Gibbous House

By Ewan Lawrie

Nicholas Nickleby meets Psycho in a gothic, 19th-century noir

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Tilting at Windmills

The most famous 'sally' in the adventures of the Ingenious Don Quijote has become a by-word for a futile endeavour. Like getting your novel published, for example. However, since today Gibbous House's funding stands at 64%, perhaps that's not exactly true.

I have tilted at the windmill of reading Cervantes's great novel more than once. (In translation, of course! Do you think I am mad, Sancho?)  However, the other day a copy of Rutherford's translation for Penguin Classics (2000) fell into my hands. It's only part one but it is a satisfyingly fat book. Acquiring part 2 (I'm not so wealthy as to order a copy from Amazon - the postage will treble the price of the book!) may prove more difficult. Even so, I'm having another go. By the way, it is a funny book. Here's a poem I wrote after my last attempt at The Ingenious Don..


The Ingenuous Don


Giddap! I'm dog-tired astride a horse

that makes your donkey look sleek.

Come on Sancho! Stop selling those hookey

copies of the latest Harry Potter.


¡Joder! Don't we have dragons to slay?

White, towering Dragons atop the hills

of Castilla La Mancha?

Wind turbines? Iberdrola?


What tripe you talk Sancho, indeed

those men are selling dreams: castles

in Spain for the greedy and gullible;

why shouldn't we take their money?


Let's make for Fuengirola, Sancho

My Rocinante will get there, so can

your damned donkey, my portly friend.

Beaches and ice-cream and pink fleshed Guiris.


We'll show them Spanish Chivalry and

apartments on the second line:

I'll find Dulcinea on the Paseo Maritimo

and we'll sell Dolce and Gabbana to fools.


And ten leagues away as the horse lollops

farmers still pick melons and burn dead

olive branches and maybe you and I

are silhouetted on the rise, astride our beasts.



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