(from To Walk Alone in the Crowd, by Antonio Muñoz Molina; translated from the Spanish by Guillermo Bleichmar)
He has noticed
with a little dismay,
that travel agencies are becoming
harder to find,
For some reason
he can’t understand, almost
he is fond of
This excerpt is from a novel, not a poem, but it inspired me to shape the lines into stanzas and add a title. It’s from To Walk Alone in the Crowd, written by Antonio Muñoz Molina and translated from the Spanish by Guillermo Bleichmar (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021). Muñoz Molina’s narrator is a city walker, a practitioner of “perambulation studies,” following in the footsteps of Lorca, Melville, Baudelaire, and Joyce. He’s an eavesdropper, an assembler of collages of the “verbal and visual garbage” that we usually don’t pay attention to, and one of the most astute observers I’ve read in eons. “The city is an unending show, going on all the time,” the author recently told an interviewer.
The Poetry Friday roundup takes place at Rebecca Herzog's Sloth Reads blog on July 30th.
Book Launch: Conversation with Antonio Muñoz Molina, on the occasion of the English translation of Un andar solitario entre la gente (To Walk Alone in the Crowd), on the YouTube channel of the Cervantes Institute of New York. In English.
Photo by ST: Retiro Park, Madrid (2019)