Born in 1910, Miguel Hernandez was a self-educated goatherd from the tiny Spanish town of Orihuela who tried hard to be accepted among his older contemporaries. Lorca wrote to the young poet in 1933, telling him to stop struggling to get along in a "circle of literary pigs". Both Lorca and Hernandez would soon be caught up in the storm that was the Spanish Civil War. Hernandez volunteered and served the Republican Army at the front, later defending Madrid itself. When Madrid finally fell to Franco in 1939, Hernandez tried to cross into Portugal and soon after he was turned back, he was imprisoned. Hernandez wrote his last poems in jail while fatally ill with tuberculosis. He died three years later, his tuberculosis untreated, still in prison on March 28, 1942: he was only 31.