In the United States and in Canada, April is National Poetry Month.
Although we don’t actually celebrate the month in the UK, focusing instead on a single Thursday in October for National Poetry Day, the concept of “national” celebrations has become very blurred in recent years. With modern tech and global comms, it’s sometimes hard to ignore the sheer number and volume of voices taking it for granted that what’s true in their region must be true everywhere.
There’s no poetry
in traffic jams:
we edge forward
foot by foot. Caught
behind a juggernaut
with no opportunity
to scan ahead for a turn,
in the fast lane,
the nearside flow;
we can’t even
In the previous post I said that back in 1964 there were a fraction of the number of cars in Spain that there are today. I’ve actually looked that up and figures cited this week in the newspapers claim that back then there were “dos millones de vehículos frente a los 30 millones de ahora y cuatro millones de conductores frente a los 25 millones que existen en la actualidad.”
After three weeks of the grey-green UK “summer”, I returned to the dusty yellows of Spain and found the village in the throes of fiestas.
Las fiestas del veraneante, to be precise – the annual celebration during the last week of August which is put on for the benefit of those who spend summer in the pueblo. Veranear – “to summer”. Not a verb that exists in English, though we do talk of birds wintering in warmer climes.