Tony Hoagland oor eietydse Amerikaanse poësie

Tony Hoagland

Tony Hoagland

In die nuutste uitgawe van Poetry Magazine is daar ‘n artikel deur Tony Hoagland wat my oog gevang het. In dié artikel, “Recognition, vertigo, and passionate worldliness – The tribes of contemporary poetry” kyk hy indringend en met ‘n insiggewende oog na die verskeidenheid van die Amerikaanse digkuns tans. In hoofsaak handel sy artikel oor die ou tweespalt tussen hermetiese en anekdotiese poësie: “These two descriptions, of course, are not mutually exclusive, nor exhaustive on the subject of what poetry does. Even so, the two orientations emphasize two distinct value systems of poetry in a way that seems relevant to our contemporary poetic moment-two different kinds of poetic meaning: Perspective versus Entanglement; the gong of recognition versus the bong of disorientation.”

Op die vraag wat poësielesers van die gedig verlang, antwoord hy soos volg: “What do we, as readers, want from a poem? On the one hand, plenty of poetry readers are alive and well who want to experience a kind of clarification; to feel and see deeply into the world that they inhabit, to make or read poetry that ‘helps you to live,’ that characterizes and clarifies human nature. To scoff at this motivation for poetry because it is ‘unsophisticated’ or because it seems sentimental-well, you might as well scoff at oxygen.”

“Similarly, to dismiss the poetry of ‘dis-arrangement,’ the poetry that aims to disrupt or rearrange consciousness-to dismiss poems that attract (and abstract) by their resistance, thus drawing the reader into a condition of not-entirely-understanding-such a dismissal also seems to foreclose some powerful dimensions of poetry as an alternate language, a language expressive of certain things otherwise unreachable. “

‘n Uiters omvattende en onderhoudende artikel wat beslis vra om gelees te word.  As voorbeeld van ‘n onlangse hermetiese vers bespreek hy ‘n gedig, “Elective surgery“, van Lewis Warsh; ‘n gedig wat deur Hoagland beskryf nword as “declarative, non-transitioned, and irregular, an attention-deficit poem.”

As verdere leesprikkel  plaas ek dié gedig onder aan hierdie Nuuswekker.


‘n Nuwe plasing waaraan jy jou vanoggend kan verlekker, is die onderhoud wat met Hans Pienaar gevoer is oor sy onlangse bundel Nota’s uit die empire. In Keelskoonmaakis daar ‘n vers van Philip de Vos om die Maandag se bloute effentjies mee af te water, en ook Pieter Odendaal se bydrae wat Vrydagaand geplaas is …  

Mag hierdie week vir jou iets besonders wees.

Mooi bly.


Elective Surgery

You think you can begin as if it were ten years ago & you were
   still that person

A woman turns her head to catch a glimpse of her former lover

I offer you the key to a city without words

The guy on trial for rape wears glasses to make him look

The policeman arrested a soldier for fondling a single parent

Sometimes I create an imaginary aisle in my mind: we’re
   walking down it, arm in arm, into the sunlight outside the

The woman who approached my car & asked for a light wasn’t a

You can escape your responsibilities by going to the movie or
   getting drunk


© Lewis Warsh



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