Oxford Professor of Poetry bekend gemaak

Roger Lewis

In ‘n onlangse Buiteblik het Marcelle Olivier geskryf oor die kandidate vir die gesogte pos van Oxford Professor of Poetry, en na die kontroversie wat die vorige verkiesing in ‘n fiasko laat ontaard het, was die belangstelling uiteraard groot oor vanjaar se verkiesing wat Woensdag ten einde geloop het. Die naam van die suksesvolle kandidaat sal later vandag bekend gemaak word.

Nietemin, vanjaar se verkiesing het helaas ook nie sonder die gebruiklike geskrop in die hoenderhok plaasgevind nie. So het een van die kandidate, beat digter Michael Horovitz, in die media uitgevaar teen een van die ander kandidate, Roger Lewis, en hom onder andere van “pseudointellectual chutzpah” beskuldig.

Volgens ‘n berig in The Guardian, het Lewis, wat meer bekend is as biograaf (van onder andere Anthony Burgess) as digter, ‘n stuk in The Telegraph gepubliseer waarin hy sy beskouing en passie vir die digkuns uiteensit; alles natuurlik by wyse van self-promosie. Alison Flood van The Guardian het Lewis se geswymel soos volg opgesom: “From the ‘sea foam in Homer’ to ‘the characters eating the watermelon in Chekhov’s The Lady With the Little Dog – sheer mysterious ecstasy’, the ‘colour of Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes’, the ‘tilt of Garbo’s face in profile’ and the ‘bend of Chaplin’s cane’, Lewis said he hoped ‘this range of knowledge, idiosyncrasy and emotion’ would win him ‘a few votes’.

“I hope you can see that I honour ‘What can be seen, what can be heard, what can be learned’, as Herakleitos put it,” het Lewis glo gesê en bygevoeg dat hy besluit het om hom verkiesbaar te stel na hy genader was deur “various publishers, editors and writers outside Oxford and by people now in the cabinet.”

Horovitz het sy misnoë soos volg in ‘n brief aan The Telegraph weergegee: “If Mr Lewis were to engage students with his avowedly poetic topics, the Herakleitos questions could not revealingly be addressed – Liz Taylor’s eyes being pretty inaccessible for authentic colour-checks; Pinter’s pauses, bereft of the words that frame them, definitively inaudible; and Sir Ralph Richardson per se sadly unavailable as a fount of learning. Mr Lewis could presumably spout the hind legs off a donkey about these subjects, but how does this qualify him to follow Masefield, Auden, Graves and Heaney as the next professor of poetry?”

Nou ja, toe. Ander kandidate vir dié pos is: Geoffrey Hill, Chris Mann (ja, die Suid-Afrikaanse digter) en Stephen Moss. Die enigste vroue-kandidaat, Paula Claire, het haar vroeër reeds aan die wedloop onttrek weens gewaande bevoorregting jeens die gunsteling, Geoffrey Hill.

Nuuswekker sal sy oë vandag gefokus hou en so gou soos die kandidaat benoem is, dit as kommentaar hieronder byvoeg.

Uiteraard hoop ons almal dat die man uit die kolonies gaan septer gaan swaai en daarom plaas ek vir jou leesplesier een van sy gedigte onder aan vanoggend se Nuuswekker.

***

Heelwat nuwe plasings het sedert gister op die webblad bygekom;  onder Wisselkaarten skryf Luuk Gruwez onder andere oor Chrétien Breukers se nuwe digbundel, in die BuiteblikCarina vand der Walt se bydrae oor Ramsey Nasr, terwyl Desmond Painter en Jelleke Wierenga onderskeidelik oor David Trinidad en selfsensuur skryf.

‘n Hele spul lekker nuwe leesstof vir die naweeek.

So – geniet dit. Nuuswekker hervat weer Maandag.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

A shadow weighs down the eyes

 

O but the love of life it seems
That all once faded into dreams
And swept away what thoughts, what feel
To sway to god and swoop and reel

A thousand paints to shade a blue
Of purest sea, to draw down hue
No more to seek that soon will find
A way of heart and soul and mind

Once heart I felt but now I see
That once I was not like as me
That what I am is no more fake
As words I spit and retch and make

 

(c) Chris Mann

 

 

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2 Kommentare op “Oxford Professor of Poetry bekend gemaak”

  1. Daniel Hugo :

    Roger Lewis se boek oor Anthony Burgess is loshande die slegste skrywersbiografie wat ek al in my lewe gelees het. Hy is inderdaad ‘n charlatan. Andrew Biswell was daarna selfs genoop om sy biografie “The real life of Anthony Burgess” (Picador, 2005) te noem.

  2. Louis :

    Dit is pas bekend gemaak dat Geoffrey Hill aangestel is in die gesogte pos van Oxford Professor of Poetry; naas die poet laureate die mees invloedryke amp vir digters in Engeland.
    Op die Klikbord is ‘n blikvanger geplaas met ‘n skakel na The Guardian waar jy die volledige berig kan lees.
    Hieronder is die eerste twee paagrawe as lusmaker:
    “His academic credentials and plethora of literary prizes have meant that Geoffrey Hill has been the frontrunner for the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry from the race’s start – and, this afternoon, the British poet was elected by a landslide.
    Hill, who celebrates his 78th birthday today, was voted in ahead of nine other candidates with 1,156 votes, beating contenders including the Beat poet Michael Horovitz, the biographer Roger Lewis, Oxford-based performance poet Steve Larkin and South African poet Chris Mann.”

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