Precious, My Precious

Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud

One of two precious finds.

Yesterday I stopped by Franschhoek on my way back from Villiersdorp after dropping off the kids at their school camp. Found a small bookshop that was aptly named – Treasure House Books. It was in one of the few old buildings that have not been surrendered to the whims of so-called “developers” who relish introducing cold as aluminium structures. Stop me from ranting.

Back home – in Marikina – in October 2009, a week after the flood, I saw practically all my books had been thrown among the rotting belongings in front of my mother’s house.  I remember having a copy of Rimbaud’s Drunken Boat from New Directions. Well that boat didn’t survive the floods of Ondoy obviously. I also had a copy of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago – unread – I was still preparing to meet up with the tragic Doctor one day.

Well in Franschhoek I chanced upon a copy of Rimbaud’s Illuminations, a 1957 third printing edition, still in remarkable state. A shelf down to it was Pasternak’s novel, a hard copy of the sixth impression, 1958 edition. And since no one was around to treat me, I treated myself to an early birthday gift. I feel like Gollum. It’s our birthday my precious!

-o-

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About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his latest poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. View all posts by matangmanok

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