Let’s All Be Romantics

I’ve oft times been accused of being a romantic (yes: I wrote ‘oft’ because I like it). And not just by one person usually making fun of my propensity to wear pink and frills (oh wait, I don’t really do that). The first time I had anything read or remotely published was in a little magazine in Mexico called Pluma de Ganzo. I say remotely because even though they did publish my poem, it was anonymous (part of a special edition called: ‘Night of the Anonymous Poets’).

If your poem got chosen, it was read aloud and the public could comment freely. After the readings you could choose to either remain anonymous or say: “Yes it was I, yeah me”. I received good feedback until one person stood up and said: “Well it’s a pretty poem but slightly decimononic.” (Ok, it was in Spanish so it was ‘decimonónico’.)

Huh? I was 15 at the time and thought it was some sort of negative criticism. Curious, I gave up my anonymity, stood up and asked this person what they meant.

She stared at me and said: “No wonder, you are so young”.

Had she just insulted me again? I was not having it, “Ok, but what do you mean by decimononic?” I asked again.

“Um,” she said, “a bit repetitive, that’s all.”

I don’t think she knew what the word meant and had said it just to sound intellectual or something. I let it go and took decimononic to mean repetitive or corny. But hey, cool, my first publication and reading, my head full of ego I forgot all about it.

Once in a while I’d ask someone if they knew what the word meant but no one did. Eventually I chanced on the meaning when I was studying my minor in Latin American Literature. I came across the ‘decimonónicos’, a group of Spanish writers who wrote in Barcelona in the XIXth century. Do you see it? Decimo from ten and nonico from nine, i.e. nineteenth century. Yay, I’d found the meaning! Apparently, it was the Spanish literature romantic movement.

So while my writing has been accused of being romantic – not in the Twilight boy meets girl way – but in the belief in beauty, the sublime, the innate ability to write and in artistic truth as another sense, like hearing. It’s a good accusation. I might be idealistic, archaic and slightly corny, but that’s the way I like it.

Call me decimononic but in words there is beauty.

Sofia

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12 Comments to “Let’s All Be Romantics”

  1. Bravo for standing up and asking what she meant. Shame on her for using a word she clearly didn’t grasp the meaning of to puff up herself and deride someone else. And I completely agree about the beauty in words.

  2. What a wonderful post, Sofia. I think it was really inappropriate for that woman to make that comment in such a derogatory way. Perhaps she needed to feel superior to so accomplished a young lady, and she did it by trying to bring you down a notch. I hope you never let anyone bring you down. There is nothing wrong with being a romantic. If it were a crime, I’d be guilty too.

  3. What a lovely compliment that listener gave you! I am a fan of the Romantics and think you keep excellent company!

  4. Enjoy your superpower! Spread the love–we need more of it! :-]

  5. I believe that criticism can help people grow and shape their talent, but it depends on the way the criticism is done, who does it and where it comes from!!
    It’s great to be branded Romantic if you ask me. ;)

  6. Great post; insightful, personal and funny.

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