Spain honours greatest living poet, Gamoneda

24th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

24 April 2007, MADRID - Spain's greatest living poet Antonio Gamoneda was awarded the Cervantes Prize for his life's work.

24 April 2007

MADRID - Spain's greatest living poet Antonio Gamoneda was awarded the Cervantes Prize for his life's work.

Gamoneda said the meaning of his life and work is rooted in poverty, which in a similar way influenced the life story of the author of "Don Quixote," to whom he devoted his speech of gratitude after being awarded the prize.

At the University of Alcala de Henares, the Madrid suburb where Cervantes was born, Gamoneda accepted from King Juan Carlos the most prestigious literary award in the Spanish-speaking world.

"From poverty through prose, Cervantes is the most important figure in the Spanish language among the creators of modern poetic thought and its expression in words," Gamoneda said.

As to the meaning of his own life and writing, Gamoneda said that poverty, "more than any other circumstance or reason, has conditioned both the one and the other."

Born in the northern town of Oviedo in 1931, he lost his father when he was one year old and shortly afterwards was taken by his mother to neighboring Leon, where he learned the hard lessons of "destitution and dehumanizing labor."

The poet recounted to the king, Queen Sofia and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero how he learned to read when he was five from the only book in the house - a collection of poems written by his father - and how at 14 he began to work carrying coal to the boiler in a bank.

In his speech, Juan Carlos described Gamoneda as the author of a "great work, deep, symbolic and moving," that stands out for its profundity "and for its deep-rooted ethical feeling." EFE

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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