A great book to read when travelling, when you want something to dip in and out of. There are poems, travel pieces, essays, short stories and letters from everyone who has ever written of Spain that you have heard of: Orwell, Hemingway, Stewart, Irving, Brenan, Morris, highbrow, lowbrow, and some you didn’t know about. I challenge you to read this and not want to visit Spain. My highlight? A poem. ‘Candle Hat’ by American poet Billy Collins, about artist Goya wearing a hat decorated with candles around the brim to illuminate his work by dark, giggling with his wife.
‘To understand Goya you only have to imagine him
Lighting the candles one by one, then placing
The hat on his head, ready for a night of work.
Imagine him surprising his wife with his new invention,
The laughing like a birthday cake when she saw the glow.’
‘Spain in Mind’ ed. by Alice Leccese Powers
5 to remember
la antología – anthology
la poema – poem
la vela – candle
el sombrero – hat
la mujer – wife