And yet many collect prizes at the hands of those
January 22, 2015
In Baeza, Antonio Machado taught French in a high school. I saw the classroom almost intact; the cramped wooden desks with the little hole for the inkwell, the wooden flooring, and his teacher table with a built-in brazier…I was walking around the room while trying to guess what a genius would think in such a tiny place. I then read sentences and letters, like this one he wrote to Unamuno.
“This Baeza they call the Andalucian Salamanca, has a High School, a Seminar, a School of Arts, a few Middle Schools despite the fact that only 30 percent of the population can read. There is just one book store where they sell postcards, prayer books and pornographic and clerical newspapers. It is Jaen’s wealthiest region, and the city is full of homeless people and rich kids ruined in the roulette”.
And I remembered that a century earlier John Keats had stated that a poet is a wise man, a kind of doctor of the social mind. It would be something like a vigorous, regenerative and healthy voice for the peoples. A crooked leader, a politician with no vocation, should fear a poet just like evil moans and writhes before an exorcist.