My gunsteling bloemlesing van die jaar

Omslag

Omslag

Hier op die afloop van die jaar is dit sekerlik gepas dat ‘n mens ‘n bietjie asem skep en terugdink aan al die spesiale boeke wat gedurende dié jaar jou oog gekruis het. En glo my, synde boekhandelaar, is daar vir my sommer ‘n ellelange lys om oor die druil. Veral onder die groepering van internasionale digkuns was daar vele wat uitstaan, waaronder sekerlik die Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (Ecco Press), An Anthology of Modern Irish Poetry (Belknap Press) en Tony Hoagland se drie bundels (Graywolf Press). Maar geen het my meer vreugde gegee as Charles Simic se bloemlesing oor Serwiese digkuns, The horse has six legs (Graywolf Press) nie.

Oor hierdie bloemlesing, wat oorspronklik in 1992 verskyn het en vanjaar in ‘n bygewerkte en opgedateerde  uitgawe heruitgegee is, het ek reeds einde Mei vanjaar in ‘n Nuuswekker geskryf. En ai, watter leesvreugde is dít nie! Met ‘n oorskou van 800 jaar se digkuns, waaronder gerekende name soos Vasko Popa en Ivan V. Laliç, is hierdie bloemlesing meer as net ‘n verkenning; dis ‘n totale belewenis, glo my.

So stel niemand minder as einste Tony Hoagland dit soos volg op die flapteks: “The horse has six legs is one of the most vivid and surprising books of translation I know. It reveals the continuum that exists between the oral and the literary, between the wit of folktale and the extremity of surrealism. In these poems one feels the freshness, force, and impunity of cultures as we no longer have it – at once very deeply rooted and very international.”

By Words Without Borders het daar ‘n onlangs resensie verskyn en ek hou graag enkele uittreksels by wyse van lusmaker voor: “Almost every poet is represented by several works, ranging in length from one line to eight pages. Some names are fairly familiar in the West: Desanka Maksimović, Vasko Popa, and Milorad Pavić (best known for his success in prose, Dictionary of the Khazars). I applaud Simic for including several women, and for engaging deeply with their work rather than including (or excluding) them mechanically on the basis of gender (“we have women poets too!”). […] Since at least the late 19th century, Serbian poetry has more or less kept pace with the general development of poetry in Europe, and much of the 20th-century work is experimental rather than traditional in form. Simic does not strive for formal regularity in the earlier poets, binding the lines together with loose rhythm and to some extent muting differences among the poets. However, his English is confident and effective, accurate overall without being hobbled by details.”

Gewis ‘n publikasie wat met goeie rede geag kan word as ‘Bloemlesing-van-die-jaar’, myns insiens. En teen ‘n aanbevole verkoopprys van R200 vir 286 bladsye onverdunde poësie beslis ‘n “moet-hê”.

As verdere toegif plaas ek sommer twee verse onder aan vanoggend se Nuuswekker. Die eerste deur een van my persoonlike gunstelingdigters (Vasko Popa), en ‘n tweede deur Aleksandar Ristović, een van die Serwiërs se mees geliefde digters.

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Ten slotte hoop ek dat almal ‘n gelukkige en vervullende kerstyd saam met hul geliefdes beleef het. Nuwe toevoegings sedert Vrydagoggend is Andries Bezuidenhout se vertelling van die Tankwa-Karoo en drie gedigte van Hennie Aucamp wat hy onverwags teëgekom het. In die verskamers is daar sewe nuwe verse uit ‘n ou laai deur Fanie Olivier wat jy kan geniet.

Voorspoed met die laaste week van die oujaar …

Mooi bly.

LE

 

Hide-and-Seek

 

Someone hides from someone else

Hides under his own tongue

The other looks for him under the earth

 

He hides himself on his forehead

The other looks for him in the sky

 

He hides in his forgetfulness

The other looks for him in the grass

 

Looks for him looks

There’s no place he doesn’t look

And looking loses himself

 

© Vasko Popa (Uit: Games, vertaling deur Charles Simic)

 

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Untitled

 

Time of fools is coming.

Time of the fairground tent,

and the blasphemer with a funny face.

 

Time of the peacock quill,

the quill that glides from right to left

over the upside-down paper.

 

Time when you won’t be able to lift your little finger

without dipping it into something

they call indecent.

 

Time of fools is coming,

time of the know-nothing teacher

and the book that can’t be opened at either end.

 

© Aleksandar Ristović (Vertaling deur Charles Simic)

 

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