By Tim Fanning

PALMA
BOTH Majorca's established and its up and coming poets have paid tribute to renowned British poet and Majorca resident Robert Graves during an evening of readings, anecdotes and music.

The setting was the Literanta bookshop close to the Plaza Eulalia in the heart of Palma's old town. Among those present at the celebration of Graves's work was the British poet and author's son, Tomas. The event has been taking place for quite a few years now.

It was first organised in Deya, the home of the Graves family, but for the last couple of years has been held in Palma.
Most of the readings during the night were from Robert Graves's work in both the original English and translated versions.
Graves considered himself first and foremost a poet despite achieving literary fame and success with his autobiographical work, Goodbye To All That, and his historical novels.

According to Tomas Graves, the evening was “very dynamic” with extracts from Goodbye To All That and The White Goddess among the readings.
Many of the Majorcan poets who took part meet on the last Thursday of every month to read their work.

DRIVING FORCE

The driving force behind the annual tribute to the late British writer is Antonio Rigo, who is also instrumental in organising the Ultimo Jueves (Last Thursday) evening in the bar, Es Pinzell, on the Calle de las Capuchinas in Palma.

An extract from a fable about Majorca and its poets, written by one of Robert Graves's friends, the celebrated Galician writer, Camillo Jose Cela, was another one of the readings.

Tomas Graves said that one of the most entertaining moments of the evening was one of the poets, who is a former junior Olympic javelin champion, decided to show those gathered how the sport is practised, in recognition of the fact that Robert Graves won a gold Olympic medal in the cultural competition that ran alongside the 1968 Games held in Mexico.

PROVOCATIVE

Despite the fact that Tomas is both a writer and musician, he took part in the evening largely as a spectator, though he was persuaded to pick up his guitar to accompany Deya residents Leroy Cardwell and Omitsu as they read from their provocative new collection of poetry, Zorra Mallorca.

This collection of poetry casts an eye over the islands' politics and the impact that some of the political decisions of the last number of decades have had on Majorca's environment and geography.

Robert Graves was instrumental in conserving and protecting much of the northern coast of the island from different developments.

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