“Platero and I” – a cycle of lyrical sketches of the poet Juan Ramon Jimenez. The hero of the cycle is the gray donkey Platero, who throughout the year is almost the only friend, companion and companion of the author. In the first lines a portrait of this charming animal is given: “The plater is small, furry, soft – so soft in appearance, like all of cotton wool, without a single stone.” Only his eyes are crystal hard, like two agate scarabs… He is a little girl and crocheted like a child, like a girl, but dry and strong in body, like a stone. “
And here is the author himself – how he sees himself: “mourning dressed, with a Nazarene beard under a low black hat, I must look strange on the gray rune Platero.” “Ridiculous!” Screams the mischievous gypsies after the thoughtful poet, “I’m asleep!” The author does not take offense at being teased. On the contrary, he is enveloped in a strange tenderness towards everything around him. Everyday, provincial Andalusia is revealed to him in his active natural essence. Nature, and people, and all living beings are connected, linked in the author’s perception of this love for their native land. He sees the surroundings of his native town of Moguer in an infinitely varied change of colors, smells and sounds, in the season of the year – from spring to spring, in the round of worldly worries and boisterous holidays. All his thoughts and impressions he immediately verifies Platero, who hears him with touching sympathy. The author believes that the donkey understands everything, only does not know the human language, as we – the language of animals. But he gives his master a lot of joy and sincere warmth.
In his notes, Jimenez stops moments of fast-flowing life in order to re-feel her charm in a new way; draws unique portraits of fellow countrymen, tells dramatic or funny stories.
In the cycle dozens of characters. First of all, these are children – usually poor, but not discouraged. Here is one such gaggle after a meager supper happily betrayed the game “in the poor.” Then they start showing off, exposing each other: – My father has a silver watch…
“And my horse…”
“And my gun…”
“Those hours,” the narrator notices with quiet bitterness, “that they wake up before dawn, and that gun that does not kill the famine, and the horse that leads to poverty…”
One girl suddenly sings “a fragile, like a glass trickle, a voice” mournful adult song: “Was-ah-i-graph-and-and-not-ee, / and sta-a-ala in-o-oh-oh-oh… “
And over Andalusia, then the red-hot sun is shining, then a short clearing storm is raging, then the autumn wind is flying, then low clouds are hanging. Jimenez, referring to Platero, compares his native land with wine, then with bread, then again with wine, then again with bread. Sometimes it seems to him that Moger himself is like bread – he “inside is white like a crumb, and outside is golden, like a crusty crust.” At noon, when the heat-sinking city eats fresh bread, it seems that this one huge mouth is eating huge bread.
Here is another picture of local mores – suddenly shots are heard in the city. Do not be frightened, silly, calms the storyteller of the donkey, it only kills Judas. It happens on Good Saturday. A few stuffed Judas arm over streets and squares in the most crowded places, and in the city there is hardly one gun, not discharged into a villain-traitor. “Only Judas now,” the writer continues, referring to Platero, “is a deputy or teacher, judge’s rank or tax collector, alcalde or midwife, and every man who falls into childhood… in the confusion of vague and absurd spring glitches plant his cowardly bullet in the one who hates him… “
The sad heart contracts the heart of the narrator when he encounters a silly toddler – outcast in the children’s crowd, a being who is not given a gift of speech or a shadow of charm. Always joyful, but no one cheering, once he disappeared from his usual place on the bench. Probably, he moved to the sky, where he also quietly and gently follows the eyes of others.
But another tragedy – brutal violence is subjected to a beautiful and proud animal. This novel is called the “Stolen Stallion”. The horse in question is dazzlingly beautiful. “He was black, in blue, green, red ebbs, with a touch of silver, like a raven and a scarab.” A young twinkle flashed in the young eyes like a flame on a brazier… “
This unsuspecting handsome man at the pen waiting for the four men with hairy hands. Silently snoring, they pile on the animal, press it to the ground and “after a brief fierce struggle, finish off its mourning, witchcraft beauty.”
As if the very colors of nature fade after the outrage committed. Turned into a gelding stallion, without stirring, lies on a... straw – soaked, exhausted and miserable. Shivering and dull, he is covered with a blanket and slowly taken to the farmyard. To the narrator observing this painful scene, it seems that the horse has separated from the earth, having lost that which connected it with the roots of life…
So the poetic view of the world differs with acute sympathy for everything that suffers pain and oppression; sorrow, wisdom and compassion are melted with faith in the renewal and continuity of life. Here comes the spring with its inherent heat – and Jimenez finds an unusually expressive image of her phenomenon: “we are like in giant glowing honeycomb – the hot core of a huge stone rose.” The same ability to distinguish beauty in everyday, familiar, allows him to admire the rude and seemingly unattractive people. He looks with admiration at the three old women: they are earthy, sweaty, dirty, they have preserved a lasting beauty. – “she is still with them as a blind, stern memory.”
But the family of gypsies, “stretched out like the tail of a worn out dog, on a cobblestone sun.” Almost rubensovskimi paints, with undisguised delight Jimenez sculpts portraits of every member of this poor, wandering company. The mother is like a clay statue, with green and red rags bursting with young nakedness… The girl is solid unkempt coats, indecently scrawling indignant scrawl on the wall… A naked baby lying on his back and pissing himself in the navel, blasting the air with unrequited crying.. Finally, a man and a monkey who are scratched together – he scratches his hair, she’s ribs… Sometimes a man unbends, stands up for a long time, goes out into the middle of the street and beats him with an indistinct tambourine. The gypsy sings, piercing and melancholy. The monkey is twisted.
“Before you, Platero, the ideal of the family,” the narrator pronounces with a feeling of genuine pacification.
Here is a maid who had a habit of frightening her family in the evening, dressed up as a ghost. She wrapped herself in a sheet, put on her teeth with cloves of garlic like fangs, and slowly approached the hall with a candle. Perhaps the Most High punished her for being addicted to harmless fun – once in a thunderstorm the girl was found on a path in the garden struck by lightning.
Here’s a kid who had once escaped from Seville, where he served in a rich house to look for happiness on the side. He went to “tease bulls on provincial arenas.” Now he passes his native places under contemptuous and condemning glances. Over his shoulder he throws a “doubly crimson” cloak, his teeth are shattered by a recent fight, his stomach is empty, and the purse is also. But he goes further, towards his fate, without complaining or asking for help.
Here is a miserable, poor smuggler. During the hunt, his decrepit, tied with a string, fell apart. And the poor man wounded his hand. Shivering, he comes to the local doctor. He makes him a bandage, muttering to himself: “It’s nothing, it’s nothing…” And suddenly the doctor’s parrot, sitting in a cage, repeats guttural: “It’s nothing…”
But the foreman of porters Mogera Leon. On his head is stuffed with a thick smooth corn from the long-term wearing of trunks. But in the evenings Leon is transformed into a musician. He plays on plates during the holidays…
Life opens in its tragicomic details, in bright carnival motley, in the cycle of death and birth. The narrator with the same wise sorrow tells of someone’s extinction, whether it’s an old man, a child or an animal. The reader is given his perception of any particular life as a valuable and important event. Forever remained in this Andalusian elegy, a little girl who loved to caress the donkey so fearlessly ran her hand to him, so touchingly called him: “Platerito, Plateretto! ..” She was swept away by a serious illness, and for weeks, swinging in fever delirium in her cradle, she still babbled the name of her pet: “Plateritto, .. Plateretto…”
There remained also the proud fox terrier Lord, who had to be shot after the bite of a rabid dog… And the old kenar, who was once found dead on the floor in his cage. The children look at him in frustration. “He only had enough,” they say in surprise, “and water, and did not need food…” Yes, Platero, the narrator continues, did not need anything. “He died because he died,” said Campoamor, another old cantar, “remarks Jimenez, referring to the famous Spanish poet.
Alas, the day comes when the industrious little Platero himself dies. It happens suddenly, on a hot, sunny afternoon. The veterinarian sadly explains that the donkey has poisoned… Ate something poisonous… There is still hope. But Platero is no longer recovering. He is buried in the garden under a wide pine.
“Platero, you see us, right? ..”