In Good company

Avenida Poeta Rilke in Ronda, November 2019, canon, Sylvie GE

A long time ago, I read the Duino Elegies, written by  Rainer Maria Rilke, considered by some as the most important German-speaking poet of the 20th century. I was surprised to find an avenue bearing his name in Ronda and looking for the reason for such a thing  on the Internet, I learned that it is in Ronda that Rilke healed the severe writer’s block he had been  suffering after writing the first two elegies. He was going through an existential and spiritual crisis and was making a tormented pilgrimage to Spain in search of the inspiration that would allow him to finish his elegies. It was at the Reina  Victoria hotel, where he could admire the Tajo at his heart’s content  that inspiration came back to him. I feel here a little more at home! I understand that the sight of this magnificent natural landscape which bears harmoniously the traces of humanity could unblock his imagination. The only thing that intrigues me is how a « poor » poet (all  poets are poor, aren’t they?) could afford a stay in a luxury hotel (built for the riches from Gibraltar). As for us, we had to settle for a modest Airbnb, which did not prevent us from loving the place. The mixture of cultures, the natural grandeur of the landscape, has made it a place where a particular atmosphere reigns, which unfortunately,  today, makes a favourite of  influencers.


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