WS Merwin nuwe Amerikaanse laureate

WS Merwin

WS Merwin

Die Amerikaanse Library of Congress het einde verlede week bekend gemaak dat WS Merwin pas aangestel is as die 17de poet laureate vir die VSA. Hy sal Kay Ryan, wat sedert 2008 die laureate was, opvolg vir ‘n tweejaartermyn.

Die 82-jarige Merwin is die skrywer van 30 boeke en het al verskeie toekennings, waaronder twee Pulitzer-pryse, ontvang. Sedert 1976 is hy woonagtig in Hawaii vanwaar hy sy amp as poet laureate sal verrig. Hiervoor sal hy ‘n salaris van $35,000 per jaar ontvang, plus $5,000 vir reisonkostes.

Dit is welbekend dat sy bekering tot die digkuns tydens sy studies aan die Princeton Universiteit onder leiding van John Berryman was. Hieroor het hy hom soos volg uitgelaat: “It was not until I had received a scholarship and gone away to the university that I began to read poetry steadily and try incessantly, and with abiding desperation, to write it.” In ‘n onderhoud met die New York Times het hy die volgende oor poësie te sê gehad: “Everything’s got to do with listening. Poetry is physical. As Pound said, poetry has one pole in reason and one pole in music. It’s like making a joke. If you get one word wrong at the end of a joke, you’ve lost the whole thing.” 

Graag hou ek egter ook die volgende veelseggende gedig met die titel “Berryman” aan jou voor:  “I had hardly begun to read / I asked how can you ever be sure / that what you write is really / any good at all and he said you can’t / you can’t you can never be sure / you die without knowing / whether anything you wrote was any good / if you have to be sure don’t write”

As huldeblyk volg nog ‘n WS Merwin-gedig onder aan vanoggend se Nuuswekker.

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Soos gebruiklik skop hierdie week omtrent af met ‘n klomp stewige bydraes op die webblad. Afgesien van Marius Crous se nuwe digstring waarin hy vertel van die onstaansgeskiedenis van sy gedig “Die ander man, is daar bydraes deur Chris Coolsma, Andries Bezuidenhout, Desmond PainterJelleke Wierenga en Charl-Pierre Naudé. In die Briewboks is daar ook ‘n nuwe gedig deur Joan Hambidge oor Diego Maradona waaraan jy jou kan verlustig.

So, geniet dit. En mag hierdie ‘n week van vreugde wees …

Mooi bly.

LE

 

Provision

 

All morning with dry instruments
The field repeats the sound
Of rain
From memory
And in the wall
The dead increase their invisible honey
It is August
The flocks are beginning to form
I will take with me the emptiness of my hands
What you do not have you find everywhere

 

© WS Merwin (Uit: Migration – New and Selected poems, 2005)

 

 

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