Walking to Mojácar

“Along the winding car-
studded
new highways
of the rosary-scented
Andalusian hills
the poets wander,
bewildered, out of time,
flayed
by the century’s losses,
weighing heavy
on them.”

This fragment of verse, written by Winkler-born author Di Brandt, reflects the sincere voice in which Brandt writes of the world.

Brandt gracefully weaves a journey through Canadian prairies, Detroit and the Spanish paradise of Mojácar in her latest collection of poetry, Walking to Mojácar.

Brandt masters the art of writing in not one, but four beautiful languages with a little help from her translators Charles Leblanc and Ari Belathar.

The poetry is written with knowledge of customs and passion for culture. Readers will find themselves reflecting on their own world and discovering new ones.

The book is divided into three sections.

The first, “Welding and other joining procedures,” covers the flatlands in French and English. The poem “Nine River Ghazals” begins the compilation in a colourful autumn on the banks of the Assiniboine River and the touching “Prayer for my goddaughter” marks the end.

Section two, “Hymns for Detroit,” places English translations beside the originals of German Mennonite hymns. The words cover incidents of all sorts; some are poems of love, others of storytelling and so on.

Section three, “Walking to Mojacár,” offers a creative take on friends, landscapes and more. In both English and the soft sounds of Spanish, Brandt conveys a body of Calgary cowboys and rugged Spanish landscapes.

While the multilingual nature of the anthology is beautiful, unless the reader is fluent in English, French, Spanish and German, at least a fourth of the trees used to print this book were wasted on them.

The rhythmic sounds of a foreign language may entertain for a while but the novelty wears off shortly.

However, Brandt’s poetry is an excellent tool for those looking to master one of the above dialects.

Brandt invites a multicultural globe to be the subject of her writing in Walking to Mojacár. She is honest, elegant and vibrant with her words and shows a true appreciation for the whole world, people and places included.

“Quiero vivir
con gratitud
humilde y responsablemente
en este mundo generoso
y pródigo.”
“I want to live
gratefully
on this bountiful,
generous earth.”

Published in Volume 65, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 20, 2011)

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