Posts Tagged ‘Ko Un’

Louis Esterhuizen. Twee digters onder gunstelinge vir Nobelprys vir Letterkunde

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

 

Oor ‘n maand is dit weer tyd vir die aanwys van vanjaar se Nobelpryswenner vir Letterkunde en die jaarlikse raai-raai-riepa-speletjie het reeds begin. So het die beroepswedders verlede week hul loting ten opsigte van gunstelingkandidate bekend gemaak en oudergewoonte wemel die lys met die usual suspects.

Volgens Ladbrokes, wat as die vernaamste van dié speelmaats beskou word, is die Japannese skrywer Haruki Murakami, met ‘n loting van 3 teen 1, die gunsteling om vanjaar vereer te word.  Murakami is al verskeie kere onder die lys uitverkorenes benoem, maar met sy magistrale roman 1Q84 op die tafel, mag dit dalk tog vanjaar sy beurt wees … Ook die keurpaneel vir die Neustad-prys is dié mening toegedaan aangesien Murakami ook prominent figureer op húl lys begunstigdes. (Die Neustadt word as ‘n belangrike voorloper van Nobel-gunstelinge beskou.)

 

Ko Un

Naas Murakami is daar die Amerikaanse gunsteling, Joyce Carol Oates (6 – 1), die Hongaar Peter Nàdas (7 – 1) en die Kanadees kortverhaalskrywer Alice Munro (12 – 1). Die digtersgemeenskap word deur die twee gereelde voorlopers, die Koreaan Ko Un (10 – 1) en die indrukwekkende Siriese digter Adonis (14 – 1) verteenwoordig. En ai, kan dit nie maar vanjaar Adonis se beurt wees nie?

Maar nou ja, op sy beste kan hierdie maar net ‘n prettige speletjie wees, soos The Guardian se beriggewer heel tereg opmerk: “Piecing together the odds is a question of informed guesswork, since the nominations and cogitations of the members of the Nobel Committee for Literature are kept under wraps by the Swedish Academy, which only reveals the conversations of the judicial huddle 50 years after the decision is made.”

 

Adonis

Volgens Alfred Nobel se wens word die Nobelprys vir Letterkunde jaarliks toegeken aan “the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”. Vanjaar se totale prysgeld beloop die magtige bedrag van £780,000.

Vir jou leesplesier volg ‘n langerige gedig deur my persoonlike gunstelingkandidaat.

*

 

 

Celebrating Childhood

 

Even the wind wants

to become a cart

pulled by butterflies.

 

I remember madness

leaning for the first time

on the mind’s pillow.

I was talking to my body then

and my body was an idea

I wrote in red.

 

Red is the sun’s most beautiful throne

and all the other colors

worship on red rugs.

 

Night is another candle.

In every branch, an arm,

a message carried in space

echoed by the body of the wind.

 

The sun insists on dressing itself in fog

when it meets me:

Am I being scolded by the light?

 

Oh, my past days—

they used to walk in their sleep

and I used to lean on them.

 

Love and dreams are two parentheses.

Between them I place my body

and discover the world.

 

Many times

I saw the air fly with two grass feet

and the road dance with feet made of air.

 

My wishes are flowers

staining my days.

 

I was wounded early,

and early I learned

that wounds made me.

 

I still follow the child

who still walks inside me.

 

Now he stands at a staircase made of light

searching for a corner to rest in

and to read the face of night again.

 

If the moon were a house,

my feet would refuse to touch its doorstep.

 

They are taken by dust

carrying me to the air of seasons.

 

I walk,

one hand in the air,

the other caressing tresses

that I imagine.

 

A star is also

a pebble in the field of space.

 

He alone

who is joined to the horizon

can build new roads.

 

A moon, an old man,

his seat is night

and light is his walking stick.

 

What shall I say to the body I abandoned

in the rubble of the house

in which I was born?

No one can narrate my childhood

except those stars that flicker above it

and that leave footprints

on the evening’s path.

 

My childhood is still

being born in the palms of a light

whose name I do not know

and who names me.

 

Out of that river he made a mirror

and asked it about his sorrow.

He made rain out of his grief

and imitated the clouds.

 

Your childhood is a village.

You will never cross its boundaries

no matter how far you go.

 

His days are lakes,

his memories floating bodies.

 

You who are descending

from the mountains of the past,

how can you climb them again,

and why?

 

Time is a door

I cannot open.

My magic is worn,

my chants asleep.

 

I was born in a village,

small and secretive like a womb.

I never left it.

I love the ocean not the shores.

 

© Adonis (Uit: Selected Poems, vertaal deur Khaled Mattawa. 2010: Yale University Press.)

 

 

Andries Bezuidenhout. Die digter – vertaling van ʼn gedig deur Ko Un

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Nog altyd was hy ʼn digter.
Kinders
het na hom as ʼn digter verwys
en vroue ook.
Hy was beslis ʼn digter,
meer as enigiemand anders wat ek ken.
As hulle hom teëkom
het selfs otte en bosvarke digter gegrom.

Hy’s dood toe hy terugkeer van ʼn epiese reis.
Geen digterlike woord in sy kamer nie.
Was hy dan ʼn digter wat nie skryf nie?
Toe skryf ʼn digter maar namens hom ʼn vers
en toe dit voltooi is,
swiep die wind dit weg.

Al die gedigte van die Ooste en die Weste waai weg, oud en nuut,
fladder, fladder weg,
die laaste een daarmee heen.

Na Clare You en Richard Silberg se vertaling “The Poet” uit: Ko Un, The Three Way Tavern: Selected Poems (2006, University of California Press), p. 53.

Andries Bezuidenhout. Lied van onskuld – vertaling van ʼn gedig deur Ko Un

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Moet nooit in hawens na die liefde vir onskuld soek nie.
Ag, ook nie in neonbeligte strate nie,
of in dronkmanstegies nie,
jou dwaas, jou dwaas,
om te soek na die liefde vir onskuld.

In tye van traangas en gifgas,
tye van fosforbomvlamme,
moenie na die liefde vir onskuld soek
in helder daglig
of teen sonsopkoms in verlate strate
               vol pamflette nie.

Die kil winde wat deur fabriekspersele snerp,
dít was ons verlossing.
Die koue winde wat rook en roetmis wegwaai
was ons verlossing.

By ʼn straatsjebien
sluk ek twee bottels hardehout af,
besope onderonsies was my verlossing.
Jy waarsku teen die soeke na die liefde vir onskuld?

Liefde vir onskuld? Voer dít vir die honde.

Tog, voor en na ons mooi gedagtes
is ʼn suiwerder tyd.
Alhoewel moeg en lendelam
het ons krag gehad om op te staan.
Vandag is ook só ʼn dag.
Na vandag is daar môre,
dis net dat môre anders sal lyk.

Dis dáár waar die liefde vir onskuld is. Wat ʼn vreugde!

Is dít dan nie
ons wese nie?
Toe jy op ons geskree het
om nie te soek na die liefde vir onskuld
in hawens
of op straat nie,
die liefde vir onskuld was steeds daar.
Is dit dan nie maar
ons aard nie?

Na Clare You en Richard Silberg se vertaling “Song of Innocence” uit: Ko Un, The Three Way Tavern: Selected Poems (2006, University of California Press), pp. 16-17.

Dansende Digtersfees. Duskant die greep van tyd

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

 

Net soos dit die geval is met Tomaž Šalamun, is dit haas onmoontlik om tussen die rykdom van die Suid-Koreaanse digter Ko Un se beskikbare werke in Engelse vertaling te kies; ook vanweë sy statuur en reputasie as geoormerkte Nobel-pryswenner. En natuurlik pragtig deur die onderskeie uitgewers geproduseer.

Twee publikasies is egter The Three Way Tavern – Selected Poems (wat in 2006 by California University Press verskyn het) en dan veral This Side of Time wat verlede jaar deur White Pine Press uitgegee is. Eersgenoemde is ‘n meer omvattende bloemlesing, met Gary Snyder se oorsigartikel as ‘n besonderse pluspunt. Daarenteen versamel This Side of Time in hoofsaak Ko Un se korter verse; verse propvol resonansie en onmiskenbaar met ‘n kragtige Oosterse aanslag. Vreemde, eiesoortige akwarelverse inderdaad …

 

Ko Un

Volgens die uitgewer se aankondiging op hul webtuiste, die volgende: “This Side of Time is a new volume of translations of Ko Un’ short poems drawn from several of his collections in Korean and is a companion to The Three Way Tavern: Selected Poems also translated by Clare You and Richard Silberg. Ko Un is one of the most respected poets in Korea and has been nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is a prolific author with over 100 volumes of poetry as well as many volumes of fiction and non-fiction in his native Korean. His work had been widely translated into many languages and he has a number of books in English translation including: Beyond Self, Ten Thousand Lives, Songs for Tomorrow, and Little Pilgrim. He was imprisoned several times and lived for a decade as a Zen Monk before returning the secular world.”

Aanbevelings wat ek kon opspoor, is die volgende:

“Ko Un’s poems evoke the open creativity and fluidity of nature, and funny turns and twists of Mind. Mind is sometimes registered in Buddhist terms — Buddhist practice being part of Ko Un’s background. Ko Un writes spare, short-line lyrics direct to the point, but often intricate in both wit and meaning. Ko Un has now traveled worldwide and is not only a major spokesman for all Korean culture, but a voice for Planet Earth Watershed as well.” (Gary Snyder)

“Ko Un is a crucial poet for the twenty-first century, and this is an enormously fresh and vivid translation.” (Robert Hass)

“No one has done more for what is coming gradually but ever more clearly to be recognized as Korea’s literature of the twenty-first century.” (David McCann, Direkteur van die Instituut vir Koreaanse Studies by Harvard Universiteit)

Die boekbesonderhede is soos volg:

[ISBN: 9781935210320, Sagteband, 100 ble., White Pine Press, R208.00]

As verdere leestoegif plaas ek een van Ko Un se vroeëre gedigte.

***

Untitled

One day I took a pebble from
an East Sea beach and put it in my pocket
but it jumped back out, shrieking.
 
As it hurtled off into the distance,
it failed to make the slightest sound.
 
It had no idea of the strong emotions I was longing for.
 
Out at sea are flocks of seagulls
ready to peck out and swallow facile words.

© Ko Un (Vertaal deur Brother Anthony of Taizé, Young-moo Kim en Gary Gach)

 

 

Dansende Digtersfees. Ko Un (Suid-Korea)

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

 

 

Die Dansende Digtersfees / Dancing in Other Words, is ‘n internasionale fees van digters en digkuns wat op Vrydag 10 en Saterdag 11 Mei 2013 op Spier, buite Stellenbosch, gaan plaasvind. As ‘n gesamentlike projek tussen Spier en die Pirogue Kollektief, is die Dansende Digtersfees die eerste beliggaming van ‘n vennootskap met die bedoeling om verder vorentoe soortgelyke ruimtes van skepping en verbeelding te bevorder en te fasiliteer, hetsy literêr, maatskaplik, of polities van aard. 

 

*** 

Ko Un (1933) is nie net een van die mees produktiewe digters wêreldwyd nie, maar beslis ook van die mees gerespekteerdes. Tot op datum het hy reeds meer as ‘n honderd titels gepubliseer, waaronder digbundels, fiksie, essays, vertalings en drama. Sy digkuns wissel van kort, liriese verse tot lang eposse soos die sewedelige Paektu-san.

Op die webtuiste Other Poetry Voices kan sy fassinerende lewensverhaal gelees word; ‘n verhaal wat ten slotte soos volg saamgevat word: “(Ko Un) is a man of intense emotions, his poetry is often characterized by the rhetorical features of public speech: rhetorical questions, exclamations, exhortatory imperatives. His poetic language is vivid and colloquial, marked by popular speech rhythms rather than by literary conventions. Controversy as to the evaluation of his work continues; he has many fervent admirers, while others criticize the spontaneity, the lack of polish and refinement that at times characterize his work.”

Ko Un is vir al die regte redes ‘n gereelde deelnemer aan poësiefeeste wêreldwyd en het al by bykans al die vernaamste feeste opgetree. Verdermeer is sy gedigte al in 15 tale vertaal.

Vir addsionele inligting verwys ons belangstellendes graag na die digter se eie webblad, asook dié van sy vertaler.

Bundels van Ko Un wat tydens die fees beskikbaar sal wees, is:

First Person Sorrowful (2013: Bloodaxe Books)

This Side of Time (2012: White Pine Press)

Songs for Tomorrow: A Collection of Poems 1960 – 2002 (2009: Green Integer)

What? – 108 Zen Poems (2008: Parallax Press)

The Three Way Tavern: Selected Poems (2006: University of California Press)

Ten Thousand Lives (2005: Green Integer)

Little Pilgrim (2005: Parallax Press)

Hieronder volg een van sy korter verse as lusmaker.

***

Spring rain

 

O waves, the spring rain falls 

and dies on your sleeping silence. 

The darkness in your waters soars above you waves–

and by the spring rain on your sleeping waters

by spring rain even far away 

far-off rocks are changed to spring. 

Above these waters where we two lie sleeping 

looms a rocky mass, all silence. 

But still the spring rain falls and dies.

 

© Ko Un (Uit: Songs for Tomorrow, vertaal deur Brother Anthony, aka An Sonjae)

 

 

Andries Bezuidenhout. Suid-Korea en die uitwissing van die self

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Suid-Korea is ʼn land waar die vier seisoene onbeskaamd hulself is – in besonder in die land se lieflike hoofstad Seoel. In die winter sneeu dit, die lente slaan in blomme uit, die somer is warm en herfsbome is diep skakerings van bruin en oranje. Elke seisoen duur presies drie maande. Ek het Korea besoek om veldwerk in LG se yskasfabrieke in Changwon in die suide te doen. Ek het met vele van die land se vakbondleiers en vakbondlede onderhoude gevoer – meestal deur ʼn tolk – om te probeer verstaan hoe hulle die land se tweeledige oorgang onderhandel en verstaan. Met ʼn tweeledige oorgang bedoel ek ʼn proses van politieke demokratisering wat met ekonomiese liberalisering en globalisering saamval – baie soos in Suid-Afrika, of Weimar Duitsland. Soms is sulke oorgange suksesvol, maar soms laat die skok van ekonomiese kompetisie nuwe letsels wat ou wonde oopkrap.

Suid-Korea se arbeidersbeweging toon nogal ooreenkomste met ons eie. Militante werksvloerstrukture was deel van ʼn groter stryd om menswaardigheid en demokrasie, veral in die tyd van die diktator Park Chun-hee. Die een storie wat my nog altyd aangryp, is die geval van ʼn jong man genaamd Chun Tae-il (in die foto hier bo). Ek het sy suster, Chun Soon-ok, in Cardiff ontmoet as deel van ʼn internasionale netwerk van navorsers wat na werkers in (ja, van alle plekke) yskasfabrieke gekyk het. Chun Tae-il was deel van ʼn militante klerewerkersvakbond in die 1960s. Op 13 November 1970 het hy homself in die openbaar aan die brand gesteek – uit protes teen die uitbuiting en onderdrukking van klerewerkers. Hy is laat die aand in ʼn hospitaal aan sy brandwonde dood. Hierdie simboliese daad het die land geruk en word beskou as een van die keerpunte in die stryd om demokrasie in Suid-Korea. Sook-ok het later ʼn biografie van haar broer gepubliseer – die titel is A Single Spark.

Die rede waarom ek Chun Tae-il hier opper is die impak wat hy op Ko Un, Korea se mees prominente digter, gehad het. Ko Un was ook deel van die stryd om demokrasie in Korea en is self ʼn hele paar keer tronk toe gestuur. In 1970 het hy ook probeer om selfmoord te pleeg, maar nie om politieke redes nie. Hy het die volgende oor Chun Tae-il se openbare selfmoord gesê:

“Tae-il tore me out of my tomb, my grave, and brought me back to life in this world. His self-offering was essentially a declaration that these poor sick kids were also human beings. I compared that to my own private, personal death wish. I had attempted suicide only for myself. But here was somebody who died, had offered himself, for the sake of all the others.”

Lees gerus ʼn onderhoud met Ko Un hier en meer oor Chun Tae-il hier.