaugurated in 1956 and came to employ about 10% of the population of Roda de Ter, and 400 workers at the same time. It is a large industrial complex that closed its doors definitively in 1999 and was abandoned, and five years later it was acquired by the town's City Council with the aim of making new facilities. The economic crisis, however, has been delaying the remodeling, and only in 2013 was the landscaped part open. In one of the access doors, two relief portraits of a girl who is working cotton bring to our memory the Leonor from the poem by Martí i Pol, that young woman who started working at 14 years and three hours, braids and said "yes sir" and "good afternoon".
Following the street of the Costa del Ter we will find the Plaza de las Tres Fuentes and then the street of the Virgen del Floor del Puente. Now yes, at number 18 of this road we will visit the poet's birthplace. It is a simple building, like the others on the same street, with a ground floor and two floors, and with a maroon painted facade. If with these clues we do not decipher what it is, you do not need to worry because next to the door we can see a considerable plaque that specifies it, and with these verses by Martí i Pol:
"I live in a small town,
in a small country
and yet I want to make it clear
that what I write I write for everyone,
and that for me it is as if the whole world
revolve around the axis of my poems. "
The Old Bridge
The poet did not have to go far to marry for the first time. It was May 7, 1956 and the place chosen by him and his wife, Dolors Feixas, with whom they had known each other from school, was the Sòl del Pont chapel, which we found at the end of the same street as the birthplace. A simple chapel, built between the 14th and 16th centuries, which houses an image of the Virgen del Sòl del Pont, the patron saint of Roda de Ter, with the right child on her left knee. From the door of the chapel you have a very photographed perspective of the part of the town that is on the other side of the river, and of the Old Bridge, which we will cross next.
There are indications that already in Roman times there was a bridge in this place; It doesn't take an architectural connoisseur to see that the bridge we see today is much more recent. In fact, it has had to be remodeled several times due to the force that the Ter often carries through these latitudes. The Old Bridge not only saves the river crossing, but also the unevenness of the terrain, since the part of the town where we come from is more sunken than the one we are going now, and therefore the bridge makes a slight rise until it takes us in front from the church of San Pedro. The bridge's unique double course of arches dates from 1898.
As for the parish church of San Pedro, the main religious temple of the town and where Martí i Pol was baptized, there are references from the 12th century, but its current appearance corresponds to the 18th century. If you are interested in visiting the interior, you can ask for the key at the rectory.
The Peña Verdaguer
After the welcome that the church of San Pedro has given us on this side of the river, we leave it behind following Pere Almeda street and arriving at the Plaza Mayor, where for the moment we will not linger because we plan to end our tour here. So, just past the square, we take the street of Joan del Mas on the right hand side up to the Plaza del Poeta. In this place, today modernized with some curious arches made of willow, the so-called Peña Literaria Verdaguer met, of which Martí i Pol, Emili Teixidor and Josep Clarà were part, among others, and whose objective was to encourage study and promote the Catalan literature. It was also in this place that all of them celebrated the achievement of the Ursa Minor Prize for poetry to Martí i Pol in 1953 for the theme of the wind.
We have the cemetery to play. The poet is buried and he remembers a sculpture that simulates a shelf with books. We can also read a poem of his, certainly appropriate for the place:
"One day I will be dead
and it will still be late
in the peace of the roads
in the green fields,
in the birds and in the air
and in the step of those men
that I do not know and love.
One day i will be dead
and it will still be late
in the woman's eyes
that approaches and kisses me,
in ancient music
of any tune,
or even, in an object,
the most intimate and clear,
or maybe in my verses.
Tell me what a wonder
the afternoon is so sweet
and so intense at the same time,
and what meadow or what cloud
will ascribe my joy,
because I know lasting
in the things that surround me,
and I know that someone, in time,
you will observe my memory. "
Residential and cultural wheel
We will leave the cemetery and walk through several residential streets of Roda de Ter, such as Guilleries, Buen Amigo and Pep Ventura (formerly El Rampant ). We found a bust of another well-known son of the town, Francesc Macià and Ambert 'Bac de Roda', who died in Vic and in November, but in this case in 1713 and after having had a prominent role in the course of the War of Succession alongside the Austria. One of the busiest and most commercial streets in the city is dedicated to the same character and to which we are now heading. On the street, what most catches our attention is a building with exposed work and a modernist aspect, the Eliseo Theater, built in 1931 and which was owned by the Cooperativa 1ª del Ter. Here movies were screened and theater was held, and certainly Martí i Pol spent many hours.
See, if not, what he said to First Meditation:
Pedro Almeda Street,
and Calle de En Bach.
and also Calle de En Bach.
Ferran Alsina Street,
and again Calle de En Bach.
And in the street of En Bach,
at the very beginning of En Bach Street,
face to face of each other,
Bar and Cinema.
And at night the same itinerary,
but in reverse.
Here's Sunday. "
Today the Eliseo Theater continues to fulfill the functions for which it was designed, and also houses the library that contains the bibliographic collection and the personal archive of Miquel Martí i Pol. The same route takes us to the Plaza Mayor, where, now, we can entertain ourselves, rest from our walk, and, if you feel like it, take out a book of poems, for example El pueblo, and finish soaking up the atmosphere of Roda de Ter and the words of Martí i Pol.
The Miquel Martí i Pol Foundation
The Miquel Martí i Pol Foundation inaugurated its headquarters in June 2019. Since then, visiting hours have been offered to serve the public who wants to know the life and work of one of the most emblematic authors of the 20th century.
The Foundation has prepared a commented session that consists of a guided tour of the permanent exhibition, in which you can see the author's personal objects, originals of his work, etc., and an itinerary to the La Blava textile factory, where Martí i Pol worked for 30 years of his life, which is very close to the Foundation.
More information at: miquelmartiipol.cat
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