W.S. Merwin se komende laureateskap

WS Merwin

WS Merwin

Op die Los Angeles Times se webblad is daar ‘n wonderlike artikel te lees oor W.S. Merwin, die VSA se nuut-aangestelde poet laureate. Die 82-jarige Merwin se amptelike verpligtinge neem volgende maand ‘n aanvang en uiteraard is daar heelwat belangstelling in en nuuskierigheid oor presies hoe hy sy taak as laureate gaan benader.

Volgens Dean Kuipers, skrywer van die artikel, bestaan daar min twyfel dat Merwin hom ten volle met “groen”-projekte en bewaring van ekosisteme gaan bemoei nie. In dié verband haal hy Merwin aan wat die volgende te vertelle gehad het: “I said something about the conservancy to [Librarian of Congress] professor [James] Billington and he said, ‘Well, I hope you won’t make this political.’ I said, ‘James, every position is political. But I’m certainly not going to use the position to blow my own horn.'”

Billington, wat in sy hoedanigheid as Librarian of Congress verantwoordelik is vir die aanstelling van die poet laureate het immers hoeka sy keuse ten gunste van Merwin soos volg gemotiveer: “W.S. Merwin is making some of his most universal work right now. His environmental concerns are very powerful, but they grow out of an even deeper sensibility about human beings and their relation to life and the rest of nature itself.”

Gaan lees gerus die volledige artikel. Inderdaad is dit iets wat ‘n mens laat uitsien na Die Era van W.S. Merwin; inmiddels ‘n digter wie se werk al twee keer met ‘n Pulitzer-prys bekroon is.

Soos gebruiklik plaas ek as toegif ‘n toepaslike gedig van hom onder aan vanoggend se Nuuswekker.

***

Sedert gister het daar drie bydraes verskyn om aan te kondig: ‘n digstring deur Ilse van Staden oor haar gedig “Fluistering”, plus nuwe bydraes deur Eben Venter (oor Anne Carson se The beauty of the husband) en Jo Prins (oor Butch Lochner, die rugbylegende wat onlangs oorlede is).

En daarmee is dit reeds weer naweek. Laat hom punte tel …

Mooi bly.

LE

 

Unknown Bird

 

Out of the dry days
through the dusty leaves
far across the valley
those few notes never
heard here before

one fluted phrase
floating over its
wandering secret
all at once wells up
somewhere else

and is gone before it
goes on fallen into
its own echo leaving
a hollow through the air
that is dry as before

where is it from
hardly anyone
seems to have noticed it
so far but who now
would have been listening

it is not native here
that may be the one
thing we are sure of
it came from somewhere
else perhaps alone

so keeps on calling for
no one who is here
hoping to be heard
by another of its own
unlikely origin

trying once more the same few
notes that began the song
of an oriole last heard
years ago in another
existence there

it goes again tell
no one it is here
foreign as we are
who are filling the days
with a sound of our own

 

© W.S. Merwin

 

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