Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Writing the hind leg off a donkey

I listen to a documentary programme on the radio. I listen because, often, it gives me a bit more insight into Spain. Sometimes the programmes are a bit esoteric. It's fine when it's something like the history of the Galician whale hunters of the 17th Century but less so when the title; is Who was Elena Fortún - the author of Celia?

There was a programme a couple of weeks ago about Zenobia Camprubí. It took me a couple of days to get around to listening to the podcast. It didn't sound like the acoustic equivalent of a page turner. In fact it turned out to be a pretty good programme. Zenobia was most famous for being the force behind her husband, a Spanish poet called Juan Ramón Jiménez, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1956 just a couple of years before he died.

I recognised the name - the Juan Ramón that is - because the school where I work is named after him.

I  did a bit of research, well I skimmed the Wikipedia entry about Jimenez. His most famous piece is called Platero y yo. Platero and me. Platero is a donkey and the poem is about rural life and the friendship between a boy and a donkey. I read the fifty odd page poem the other day though most of it was way a bit too flowery for my rudimentary Spanish. And suddenly I understood why the school incorporates a very squared up drawing of a donkey in its paperwork.

It reminded me of that James Burke programme from the 1970s - Connectons.

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