I’m Back! Did you miss me? Did you notice?
Yes, I’ve been to Cádiz, my little city by the bay and by Jove did I not want to come back.
A few more pics may be shared in the coming weeks, but I mostly want to share with you the discovery of a poet previously unknown to me (and even most of the Spaniards I’ve spoken to since).
In the Alameda Apodaca, 100metres or so from my AirBnB, where I’d gone to look out over the broad Atlantic, I discovered (along with International Bear), this plinth …
Back at the bar on Calle Zorilla, I used their interweb to look the guy up. Still later I even bought a couple of his books, including 2003’s Melos Melancolia.
He is (or would be if he was still on his plinth), ‘postist’ poet, Carlos Edmundo de Ory; born 1923 in Cádiz, died in France in 2010. You can read more about him in his English Wikipedia entry. Suffice it to summarise him as some sort of Spanish Ginsberg (who apparently translated him but never published), which no doubt fails to do him any justice. He seems a sidenote from a fizzled sideshow movement.
But I like what I’ve read very much. So much so that I’ve already tried my hand at a first-draft translation of one of his Melos.
Here is the other page that reveals the winds
For sure let’s do it in the shelter
of mysterious lips accustomed to
the huge silent words of the heart
and let me hear someone who adores sadness
Decent as it may be I always praise the gifts
that I profess to be of a strange nature
touching the dreadful bells of my being
like when I hold long conversations
with a soul-mate who is staying
at the same inn as me and gives me nourishment
for the breaking of my great silence
And who behind closed doors agrees with me
who listens to the danger of knowing
subordinated to my talkative melancholy
My blood went up to the word and he who tells me
if you want what you think from the world
Keep everything I say a secret from yourself
because it’s night and I tremble every time
these sunless hours seize my reason
at the expense of intense astonishment
It is my business to speak and be heard
like a radical authority of the scandal
of poetry devoid of rococo spells
except for those metaphors finally responsible
for all the angelic art and its fascinations
But I do not deceive anyone and those who dare to dive
into the grave reading of these nocturnal voices
to lie down with me in my bunk
even if I missed the blackness of the sheets
Pain is not healed by dawn or whitenesses
My son whoever you are if you come by my side
respect the nostalgia and anguish I possess
and cherish the hope of yourself in the world
not being the you who suffers as you see me suffer
You know that I encipher arcana and consult alone
echoes of echoes coming from unfathomable wells
and in the poem I set the pearls of silence
In poetry to the end of speech my conduct
consists of shining the golden candlestick
in the solitary bedroom I inhabit
as if it were a dungeon of the spirit
where I store corks and pins
Enough I will say no more in this long stanza
And they call me a madman a poet
trans. Dai Lowe 19/9/18
By the way, I did find Mr de Ory, seconds after I found the plinth. Only about ten metres away, sneaking off into the bushes …
… from what I’ve read about him, he’s heading off for a drink.
poets may escape
how far away can they get?
the sculptor decides