The Glorietta de Béquer en Sevilla

In the large park, Parque de Maria Luisa, in Sevilla, next to the Plaza de España, is the Glorietta de Bequer. Google Maps marks it as the “estatua de Béquer,” as there is a statue of the poet there. But the most interesting to me are the statues of three women, who represent three aspects or stages of love. It is not universally understood which aspects of love, however, with many different interpretations existing.

My first exposure to this monument was on my first trip to the fair of Sevilla, just three months after arriving in Spain. As I shared earlier in my section on fiestas, I had come to the fair with Elena, her husband, and a couple more. Well, one afternoon taking in the sights in the center of the city, away from the fair, we decided to take a horse carriage ride through town. This included the Parque de Maria Luisa. And when we passed the monument to Béquer, the driver of the carriage informed us that the three women represent simply past, present, and future love.

Another description applies full love, dreamed love, and lost love to the three figures. The “full” in Spanish is the term used to say “in the middle of the street” and “in broad daylight,” so I would say that the first is love that is out in the open, in plain view. Now dreamed love could be fantasies, which are perhaps more dangerous than the more general dreamed love. Now lost love conjures up an image for me of something that I erroneously let fall by the wayside, that I have misplaced, not that I put it in the trash, but that it’s not at hand, and I’d like to find it again.

Still another version has the three figures represent a love of illusion (thrilled, excited, with unfounded hopes, possibly deluded), then possessed love, and lost love. In this set of possibilities, it seems that the first would be most closely associated with fantasies and dreams. Now when we talk of lost love, I have to think of “forgotten love.” This brings to mind his Rima 38, which I shared above, about tears going to the sea.

An assignment I might suggest is that the three women represent profane or worldly love, committed love, and divine love. Another suggestion of mine would be that the loves the three represent are that the first is the hope of finding and sharing love, the second is the joyful reality of a true shared love, and the third is the pessimism and dissatisfaction of a lost love. But like his poetry, the monument to him will have different meanings to different people.

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© 2016 Mark Gredler.
A Taste of Sensuous Spain
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