16 feb. 2008

Take this stanza from an American poet's homage to Lorca

Mandolins grow on the high slopes
And orange-robed monks collect songs
Just beyond the last line of fruit trees.
Naked girls pretend they are butterflies,
And a deer tells stories to the twilight.

Here is an example of how cultural studies needs to consider the aesthetic dimension. This stanza is not horrible, but it's particular failures let us know something is wrong. They are clues to a lack of cultural understanding. There seems to be a half-hearted attempt at surrealism in lines like "And a deer tells stories to the twilight." This is typical of the American idea that a surrealist image by a Spanish poet is just any random, inconsequential image.