After catching up over a delicious Sunday brunch, Monica and I browsed at shops all over Williamsburg. In one bookstore, I found this book of wonderful poems by Pablo Neruda. A dear friend once gave me a book of Neruda's poems back in college but after all the moving between continents and all over Manhattan, I've sadly misplaced it. So when I saw this book today, I bought it immediately. It's such a pleasure reading these poems now that I'm reading Spanish with better comprehension. A big part of the beauty Neruda's poetry lies in his choice of words in his mother tongue and I'm grateful that I am able to appreciate that more these days.
It's hard for me to find the motivation to crack open my Spanish grammar books and study, but I couldn't tear my eyes off this book on my subway ride back home. It makes me wonder if the best way for me to learn the language is to read as much as I can. I never paid much attention to my English grammar classes growing up but I ended up eventually making a living as a writer and editor for awhile because my voracious reading must given me a good feel for the language. We'll see ... at the very least, I'll have some dreamy poems to keep me preoccupied on my train rides.
I haven't talked about how I fared with crossing off conversing in Español while in Mexico, have I? That's because I didn't do so well. I broke out the Spanish a few times during our trip: to purchase tickets, ask for directions, to find out what a driver's favorite soccer team is, and to answer the questions of a soldier at the military checkpoint. But I didn't speak more than necessary and never really maintained an actual conversation so as far as I'm concerned, it's not yet a done deal. But I will dredge up the courage—I have exactly 60 days to do it!