Letter: Word pictures

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The Independent Online
JOHN GOLDING'S article, 'Picasso's Poet' (Review, 6 February) was full of stimulating ideas and famous names. It also displayed a superiority that finally made me angry. It was as if the author believed that he alone had discovered that Picasso was also a poet. Apart from his surrealist-writer friends, there were some of us in the 1960s and earlier who were aware of this. City Lights (San Francisco) published an edition of 'Hunk of Skin' in 1968. This poem, translated by Paul Blackburn, was, as Camilo Jose Cela wrote at the time, 'the first Picasso poem written in Spanish to be published'. Another courageous publisher, John Calder, published two plays, Desire Caught by the Tail and The Four Little Girls (circa 1970).

The prices of the books mentioned in the article were Picasso: Collected Writings, pounds 90; Visions of the Modern, pounds 28; Picasso's Gongora, pounds 35. From 1969-83 McBride Brothers & Broadley sold 'Hunk of Skin' for 60p. My copy of Calder's The Four Little Girls cost 95p. If I was lucky total yearly sales of 'Hunk of Skin' might have brought in pounds 90.

Dick McBride

West Malvern, Worcestershire