What Claudio Knew

I've been thinking a great deal about the relation between music and poetry for an essay I want to write with the title "What Claudio Knew:  Teaching Receptivity."  Claudio is Claudio Rodríguez, by consensus the greatest Spanish poet of the second half of the twentieth century.  The question of knowledge is significant because the idea of conocimiento  was crucial for Rodríguez.  What did Claudio know and when did he know it?  

Unfortunately, Rodríguez, like Lorca, is often considered a dumb poet.  The dumb poets are those who don't have well-developed theoretical ideas about poetry (according to conventional standards, at least).  They often seem lacking in book-knowledge, in contrast to the "poet-professors." Being a bit of a contrarian I like to turn things on their head and argue that both Lorca and Rodríguez actually knew something that we can learn from.  What they knew ends up having to do with their knowledge of folklore, of music, of prosody, peformance, dramaturgy.  This knowledge often does not show up when we ask what these writers knew, because it is a pragmatic knowledge--knowing how to do something rather than knowing about it in the abstract.  

 Compare Lorca's lecture on Spanish lullabies with Rodríguez's brilliant Master's Thesis on songs sung by children "in the round," (en corro).  Lorca says that, tiring of cathedrals as a tourist in various Spanish cities, he would go in search of songs and sweets, the embodiments of a living culture.   Rodríguez pays close attention to phonetic and prosodical features of children's games played in circles.  Neither poet has a great reputation as an intellectual--unlike, say, José Ángel Valente.  

Anyway, this might end up being a book bringing together a lot of what I've been working on for a while in my head.  I haven't been able to envision the finished project, but I'm close to a tentative outline.      

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