Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Poetry, Slogans, and More

Last month we celebrated National Poetry Month. Our small town had their first annual arts festival honoring a local poet--Barton Rees Pogue. Yesterday I received a link to a documentary pilot about the Basque bard-like tradition and hugely popular event--Bertsolari. I cannot imagine that many people gathering to listen to improv poets!
If you find the time to watch the above mentioned trailer, tell me what would you think of that idea for a reality show?

Recently I wrote a post about the famous oak tree in Gernika. I learned at that time that the song sung almost as much or more than their official anthem came about in this bertso form because Iparragirre was a bertsolari (Basque poet or bard). So you may find four, eight, twelve stanzas to the song as he introduced changes with each performance.

Interestingly, one of the first words I wrote in my Basque-English notebook was bertsolari = poets. I seem to remember that I had written a list of Basque words found as I read about their culture and then asked Amaia what they meant.

My young Basque friend also sent me two links to a song  sung in bertso style on occasion of another popular event, the Korrika.This relay run winds its way through the Basque Country over a period of three weeks every two years in the month of April. You can see one of these featured in the second link. I watched several YouTube videos of this year's event and was then very surprised to find one titled Korrika 17 desde Argentina which took place in the city of Río Cuarto where my parents lived and worked for some years!


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In another recent post I showed a picture that included a slogan in Euskera (the Basque language). FYI, someone did write back with the meaning of EMAN HITZA HERRIARI: "Let the people have a say."

Now I need someone to explain the repeated  MAITATU in this video, and perhaps comment on the Argentine Basque presence. I would never have known the Basque spirit was so alive in my adopted country.

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Last week we watched an excellent movie "There Be Dragons" set in the context of the Spanish Civil War. We highly recommend it. The film brought to life the scenes we are currently reading about in A Valley of Betrayal, a historic novel about that horrific conflict.

I hope you enjoy learning about any of the above mentioned miscellany.

1 comment:

rita said...

MAITATU means LOVE. MAITE ZAITUT: that is repeated many times in the video that you put in the blog means I LOVE YOU.
(Alberto B.)