I decided to revisit a famous text by this poet and thought: how amazingly 15th century! And it is; in fact Manrique died before 1492 and missed the entrance of the “Indies” onto the global stage. This makes him profoundly removed or foreign, I feel, because he is at the same time so close to it.
In my parents’ books I find things from very long ago. Here my father is smoking with Robert Duncan at Sutro Baths in San Francisco.
Among books I found a 1969 letter from him that reads in part:
Among my exploits this year, there was just recently—presented by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese—a Poetry Festival and Conference at Austin, Texas. Sumptuously sponsored. When Octavio Paz resigned as Ambassador to India, Texas grabbed him up. Or rather, Rodolfo Cardona, the new head of Spanish and Latin American Studies, grabbed him up. Cardona was the organizing presiding almost poetic “administration”; Paz, the designer in part. Zukofsky, Olson (with Creeley at the last moment crises taking his place) and I were the three American representatives, Paz, and Borges the South & Central American luminaries, and Alberto de Lacerda representing Portugal, Milosz attending to keep a Slavic note—we had three days of conversations and public readings. Paz and I had a half hour or so interview with Borges—or rather conversation, with that expert spinner of talk. Well, out of all that, for all of the fact that Paz and Borges are fluent indeed in English, I wisht I could switch gears into French (which was current) and Spanish.
Gautier went on, and wrote about a voyage to Spain in 1840. He also took a series of daguerrotypes there. It appears that he went to Spain in the hottest season because he felt this would give him the most authentic Spanish experience, and he slept in the patio of the Alhambra. This portrait resembles him greatly.
Gautier was a very interesting person with a very interesting set of activities, that I would like to study further.
Orig.: Wives but especially parents laughing brightly, keeping a stiff upper lip as they leave. Then, that somber drive home.
Wives, but especially parents laughing brightly,
keeping a stiff upper lip as they leave.
Then that somber drive home.
What do you think?