Wallace Stevens oor komplekse poësie

Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens

In sy laaste blog-inskrywing aktiveer Johann Lodewyk Marais weer een van die vroegste gesprekke wat op hierdie webblad gevoer is, naamlik die tweespalt tussen toeganklike poësie en “moeilike” poësie. Is ons Afrikaanse digkuns té moeilik vir haar lesers, vra hy. Ook Bernard Odendaal het in ‘n vroeëre blog hieroor geskryf in reaksie op Jaybee Roux se gewraakte opmerkings in Die Volksblad. Daarom dat ek my oë op ‘n spits getrek het toe ek op Edward Byrne se weblog One Poet’s Notes sy inskrywing oor Wallace Stevens se korrespondensie te lese kry. Inderdaad is Wallace Stevens seker een van die mees begaafde digters wat ooit sy hand aan die woordploeg geslaan het, en saam met TS Eliot en ander tydgenootlike digters, iemand wat telkens weens sy “komplekse poësie” gekritiseer is.

Daarom wil ek vanoggend graag die volgende twee aanhalings uit Wallace Stevens se korrespondensie met jou deel:

Oor verbeelding: “When a poet makes his imagination the imagination of other people, he does so by making them see the world through his eyes. Most modern activity is the undoing of that very job. The world has been painted; most modern activity is getting rid of the paint to get at the world itself. Powerful integrations of the imagination are difficult to get away from.”

Oor kompleksiteit in die poësie: “Sometimes, when I am writing a thing, it is complete in my own mind; I write it in my own way and don’t care what happens. I don’t mean to say that I am deliberately obscure, but I do mean to say that, when the thing has been put down and is complete to my own way of thinking, I let it go. After all, if the thing is really there, the reader gets it. He may not get it at once, but, if he is sufficiently interested, he invariably gets it. A man who wrote with the idea of being deliberately obscure would be an imposter. But that is not the same thing as a man who allows a difficult thing to remain difficult because, if he explained it, it would, to his way of thinking, destroy it.”

***

Nuwe plasings op die webblad vanoggend is ‘n artikel deur Deon Knobel oor sy broer, Wilhelm Knobel, se politieke gedigte; asook twee nuwe verse deur Hennie Aucamp. Nog iets waarvan beslis kennis geneem moet word, is die verskyning van Piemp, ‘n selfpublikasie deur jong skrywers van Scottsville. In die Brieweboks is daar ‘n brief wat van Thérèse Hulme, samesteller van dié bloemlesing, ontvang is. Nog ‘n inligtingstuk is by Publikasies geplaas. Dan het Jelleke Wierenga ‘n brief op LitNet geplaas na aanleiding van die gesprek wat gevolg het op Bernard Odendaal se resensie van haar bundel, Bloot mens, en toe op LitNet voortgesit is. In dié brief maak sy ‘n aantal opmerkings rakende resensies en die ervaring daarvan deur die betrokke digter. Gaan lees dit gerus op SêNet. En moenie vergeet nie – vanaand om 22:00 is dit weer tyd vir Vers & Klank op RSG. Carina Stander gaan verse uit haar nuutste digbundel, woud van nege en negentig vlerke voorlees.

Ter afsluiting, ‘n toepaslike aanhaling; iets wat Carl Sandburg gesê het: “Poetry is a spot about half-way between where you listen and where you wonder what it was you heard.”

Met as toegif – natúúrlik, ‘n gedig deur Wallace Stevens …

Mooi bly.

LE

Of Modern Poetry

The poem of the mind in the act of finding
What will suffice. It has not always had
To find: the scene was set; it repeated what
Was in the script.
Then the theatre was changed
To something else. Its past was a souvenir.

It has to be living, to learn the speech of the place.
It has to face the men of the time and to meet
The women of the time. It has to think about war
And it has to find what will suffice. It has
To construct a new stage. It has to be on that stage,
And, like an insatiable actor, slowly and
With meditation, speak words that in the ear,
In the delicatest ear of the mind, repeat,
Exactly, that which it wants to hear, at the sound
Of which, an invisible audience listens,
Not to the play, but to itself, expressed
In an emotion as of two people, as of two
Emotions becoming one. The actor is
A metaphysician in the dark, twanging
An instrument, twanging a wiry string that gives
Sounds passing through sudden rightnesses, wholly
Containing the mind, below which it cannot descend,
Beyond which it has no will to rise.
It must
Be the finding of a satisfaction, and may
Be of a man skating, a woman dancing, a woman
Combing. The poem of the act of the mind.

(c) Wallace Stevens

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