|July 31 2020|
Since I began my blog in January 2006 I have combined many of my photographs with favourite poets of mine. These are Emily Dickinson, Jorge Luís Borges, Shakespeare, William Carlos Williams, Alfonsina Storni, Mario Benedetti, Eduardo Galeano, Julió Cortázar, and quite a few others.
But today I am going to mate a photograph of my Rosemary, taken last year by my granddaughter Rebecca, with a poet that I never met but... Don Tirso de Irureta Goyena was my grandfather. I never was curious enough to ask my mother or grandmother if he had been born in Spain but in Manila. I suspect it was in Manila. He was born in 1888 and died at age 30 in 1918.
During that short life he was a trial lawyer who did his best to also defend the Spanish language that was being replaced by the English that the occupying Americans imposed on the Philippines after the Spanish American War.
Because of his beautiful Spanish and his writing Don Tirso became a Filipino member of the exclusive Real Academia Española.
I will not translate it! I believe that this love poem to my grandmother Dolores Reyes de Irureta Goyena was written by Don Tirso when he was visiting Europe and his seeing her. The connection for me that is special is that my Rosemary did get to meet my grandmother and so this love poem by Don Tirso to a woman he misses can do just fine with my feelings on how I miss Rosemary.
My mother told me that Don Tirso died of a heart attack shortly after he climbed the Mayon Volcano in the Philippines. I have written here about the posthumous gift she got from him.
Mi Mayor Dolor
Mi alma jóven ha sido combatida
Por variados y múltiples dolores,
Y ha sentido desmayos opresores,
En el transcurso de mi corta vida,
Mas, ahora tengo una mortal herida
Que me causa penosos sinsabores
Y se encona con súbitos ardores
Nacidos de mi ánsia enardecida.
Que para mí, el mayor de mis pesares
Es no ver tus hermosos luminares
Mirarme siempre con mirada intensa;
Y ante tu dulce boca que sonríe,
Mi almo enamorada no te envie
Todo el calor de su pasión inmensa.
And below is a love poem to my grandmother where he equates her to a guitar
Yo no sé manejar esa caja
De madera, con cuerdas de acero,
que llaman guitarra:
tengo otra que entona cantares,
es un pecho que sufre su caja,
y tiene por cuerdas
las fibras de un alma…
No te extrañe por eso, morena,
que aunque yo no tenga tu bella guitarra,
la mía, sin lazos, ni cuerdas, ni claver,
ni sonora caja,
también con mi pluma te cante dolores,
y penas y dudas y goces y ansias!