Die digter as miteskepper

Diane Wakoski

Diane Wakoski

Diane Wakoski is een van die VSA se mees senior en gerespekteerde digters met ‘n loopbaan wat oor bykans 50 jaar strek.  (Haar debuut, Coins & Coffins, het in 1962 verskyn.) In die verlede is haar digkuns dikwels in verband gebring met die sogenaamde “Deep Image”-groep met hul voorkeur vir Jungiaanse sielkunde, en ook met die Belydenis- en Beat-digters. Volgens die biografiese beskrywing op die Poetry Foundation se webblad fokus Wakoski se gedigte op “… intensely personal experiences-on her unhappy childhood, on the painful relationships she has had with men and, perhaps most frequently, on the subject of being Diane Wakoski. This is not to say, however, that her work is explicitly autobiographical. She has invented and incorporated personae from mythology and archetype as a liberation from what she has called the ‘obsessive muse,’ that spurs writers to face their personal terrors and turn them into art.”

Met haar nuutste digbundel (haar 22ste), The Diamond Dog, het sy egter die hele kwessie van belydenis en selfgerigte kontekstualisering tot ‘n nuwe vlak gevoer: dié gedigte word naamlik ingelei met ‘n omvattende essay met die titel “Creating a Personal Mythology“. Oor dié ongewone stap vir ‘n digter het David Kerby die volgende te sê gehad op die webblad van Christian Science Monitor: “The image of the diamond dog that dominates these poems comes, Wakoski explains, from a dream she had after her father abandoned the family when the poet was 13. In the dream, ‘a little Scottie-shaped dog’ made from a huge diamond springs from an ash heap and follows the disappearing father, becoming a link between him and his daughter-poet. The poems in The Diamond Dog serve as chapters in the myth she makes of her own life. ‘In creating a personal mythology,’ Wakoski says, ‘poets can give themselves to their bigger stories, imbuing them with greater intimacy or poignancy, using the small details of our everyday experiences.'”

Nou ja, toe. Is dié (persoonlike) kontekstualisering buite die teks om (peri-teks, soos Yves T’Sjoen daarna verwys) en gepaardgaande mitologisering dalk die manier om daardie vervloekte vergrootglas van die “stem” in die gedig effentjies te verwasem? Of is dit maar in ieder geval wat ‘n digter gedig na gedig doen? Die skep van ‘n eie, persoonlike mite, bedoel ek nou.

Hoe ook al, ek plaas as toegif ‘n gedig uit haar bundel, “The Motorcycle Betrayal Poems” (1971) hieronder.

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Vanoggend wemel die webblad van nuwe inskrywings deur ons bloggers: by Wisselkaarten het twee nuwe bloggers hul toetredes gemaak, naamlik Chrétien Breukers van De Contrabas wat oor die kwessie van literêre kritici ‘n klip in die bos gooi en Vrouwkje Tuinman wat oor die outobiografiese element in gedigte skryf; op sy blogruimte voer Edwin Fagel die gesprek met “O” oor die werklikheid van die gedig verder, terwyl daar onder die Nuwe Stemme wonderlike bydraes is deur Heidi Pienaar en Niel van Deventer. En nog is het einde niet: twee van ons gereelde bloggers, Andries Bezuidenhout en Jo Prins, het ook elkeen ‘n nuwe bydrae geplaas.

Weereens, ‘n hele gerf leesplesier. Geniet die rondsnuffel en onthou om aan vandeesmaand se Blogfokus deel te neem … Al wat nodig is, is dat jy ons vertel van jou gunsteling Afrikaanse digbundel.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

Uneasy rider

 

Falling in love with a mustache

is like saying

you can fall in love with

the way a man polishes his shoes

                which,

                of course,

                is one of the things that turns on   

                my tuned-up engine

 

                those trim buckled boots

 

                (I feel like an advertisement   

                for men’s fashions

                when I think of your ankles)

 

Yeats was hung up with a girl’s beautiful face   

 

and I find myself

 

a bad moralist,

 

a failing aesthetician,

 

a sad poet,

 

wanting to touch your arms and feel the muscles   

that make a man’s body have so much substance,   

that makes a woman

lean and yearn in that direction

that makes her melt/ she is a rainy day   

in your presence

the pool of wax under a burning candle   

the foam from a waterfall

 

You are more beautiful than any Harley-Davidson   

She is the rain,

waits in it for you,

finds blood spotting her legs

from the long ride.

 

© Diane Wakoski (uit: “The Motorcycle Betrayal Poems”, 1971: Simon & Schuster)

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Een Kommentaar op “Die digter as miteskepper”

  1. Desmond :

    “The Motor Cycle Betrayal Poems” — dit is nou waarlik ‘n mooi titel vir ‘n bundel!! Wat die titel “The Diamond Dog” betref: my eerste assosiasie is met David Bowie se 1974 album, “Diamond Dogs”. Bowie was in die skryf van die album veral deur Orwell se “1984” beinvloed, en dit is beslis een van sy klassieke albums. Hier’s ‘n paar reels uit die titelsnit: “In the year of the scavenger / the season of the bitch /
    Sashay on the boardwalk / scurry to the ditch / Just another future song, lonely little kitsch…” ens. ens. Ja-nee, in die eerste helfte van die 1970s was Bowie koning.

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