On receiving the Nobel Prize in 1956, Juan Ramon Jimenez was praised for "his lyrical poetry, which constitutes an inspiring example in the Spanish language of spirituality and artistic purity." Jimenez's works have indeed provided inspiration for many younger Spanish poets--- Federico Garcia Lorca, Pedro Salinas, and Jorge Guillen among them---as well as for Latin American poets. His poetic world is both aesthetic and spiritual. Through poetry Jimenez endeavored not only to express his interior reality but also to reach the highest levels of spiritual experience. Jimenez's early work is marked by a short period of modernism followed by a rejection of it in favor of simpler forms, particularly that of traditional Spanish ballads. The turmoil and anxiety produced by his sea voyage to the United States to marry an American, Zenobia Camprubi, and their return as newlyweds began his second period. That phase was characterized by increasing subjectivity and purification of his poetry, a process furthered by Zenobia, who protected him from intrusions of the world. His use of women to symbolize the objects of his desires to know and experience reveals the influence of Gustavo Adolfo Becquer. In his final stage, he embarked on a mystical search for the absolute. His revelation was that "God desired" and "God desiring" reside within his own soul. Platero and I (1914), a poignant and charming story in poetic prose about a silver-gray donkey named Platero, is popular with children. Jimenez did not intend it for children exclusively, however, but rather as a celebration of the essence of the child, "a spiritual island fallen from heaven.