Poetry in prose: “Platero and I” by Juan Ramon Jimenez


My next choice on ” Read all Nobel prize in Literature” project was Juan Ramon Jimenez, a Spanish poet and writer who was awarded the Nobel prize in 1956. More on http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1956/jimenez-bio.html. Jimenez was primarily a poet. Reviews guided me to “Platero and I” for its purity.51Y11l4uUvL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_
To me, this book is about compassion and a perfect refuge from urbanised minds and surroundings and a reminder of life’s simple joys. Written in 1914, it continues to enchant with its delicate poetic style 100 years later.
This book is a collection of short titled stories of a relationship between an unnamed man and his donkey, Platero. Platero is a symbol of a confident any human soul longs for. Each story has its own life, letting the reader to read what he/she likes to indulge in the spirit of the moment. Early figs” story is dedicated to puberty and its mysteries. The “Pit” is a metaphor for an after life devotion to the soul made and life companion. “The kindergarten” is a pledge to keep the little one away from the “educational” system that breaks rather than makes. And so on.

Animal lovers would relish the book. The sensitivity and care in “The Thorn” and “The canary’s flight” for the wounded animal and old bird respectively are worth following in human interactions.

This book is for all and everyone. From the “enchantment of the roof” and the breath of sounds, aromas and visual experience reminds of the beauty of small things in life; a tribute to solitude in “Return”, a magic play of imagination and reality in “The Gate”; the glory of a Spring morning in “Spring”, gorgeous nature description in “The Pool”, to the best definition of gratitude “as if the evening sun has kindled a dawn of joy” in “The cart”.

At times I wondered if Jimenez was a painter:”over the plain hovers a pure divine essence of blue meadows, celestial and terrestrial” in “The cricket’s song” or his moon description in “Nocturne”. Definitely, he is a painter in readers’ minds.

“If one could only eat flowers”, one of my favorite quotes, the world would become a better place for all living beings.

The book comes with beautiful sketches and is accessible in English with Eloise Roach’s enchanting translation.

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