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 satisyingly 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.