Your wandering bloggist has mentioned twice now the Spanish ‘postist’ poet, Carlos Edmundo de Ory, born in Cádiz, Spainland and commemorated there by a statue creeping away from his empty plinth (see blogs Poet, Escaping 19 September 2018 and Cumplecarlos 24 April 19).
In the earlier post, I mentioned that Beat Poet, Allen Ginsberg had apparently translated some of Ory’s work but never had it published. So I had been researching the Ginsberg archive and also the whereabouts of his co-translator, Edith Grossman (famed and feted in the States for her versions of Cervantes etc, and still alive at 83), with a vague intent to write and ask if any manuscripts were extant and if I could pretty please get a peek at them.
Last week I finally started looking for addresses and references, only to come across a blog written on a learned site in 2008 by one Steven J Stewart somewhere in far Amurikay, which mentioned that there was a small book prepared but that the Ginsberg Archive weren’t much help in finding details.
There was an email address supplied, so I wrote hopefully, beginning with the stupid question, “are you still on this address?” And following it with tentative questions about what might have become of the book and could he let me have any details. And did he?
Even better than that!
He wrote a lovely letter back, saying he had a copy! Apparently a number of proof editions of the 36-page book, entitled Angel without a Permit, had been produced, but the publisher was far from happy with them as they stood and destroyed most copies. Steven had obtained one. Ginsberg and Grossman never got round to re-editing, so that, it seems, was that.
He also told me he’d actually visited with the Orys in Franceland back in the day, and was that minute planning an imminent visit to the Iberian peninsula, which would of course include a trip to my little city by the bay and meeting people active in preserving and promoting the work of the great poetic Gaditano (I follow Fundación Carlos Edmundo de Ory on facebook — you could too).
And and and despite being busy preparing his trip, he found time to send me a pdf scan of the whole wee book. Oh frabjous day, galoo, galay, as they say. And here be the cover and one of the pomes, in translation — isn’t the interweb wonderful?
Soul’s Fiesta / Fiesta del alma
Why do you leaf so quickly
——–through the pages of your nerves?
Everything becomes ceremonious with each
You listened to the washing machine
and thought you heard God’s flute playing
Who can assimilate the mask of the hours?
The terrible disguise of life
Until the final moment we were wearing
the draperies of the soul