Verering vir Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin

Vyf-en-twintig jaar na sy dood in 1985 gaan Philip Larkin vereer word deur die stad waar hy (teësinnig) vir die laaste drie dekades van sy lewe werksaam was as bibliotekaris. Die herdenkingsfees wat deur Hull in Oos-Yorkshire beoog word, sal van Augustus tot Desember duur en ‘n hoogtepunt bereik met die onthulling van ‘n standbeeld van die digter by Paragon-stasie; ‘n beeld soortgelyk aan dié van sy vriend, Sir John Betjeman by London se King’s Cross. 

Dat hierdie verering sonder kontroversie gaan wees, is egter te betwyfel. Veral vanweë die onthullings na Larkin se dood met die publikasie van sy briewe en biografie deur Andrew Motion waarin die digter uitgebeeld word as die hater van bykans alle dinge: “misanthrophist”, “racist” en “misogynist” is die etikette wat met eentonige reëlmaat om sy nek gehang is.

Tom Paulin, gewaardeerde akademikus en selwers digter, het Larkin se briewe byvoorbeeld beskryf as “a distressing and in many ways revolting compilation which imperfectly reveals and conceals the sewer under the national monument Larkin became”.

Aangesien Larkin ‘n uiters geslote en nie-sosiale persoon was, en beslis nié een van Hull se entoesiastiese inwoners nie (Larkin het onder andere na Hull verwys as die “end of the line sense of freedom”), ontglip juis dié ironie ook nie die organiseerders nie. “I suspect he would be relatively unimpressed by the idea and that is a question we have been asking ourselves,” het Graham Chesters, voorsitter van die Philip Larkin Society gesê. “He didn’t have much time for anywhere and in his correspondence he does wonder why he is in Hull. But in many ways it was ideal for a poet.”

Hierteenoor het Jean Hartley, sy uitgewer by The Marvell Press en jarelange vriendin, weer die volgende te sê gehad: “He was the funniest man that I have ever known. He was hugely entertaining. He used to cycle up to our house most Saturday afternoons having done a great big shop with this great haversack on his back and we would spend the afternoon in uproarious laughter before he would cycle home. He liked the place because it was a bustling town but also very remote with all this lovely countryside around. He had some very meaningful relationships and a very big circle of friends.”

Mmm, wys jou net: teen die uitgestelde verering staan selfs die gestorwenes magteloos. Nietemin, die volledige berig kan op The Independent se webblad gelees word. Vir jou leesplesier plaas ek Philip Larkin se beroemde gedig “Here“, wat júís oor Hull handel, onder aan vanoggend se Nuuswekker.

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Na die kraglopie van nuwe plasings aan die begin van die week was dit gister maar bra stil op die webblad. Nuwe toevoegings is Ilse van Staden se inskrywing oor hoe ‘n nuwe vers van haar tot stand gekom het en Johann de Lange wat twee van sy vertalings geplaas het: Sylvia Plath se “Dame Lasarus” en Allen Ginsberg se gedig “Sfinkter“.

Lekker lees, en onthou – skryf ‘n brief aan die Brieweboks oor jou gunsteling liefdesvers of – bundel!

Mooi bly.

LE

 

Here

Swerving east, from rich industrial shadows
And traffic all night north; swerving through fields
Too thin and thistled to be called meadows,
And now and then a harsh-named halt, that shields
Workmen at dawn; swerving to solitude
Of skies and scarecrows, haystacks, hares and pheasants,
And the widening river’s slow presence,
The piled gold clouds, the shining gull-marked mud,

Gathers to the surprise of a large town:
Here domes and statues, spires and cranes cluster
Beside grain-scattered streets, barge-crowded water,
And residents from raw estates, brought down
The dead straight miles by stealing flat-faced trolleys,
Push through plate-glass swing doors to their desires –
Cheap suits, red kitchen-ware, sharp shoes, iced lollies,
Electric mixers, toasters, washers, driers –

A cut-price crowd, urban yet simple, dwelling
Where only salesmen and relations come
Within a terminate and fishy-smelling
Pastoral of ships up streets, the slave museum,
Tattoo-shops, consulates, grim head-scarfed wives;
And out beyond its mortgaged half-built edges
Fast-shadowed wheat-fields, running high as hedges,
Isolate villages, where removed lives

Loneliness clarifies. Here silence stands
Like heat. Here leaves unnoticed thicken,
Hidden weeds flower, neglected waters quicken,
Luminously-peopled air ascends;
And past the poppies bluish neutral distance
Ends the land suddenly beyond a beach
Of shapes and shingle. Here is unfenced existence:
Facing the sun, untalkative, out of reach.

© Philip Larkin

 

 

 

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Een Kommentaar op “Verering vir Philip Larkin”

  1. Andries Bezuidenhout :

    Laat jy my nou aan daardie perverse skildery “Julie from Hull” dink, die een wat in die Saatchi-galery hang.
    A