The importance of learning Civic Values in Schools

October 31st, 2014

Promoting and highlighting the importance that Civic Values in Schools the Spain Post is to release a special philatelic issue. This miniature sheet and the stamp are to highlight such values as companionship, respect, encouraging sport and road safety. The issue is to be put into circulation on the 7th of November.

The miniature sheet shows a portrait of the author Juan Ramón Jiménez by Joaquín Sorolla, painted in 1916 and belonging to the Hispanic Society in New York. The stamp depicts the donkey that is the main character in the book, Platero and I, and emphasises the bright colours of the foil stamped flower.

Born into a well-off, cultured family, Juan Ramón Jiménez began studying law, but soon left this field to concentrate on literature. He moved to Madrid in 1900, where he came into contact with the modernist poets, admiring Rubén Darío in particular. Jiménez was a reclusive, private person whose first works tended towards Romanticism.

After travelling to various places and recovering from a bout of depression, he returned to Madrid in 1911, where he was attracted by the intellectual atmosphere of the Residencia de Estudiantes. It was a time of high creativity for him and of honing his literary style, with books such as: Elejías (Elegies), Pastorales and Estío (Summer).

In 1916, he went to the United States, where he married Zenobia Campubrí, his staunch companion, which led to a decisive change in the writer's life and work. The book of poems, Diary of a newly-married poet (1917), whose title he changed to Diary of poet and sea, marks the two stages into which his poetry can be divided: sensitive poetry in the first and intellectual after 1916, sometimes difficult to understand.

Years later, he published his Cuadernos (Notebooks), with poems, letters and literary memories. From the civil war until his death, the poet lived in Cuba, the USA and Puerto Rico. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1956.

"Platero and I" was published as a children's book in 1914 under the title Elegía Andaluza (Andalusian Elegy), and as a full edition in 1917. Written in lyrical prose, in a rich style and littered with figures of speech, it tells of the friendship between the donkey, Platero, and its master through the experiences of both, anecdotes and the nature found in and around Moguer throughout the text.

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