Jay Parini se gunsteling Amerikaanse gedigte

Walt Whitman

Nou ja, kyk. Laat daar nou nie gesê word dat die Amerikaners nie lief is vir hul lyste nie. Meestal is dié lyste natuurlik baie subjektief en het dit hoogstens kuriositeitswaarde. Pas het Jay Parini, kenner van die Amerikaanse digkuns en skrywer van Why poetry matters (2008: Yale University Press) dan ook sy lysie met die Top 10 gunsteling Amerikaanse gedigte op The Guardian se boekeblog gewaag: “For whatever reason, I woke up today with a list of the 10 greatest American poems in my head that had been accumulating through the night. Every list is subjective, and of course the use of “greatest” even more so – but these are not just “favorite” poems. I’ve been thinking about American poetry – and teaching it to university students – for nearly 40 years, and these are the 10 poems that, in my own reading life, have seemed the most durable; poems that shifted the course of poetry in the United States, as well as poems that I look forward to teaching every year because they represent something indelible.”

Jay Parini

Jay Parini

Die lys, vir interessantheidshalwe, is die volgende (met skakels na die betrokke tekste, vir jou leesgerief):

1. “Song of Myself” (Walt Whitman),  

2. “The Idea of Order at Key West” (Wallace Stevens),

3. “Because I could not stop for death” (Emily Dickinson),

4. “Directive” (Robert Frost),

5. “Middle Passage” (Robert Hayden),

6. “The Dry Salvages” (TS Eliot),

7. “One Art” (Elizabeth Bishop),

8. “To My Dear and Loving Husband” (Ann Bradstreet),

9. “Memories of West Street and Lepke” (Robert Lowell

10. “And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name” (John Ashbery).

Wat my egter van dié lysie geïnteresseer het, is die kort motiverings wat Parini by elke nominasie geplaas het; veral die teenwoordgheid van T.S. Eliot se “The Dry Salvages” was vir my verrassend aangesien Eliot sekerlik meer vir ánder gedigte bekend is. Parini motiveer hierdie insluiting egter soos volg: “This is the ‘American quartet’, and it’s uneven; but it brings into a single major poem many of Eliot’s concerns, rooting his vision in the American landscape, especially the St. Louis of his boyhood and the area off the north shore of Boston. The fifth section contains Eliot’s most sublime moments of religious contemplation as he thinks about ‘hints and guesses’, which is all we ever get: ‘and the rest / Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action’.”

Vir jou leesplesier volg Elizabeth Bishop se pragtige villanelle, “One Art” onder aan vanoggend se Nuuswekker.

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Sedert gister is daar twee bydraes vir die Brieweboks ontvang en albei het te make met die debakel rondom Media24 se voorneme om ‘n Nasionale Boekeredakteur aan te stel. Ten eerste het Charles Malan Vrye Woord se ope brief, wat gerig is aan die bestuur van Media24 ingestuur en dan het Marga Collings, uitgewershoof by NB Uitgewers ‘n verslag van verlede Saterdag se skrywersvergadering geplaas. Op LitNet kan Francis Galloway se verslag ook gelees word.

Voorspoed met al jou dinge vandag.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

One Art

 

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

 

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

 

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

 

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

 

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

 

Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan’t have lied.  It’s evident

the art of losing’s not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

 

© Elizabeth Bishop

 

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