The subject may be travel. People, a hypothesis goes, travel because they want to see something new, have new experiences, or revisit the past. This is distinguished from the functional kind–trips to meet friends or enemies, to conduct business, to find things.
Music and reading, therefore, are kin to the first kind of travel. If a reader picks up Homer’s Odyssey for the first time is this text, this story, really as old as the date suggests? What about Joyce’s Ulysses? The mental journey seeks something new, a new experience, or a revisiting or reexperiencing of a prior experience, feeling, and or image (to reexperience Marquez, Dario, or Wordsworth).
With music we seek this reexperiencing, new combinations of notes. Is this correct? When a band comes out with new songs, a new CD, is it the possibility of combinations that draws? Why the scintillation prior to reading new poems and fiction?
What’s on the other side of the forest? What does Tintern Abbey really feel like
–travel for verification of a theme?
Buey que vi en mi niqez echando vaho un dma
bajo el nicarag|ense sol de encendidos oros,
en la hacienda fecunda, plena de la armonma
del trspico; paloma de los bosques sonoros
del viento, de las hachas, de pajaros y toros
salvajes, yo os saludo, pues sois la vida mma.
Ox that I saw in my childhood, as you steamed
in the burning gold on the Nicaraguan sun,
there on the rich plantation filled with tropical
harmonies; woodland dove, of the woods that sang
with the sound of the wind, of axes, of birds and wild bulls:
I salute you both, because you are both my life.
Ruben Dario from Far away
This is imagery at its finest. You feel it, you see it, and you want to yes, travel there physically as well as via the mental immediacy the poem offers. Beautiful in both Spanish (almost understood all of it!) as well as its English translation. Reading it, I was wearing a filmy white blouse and straw hat to stay cool from the hot rays of the sun, smelling both the pungency of the ox and the freshness of green. Good stuff.
I remember seeing a southwestern scene, Salvador Dali I think, that fits the poem to a tee, just add the turquoise blue sky. This comparison brings me to the feeling I get when viewing art and how similar it is to poetry. Both can take you to a place in your mind where no one else can go. There is depth, texture and mood constructing images that come to life. Spanish is such a romantic language, it is no wonder something so creative can come out of it.