Thursday, April 21, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 60.1 (Daniel Rodríguez Mujica)

Mujica, Daniel Rodríguez
Pentesilea, La vírgula y algunos otros poemas

Given to me by the author in Havana on January 10, 2001. Inscribed.

I am trying to figure out what the title means. "Pentesilea" was the queen of the Amazons, so that is pretty straightforward. "Vírgula," on the other hand, is a little strange. It can mean "a small stick," "a slender line" or "a kind of bacteria that leads to cholera."

I am also not sure whether the capitalization of "la" before it indicates that it is a poem separate from "Pentesilea" or if it is simply modifying it, as in: "Pentesilea, the stick." That seems a little odd. It could be, Pentesilea, The Stick and some other poems, indicating that there are two title poems. I guess I could open the book and see…

I am correct. There is a poem called "Pentesilea" and another called "La vírgula."

Doing an image search for "vírgula" I get pictures of busty, scantily clad women and images of quotation marks and apostrophes. On the word reference site, I get zilch in English, only the Spanish definition, which I listed above, and only then by looking it up in the RAE dictionary, which means it is not necessarily a common word.

Anyhow…off to work.

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