Nog ‘n jong Poolse digter

Adam Zdrodowski

Adam Zdrodowski

En steeds stu SJ Fowler van 3:AM Magazine voort met sy reeks onderhoude met jong digters uit Oos-Europa. In hul nuutste uitgawe voer hy dan hoeka ‘n onderhoud met nog ‘n jong Poolse talent, te wete Adam Zdrodowski. En waar die vorige verteenwoordiging van jong Poolse talent my minder entoesiasties gestem het, vind ek Zdrodowski beslis meer opwindend.

In die inleidende kommentaar word Zdrodowski soos volg voorgestel: “An academic, a reputed translator with a fine reputation in America and a excellent poet in his own right, Zdrodowski’s work maintains a poetic pointillism, a jousting purity that runs through numerous methodologies and vernacular’s.”

As lusmaker plaas ek die volgende twee vrae en Zdrodowski se antwoorde daarop. (Gaan lees gerus die volledige onderhoud op 3:AM Magazine se webblad. Onder aan vanoggend se Nuuswekker is daar soos gebruiklik ‘n gedig deur Zdrodowski, en indien jy nog van sy verse te lese wil kry, kan jy hier gaan kyk.)

3:AM: Your poetry seems to build from proclamations and images that are defined by their growth throughout the poem, certainly there are elements of Brecht, and ethereal and biographical images seem to lead your work. Is your writing process image generative? Do you begin with language or concept in writing?

AZ: I think I know what you mean by referring to Brecht but I would say that, as far as the tone is concerned, and the type of humour perhaps, I owe much more to Raymond Queneau. And in matters of poetic method I’m really eclectic. But I think I like my images to grow and their growth is usually governed by formal principles (e.g. a chosen strict form) or by linguistic mechanisms (i.e. for example, some words appear because they sound similar to the ones that were used before).

It’s hard to say how I begin, each time it is different. Usually, I have some words and phrases I’m somehow emotionally attached to, or attracted by. And then I try to find a way to make them grow into a poem, to make it work.

3:AM: You utilise the prose poem as well as more formal verse. Is diversity of methodology and typography dependent on the poetic idea in question, or do you set yourself certain streams of writing that conform to certain methods?

AZ: I think there’s no sharp opposition between the prose poem and the more formal verse in my writing. In prose poems I use devices that are essentially poetic – assonance, aliteration, rhyme, etc., whereas quite often the verse pieces are quite loose formally. What I like about the prose poem is that it enables me to write pastiches of narrative or scholarly writing that are in fact poems that look like prose. I like this generic hotchpotch.

But I can’t really tell why I know that in this case I’ll need a prose poem and in that case – a sestina or a minimalist, haiku-like piece.

***

Onder die vaste inhoud op die webblad is daar vanoggend twee besonderse bydraes om aan te kondig, naamlik ‘n nuwe digstring waarin Marlene van Niekerk vertel van hoe haar gedig Poets van ons vaderland unite” ontstaan het, en Cas Vos wat ‘n essay oor Johann de Lange se keur uit sy gedigte, Judasoog, ingestuur het. Aan die blogkant van sake is daar ‘n wonderlike stuk deur Andries Bezuidenhout om te geniet. Dit handel oor 1993 en die (her)lees van Gert Vlok Nel se bundel om te lewe is onnatuurlik.

Hê pret met dit alles. Dit is reeds weer Woensdag.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

Pantum

This glittering spring of time,
The shadow that covers us
On train platforms in snow-covered vales.
Leads us to a period of great weightlessness.

The shadow that covers us
(it immobilises bodies like a plaster space-suit)
Leads us to a period of great weightlessness –
This rocket soaring into the starry future.

It immobilises bodies like a plaster space-suit,
Although it promises fantastic journeys,
This rocket soaring into the starry future.
Time lies, and clocks cannot be trusted –

Although it promises fantastic journeys,
This mission cannot be completed –
Time lies, and clocks cannot be trusted
(they are out of order), and no-one believes that

This mission cannot be completed,
When malfunctioning television aerials
(they are out of order, and no-one believes that)
Catch a last, melancholic signal.

When malfunctioning television aerials
On the roofs of apartment blocks
Catch a last, melancholic signal,
We are swallowed by the past.

On the roofs of apartment blocks
On train platforms in snow-covered vales.
We are swallowed by the past,
This glittering spring of time.

© Adam Zdrodowski (Vertaling deur: Bohdan Piasecki)

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