Last night, my good friend Margarita took me to a book presentation and poetry reading by Rómulo Bustos Aguirre, (http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%B3mulo_Bustos) winner of several poetry honors including
- Premio Nacional de Poesía Instituto Colombiano de Cultura, 1993
- Premio Blas de Otero de Poesía Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2010
and author of nine books of poetry.
The event was at the University of Cartagena in downtown. The university building itself is worth the visit. Having been a cloister or monastery in former days, there is a huge interior courtyard with trees and benches, now decorated with a few Christmas lights and ornaments. An open walkway, protected by the second floor walkway, rings the perimeter of the courtyard. From the walkways on all three floors, one accesses the classrooms, library, and offices. It’s a typical Spanish colonial style that, as I sat on a bench next to some students, transported me back 50 years to feel the ghosts of former students, including the poet we had heard a few minutes prior, and then 50 years more to the ghosts of the religious inhabitants–monks?, priests?, nuns? It was a beautiful experience to be in the present moment but also intuit all the moments that have gone before.