“Rambla de Catalunya” is a poem written by M.C. Ferreres that evokes a Barcelona that is evolved and “modern” yet plagued with “unholy frivolity” and rampant wanderlust. Ferreres ends the poem with an ominous reference to Mount Tibidabo, perched high above the city, casting an ever-watching eye over the bustling city below.
Transpiring in the late 1890’s, “Rambla de Catalunya” depicts a society in the grips of decadence, unaware, unable, and perhaps unwilling to awaken from its luxurious slumber. The citizens of this decadent city enjoy their pleasures most of all on Sundays, the holy day for Christians (‘diumengera’ translates as “pertaining to Sunday”) which prompts Ferreres to condemn his fellow Catalunyans for their unforgivable sins.
The final sentence the poem positions Tibidabo as Catalunya’s watchful eye, envious of the city’s industrial success, enraged by its confident self-expression, and always ready to break both is one interpretation. Soon after this poem was written, Catalunya came under a temporary military dictatorship by the mid-1920s, and it would soon become a victim of one of the bloodiest conflicts of the twentieth century: the Spanish Civil War.
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