Philip de Vos. Moaner Lisa

As daar een woord is wat my irriteer is dit die Engelse woord SMILE. En hier praat ek uit ’n fotograaf se oogpunt. Wie op aarde dink hy gaan beter lyk net omdat hy tande wys? In Prehistoriese tye was dit in elk geval ’n teken van aggressie. En nie dat ons veel verder as destyds gevorder het as ek ons daaglikse koerante lees nie.
Om te glimlag is g’n kuns nie.

Ek ken ’n sangeres – dis altyd tande-wys, maar kyk bietjie na daai oë – dit staan stokstyf van die gebrek aan emosie. En daar is juis ook oor Nancy Reagan gesê: Her smile is a study in frozen insincerity.

Nee, ek hou van foto’s van mense wat smeul. Waar op aarde kry mens ’n foto van ’n glimlaggende James Dean of Marlon Brando of Greta Garbo?

Smile jy, verdwyn alle karakter. Kyk maar net ’n bietjie na die sosiale kolomme in die plaaslike koerant. Hulle lyk almal so dolgelukkig. Meanwhile, back at the ranch …

En wat van foto’s van ons vroeë Afrikaanse digters?

 

 

 

Eugène Marais lyk soos Max Collie wat jou wil hipnotiseer met daardie slang-oë van hom terwyl Jan F. E. Celliers daarenteen lyk soos iemand wat ek graag as oupa sou wou hê.

Dan is daar natuurlik dié wat wegkyk van die kamera asof hulle diep, diep woorde uitdink: A.G. Visser en Boerneef.

 

 

En D.J. Opperman. Met watter foto sou hy wou hê, moet ons hom onthou?

 

 

En die jonge Loftus Marais? Moet hy smile of smeul?

 

 

Of is ’n upside-down smile soos dié van Joan Hambidge miskien ’n beter opsie?

 

 

Toe ek vandag weer in my bokse rondkrap, ontdek ek ’n Engelse versie wat ek alreeds in 1985 geskryf het, pas ’n jaar nadat my eerste Afrikaanse versies gepubliseer is. En dit was juis deur Roald Dahl se Revolting Rhymes dat hierdie tipe versie geïnspireer is. En ek plaas die versie oor ’n vroumens wat agtergekom het om te smile is beter vir haar image, presies soos dit destyds geskryf is, warts and all:

 

MOANER LISA

Four centuries or so ago

there lived a maid in Florence.

Her conduct filled the Florentines

with loathing and abhorrence.

Her manners were atrocious.

Her manners were quite vile.

She moaned and scowled

the livelong day

and NEVER gave a smile.

She had a double-decker name:

they called her Moaner-Lisa.

To tell the truth – this was a name

that didn’t really please her.

All that anybody saw,

was just her stern exterior.

And no-one in that city knew

that Moaner felt inferior.

Moaner-Lisa had a dream –

she wished that she had fame.

Then everybody in this world

would talk about her name.

(It really is a pity

how parents sometimes name us.

And with a name like Moaner –

could any girl get famous?)

She was a simple-minded girl

who didn’t want prosperity.

The only thing that mattered

was her wish for some posterity

Then she had a bright idea:

I’ll have my picture painted

by Signor L. da Vinci.

With fame I’ll get acquainted!”

(She didn’t look quite half as good

as Marilyn or Bardot

Yet off she marched with angry scowl

to Artist Leonardo.)

He started in the morning,

and painted her all night

but still poor Moaner Lisa

looked an awful, sorry sight.

The reason was most surely

that nasty horrid scowl

that made her look exactly

like a mean old hooty-owl.

“Miss Moaner,” said Da Vinci then,

“Methinks that you should smile.

Otherwise some gentle folk

would surely run a mile!”

“Heigh ho! Hey nonny no!”

said Moaner with a frown.

“I do not want a grinning face

like joker, fool or clown!”

“Prithee, dearest maiden fair,

Pretty, pretty please!

Stretch those lovely lips of yours,

and then you can say: Cheese!”

“No!” screamed Moaner. “I refuse!

I think that I should go

and find another artist then

called Michael Angelo.

He is such a gentleman.

He’ll paint me on a ceiling

And that’s not all –

He’ll paint my scowl

with reverence and feelingl”

Poor Signor L. da Vinci

felt a little bit upset.

He had a funny feeling

that he’d make her famous yet.

Then he thought he’d tickle her

until she screamed and laughed.

But, with a frown, Miss Moaner said:

“Da Vinci! Are you daft?”

So he stood upon his head

and swung from ev’ry rafter.

Hoping that she would collapse

with giggles and with laughter.

He wore a funny face and hat.

He wore an eiderdown.

But all that he could notice,

was old Moaner-Lisa’s frown.

He told her funny stories.

He told her ev’ry joke.

But not one teeny-weeny smile

did any joke evoke.

Then poor old Leonardo thought:

And now for something worse.

So he recited on the spot

four simple lines of verse:

 

“Queen Daisy had a daughter.

Queen Daisy had two sons.

Queen Daisy had some apricots.

And then she had t he runs.”

 

He somehow thought

that Nonsense Verse

was really not her style

But then a great big miracle!

Miss Moaner gave a SMILE.

That smile made her so famous.

and took her to the Louvre,

because of good Queen Daisy

whose bowels once did move.

geskryf: 10 – 11 December 1985

 

En nou moet onse digters maar self besluit, want soos Shakespeare amper gesê het:

To smile or not to smile.

That is the question.

 

 

 

 

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10 Kommentare op “Philip de Vos. Moaner Lisa”

  1. be :

    Smile is stoopid

  2. me :

    Smile is slim en mooi assie oge saamspeel.

  3. 😉

  4. marita :

    Ek het jou blog sommer baie geniet en stem aboluut saam met jou oor die oordrewe ge”smilery”. In Duitsland is mense in elk geval sommer suspicious as jy sonder rede vir hulle smile. Dis net ons en die Amerikaners wat so grin. Gewoonlik is dit nie eers opreg nie. Liefde vir jou!

  5. Johnnie Autard :

    Such wise words!!! I never thought about it before!!!

  6. Acama Fick :

    Ek het nou lekker gelag! Dankie Philip.

  7. Jabez Steenkamp :

    Philip – jy blog te min. Skryf nog sulke hoogs genotlike goeters. Het dit baie geniet! Groete uit Vancouver.

  8. Corina van der Spoel :

    Joan Hambidge het ‘n onderhoud gedoen met Philip oor sy blog-boek, Kop op ‘n blok. Dit word eerskomende Woensdag 9 Mei op Skrywers & Boeke 8-9nm – RSG – 100-104FM, uitgesaai.
    As ‘n heerlike bonus, lees Philip een van die essays voor! Die een oor sy ontmoeting(s) met Karel Schoeman. Moet dit nie mis nie.

  9. Johann Lodewyk Marais :

    Ek dink Dirk der Duisende sou gehou het van sy meerdere gesigte.

  10. Dorothea van Zyl :

    Wat my steeds van jou beïndruk, Philip, is die manier waarop jy met ‘n totaal ander perspektief op sake die mens se belaglikhede kostelik kan uitlig. Doe ze voort!