Is minder dalk meer?

Arundhathi Subramaniam

Arundhathi Subramaniam

Daniel Hugo se essay, “Die min maar suiwer note van die digter“, wat onlangs op die webblad geplaas is,  het my laat dink aan iets wat ek enkele dae gelede op die Indiese webruimte van Poetry International se webblad raakgelees het. Arundhathi Subramaniam, redakteur van die blad, het naamlik ’n aantal digters gevra oor hul beskouing jeens die inversie van woorde, naamlik stilte.

Sy het haar uitgangspunt soos volg gemotiveer aan hand van ‘n gedig deur Jerry Pinto: “Words are of course used by all of us, with increasing abundance it seems in an age of digital communication, and therein lies the challenge for poets – out of what the narrator of Jerry Pinto’s poem ‘The Trade’ describes as a thick sludgy militant flood pouring out of every profligate mouth, poets have to create art; something that will ‘echo’. The poet’s duty is to treat words as precious objects to be used with careful consideration, borne out of a recognition of and respect for silence.”

Dit wil my voorkom asof ons hier inderdaad te make het met die ou waarheid van “Minder is meer”, of hoe? Verdoof die oordaad aan kontekstualisering wat so geredelik ter wille van “toeganklike poësie” in eietydse poësie voorkom , nie dalk júís die stilte wat so ‘n integrale deel van “poëtiese impak” is nie? Want, eintlik is dít die ironie van die digkuns, soos Jerry Pinto dit in die vers waarna Subramaniam verwys, stel:

All words disrupt silence
But the only ones that echo
Are born in the silence they destroy.

(Uit: The trade deur Jerry Pinto)

Hieronder volg ’n ietwat uitgesponne vers deur Bharat Majhi. Die vertaling is gedoen deur Rabindra K. Swain. Ironies genoeg ondersteun dié vers nie noodwendig die punt wat Subramaniam hierbo probeer maak het nie, maar die slotreëls het darem ‘n mate van ‘n eggo.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

Some Words

Some words pissed on the head of history.
Some words took a pause
and looked forward to another day.
Some words took a bath in the river of quest
and wiping themselves dry
stood on the bank,
like neat and tidy love poetry.
They are now about to weep
in the poems.

Some words used to come
in dreams.
They are not to be seen
now that the dream has gone to sleep.
There was a time
when words leaned against
my shoulder.
They are not to be seen either.
They shoo away my hands
stretched towards them.

Some words sat closely on a bench
in a corner of the platform,
lost in conversation.
We can now understand their language.
If we now use them in our poems
there will be a sharp plunge
in the Sensex of the poetry market.

Some words are in the zoo,
some in boiling water.
some words are under the shade of teak trees,
some under the shade of a fig tree
waiting to see it flower.

Some words are by the pond
ready with a net
to catch the moon.
Some words are lost
in the vortices of the rains this year.

Some words will distribute
rice at two rupees per kilogramme,
as our Chief Minister has announced.
Some words are locked
In postures of coitus.
But many words keep mum
when it comes to feeding the hungry
or lifting the unfortunate to their feet,
making headlines in the national dailies.

I did not, in fact, need
these words.
They are, for me, too expensive.

© Bharat Majhi’s

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