187: Paraguas

The Spanish word for ‘umbrella’ is paraguas. I didn’t think about it before but today I learned that it is actually a compound — ‘para aguas’, i.e., for waters. Of all the places to learn this it was at Mass this morning and the priest was using it to make a point. Something about context, if I recall. In Thailand, men do not carry umbrellas, apparently. In another place whose name I forget, umbrellas are only for the rain.

Then again, I realized the meaning of the other type of umbrella, the parasol. ‘Para sol’, that is, for the sun!



For tonight, not one but two poems by Tita Lacambra Ayala. Like most other poems I am reading, these come from Dr. Gemino Abad’s A Native Clearing. These poems leapt out to me for their playfulness which nevertheless masks some serious themes.

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Dom Cimafranca

Teacher, writer, project manager, and all-around nice guy.