Cuckoos

A new translation of Joan Maragall’s poem about the anarchist bombing of the Barcelona Opera in 1893, and a limerick by the monkey.

A demon hands a terrorist an Orsini bomb, on Gaudí's Sagrada Familia.

What did the Catalan-speaking seamstress say on arriving in London W11?

“No tinc hil.” See also Sense dormir la noia, which was apparently a magazine programme on the local radio in that 24*7 metropolis, Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. Homophonic punning is easier in muddy languages like Catalan and English. David Deterding has a brain-churning collection of phonetic jokes in the latter. An example: When you’ve seen one…

Catalan cock

Since I’m arsing around this morning, here’s some more chicken news. There’s a good story developing up in Pont de Molins, a small village near Figueres, at the moment, where Adela Sánchez has been put on trial accused of murdering Mercè Catalán’s rooster, Matildo. Adela and her daughter, Paqui, had previously sat up at night…

Blonde virgins

Last week I snapped a Scandinavian blonde Maria in Vilafranca del Penedès. Joan Amades (El pessebre (1959)) tells us that, in Catalan nativity scenes, the Mother of God was always represented by a young, very white girl with hyper-perfect features, and that her whiteness is both traditional and proverbial (“white as a Mother of God”).…