Die digkuns van Alice Fulton

Alice Fulton

Alice Fulton

‘n Besonderse digter wat tans heelwat aandag in die VSA uitlok, is Alice Fulton. Cascade experiment, ‘n keur uit haar werk, het enkele jare gelede verskyn en op The New Yorker se webtuiste kan ‘n onderhoud gelees word wat Alice Baumgartner met haar gevoer het na aanleiding van ‘n gedig “Claustrophilia” uit dié keur. In wese handel die onderhoud oor Fulton se voorkeur vir vreemde woorde, die verskil tussen poësie en prosa en ten slotte die musikaliteit van ‘n gedig. (Al die vrae het betrekking op die gedig wat onder aan die Nuuswekker geplaas word.)

Op die vraag oor haar voorkeur vir vreemde woorde soos “moxibustion,” “immolation,” en “analgesia” het Fulton soos volg geantwoord: “I like to use different registers of diction in poems as a means of creating various emotional shades. Because so much weight is placed on each word in poetry, a single specialized term can shift the tone. A medical word like ‘analgesia,’ with its clinical sound and connotations, has a distancing effect; it chills the tone. By including such words, even a short poem can invoke a range of emotions without resorting to explication. A single word will resonate, and the poem doesn’t have to say more.”

Dit is egter veral haar onderskeid tussen poësie en prosa wat my opgeval het: “Poetry emphasizes music, rhythm, reticence, multiplicity. These qualities, present in prose to varying degrees, are intensified in poetry, framed and underscored by the poetic line. The language of poetry is more distilled and oblique than the language of prose, which tends to be purposeful. A newspaper, for instance, is written to convey information efficiently. We don’t linger over news stories, reveling in the language, mesmerized by the unsaid. A poem, on the other hand, invites readers to fill in the blanks. It lives in the space between words. […] In fact, I think of poems as having vertical depth. It’s as if prose is a horizontal structure, built across a surface, while poetry is a catacomb. Prose speeds the eye onwards, while poems resist-and purposely impede- that forward movement. Their language is so faceted-strange, rich-that it creates beautiful obstacles and sends the eye backwards over lines, enticing us to slow down and reread. Rather than pulling us forward, a poem drives us more deeply into the page. Its resistance should give pleasure; we go back because we want to experience this uncanny thing again.”

Ai, wat ‘n wonderbaarlike ding is die ding genaamd “poësie” nie, nè? En wat ‘n bandelose vreugde! Die volledige onderhoud kan hier gelees word; en dit is beslis die moeite werd, glo my.

***

Vanoggend pronk hierdie webblad weer omtrent met besonderse plasings. So is daar nuwe bydraes deur Andries Bezuidenhout, Marius Crous, Carina Stander en Yves T’Sjoen. Veral Yves se tweede aflewering oor die bykans vergete digter Paul Snoek is verpligte leesstof vir die naweek.

Ten slotte is ons baie opgewonde om die finaliste vir vanjaar se ATKV-Woordveertjietoekennings bekend te kan maak. Uiteraard is dit die poësie-kategorie wat ons interesseer en daar kan ons nie anders as om hande te klap vir (in alfabetiese volgorde) Johann de Lange, Gilbert Gibson en Joan Hambidge nie. Veels geluk, julle … Nog net 35 slapies en dan weet ons wie die eerste ontvanger van dié nuut ingestelde prys gaan wees.

Intussen is daar ‘n naweek wat wag om geniet te word. So, laat hom punte tel en doen wat jy moet doen met alle mag.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

Claustrophilia

 

It’s just me throwing myself at you,

romance as usual, us times us,

 

not lust but moxibustion,

a substance burning close

 

to the body as possible

without risk of immolation.

 

Nearness without contact

causes numbness. Analgesia.

 

Pins and needles. As the snugness

of the surgeon’s glove causes hand fatigue.

 

At least this procedure

requires no swag or goody bags,

 

stuff bestowed upon the stars

at their luxe functions.

 

There’s no dress code,

though leg irons

 

are always appropriate.

And if anyone says what the hell

 

are you wearing in Esperanto-

Kion diable vi portas?-

 

tell them anguish

is the universal language.

 

Stars turn to train wrecks

and my heart goes out,

 

admirers gush. Ground to a velvet!

But never mind the downside,

 

mon semblable, mon crush.

Love is just the retaliation of light.

 

It is so profligate, you know,

so rich with rush.

 

 

© Alice Fulton (Uit: Cascade experiment – Selected poems,)

 

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Een Kommentaar op “Die digkuns van Alice Fulton”

  1. maria :

    “bandelose vreugde” klink lekker! Die gedig “Claustrophilia” ook – al is “anguish” die “universal language”! Inderdaad is dinge “rich with rush” deesdae, “profligate” – absoluut skaamteloos immoreel – dalk was dit maar nog altyd so, dis wat ons hier gebring het … veelsydige mens wat ons is?!

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