Who is on the plum tree?
I have great pleasure to introduce a newcomer to Plum Tree Books. Linda Ibbotson is a photographer and poet who lives in beautiful County Cork in Ireland. She snaps character ~ whether through her own words or tacitly painted on the often craggy faces of musicians lost in contemplation or playing a tune. She finds beauty in the unusual, the musical, the poetic, the shadow. I find Linda’s work richly textured and visceral ~ a poet and artist of the character image, in search of the nitty, gritty, the truth that makes a thing sparkle and speak its unique message. Find Linda on Facebook. Many thanks Linda for joining us here.
By Linda Ibbotson
My mind is wandering from red ochre landscapes of surrealist Dali, inspiring Gaudi architecture in Barcelona to heady scents of oranges from Seville…
Perhaps it’s because I am reading my favourite poet Federico Garcia Lorca.
Lorca, born in 1898 to an educated family in the Andalucian village of Fuente Vaqueros, whose passion for nature along with influences from traditional Andalusian folk songs were the main sources of his inspiration.. Creativity flowed through his veins. A musician, poet , dramatist and artist he studied at the University of Granada where he acquired a knowledge of literature, moving on to Residencia de estudiantes in Madrid he met fellow musicians and writers such as Manuel de Falla. Salvadore Dali and Juan Jimenez.
His first book of poems with the theme of nature, faith and abandonment was published in 1921 .In 1929 he studied in New York, spent time in Vermont and Cuba. His poetry collection Poet influenced by the Wall Street crash explored his feelings of alienation and isolation and experimental poetry techniques.
On his return to Spain he continued to write for theatre, and was co director of a theatrical company. Sadly his life was cut short. In 1936, during the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. It is thought that he was shot by Nationalist militia.
It is hardly surprising that poets and songwriters such as Leonard Cohen were inspired by his unique style of intertwining music and words. He became known as the gypsy poet publishing a collection of Canciones (Songs) and the well known Romancero Gitano ( Gypsy Ballads). Lorca describes this work as “a carved alter piece” of Andalusia .” A book that hardly expresses visible Andalusia at all but where the hidden Andalusia trembles”
Your preference may be to take a walk in the Garden of the Lunar Grapefruit or paint a canvas with his “Ode to Salvador Dali”….
Federica Garcia Lorca is surely a poet whose energy and love for nature and beauty replenish the soul.
I know his words replenish mine.
Ode to Salvador Dali by Federica Garcia Lorca
A rose in the high garden you desire.
A wheel in the pure syntax of steel.
The mountain stripped bare of Impressionist fog,
The grays watching over the last balustrades.
The modern painters in their white ateliers
clip the square root’s sterilized flower.
In the waters of the Seine a marble iceberg
chills the windows and scatters the ivy.
Man treads firmly on the cobbled streets.
Crystals hide from the magic of reflections.
The Government has closed the perfume stores.
The machine perpetuates its binary beat.
An absence of forests and screens and brows
roams across the roofs of the old houses.
The air polishes its prism on the sea
and the horizon rises like a great aqueduct.
Soldiers who know no wine and no penumbra
behead the sirens on the seas of lead.
Night, black statue of prudence, holds
the moon’s round mirror in her hand.
A desire for forms and limits overwhelms us.
Here comes the man who sees with a yellow ruler.
Venus is a white still life
and the butterfly collectors run away.