Louis Esterhuizen. Poetry International Web fokus op Hebreeuse digkuns

Met hul mees onlangse uitgawe fokus Poetry International Web op die Hebreeuse digkuns. Die drie digters wat by dié oorsig betrek word, is T. Carmi (foto), Aryeh Sivan en Tal Nitzán. Dit is dan veral die insluiting van T. Carmi (1925 – 1994) wat my aandag getrek het, want te midde van tydgenote soos Yehuda Amichai, Dan Pagis en Dahlia Ravikovitch, het Carmi se werk waarskynlik nog nooit die erkenning gekry wat dit verdien nie.

Moontlik is dié geringskatting te wyte daaraan dat Carmi, wat in 1925 in New York gebore is, ‘n wêreldburger by uitstek was; ten spyte daarvan dat hul huistaal Hebreeus was, was hy ook vlot in Engels en Frans. Nadat hy vir ‘n tydperk in Parys gewoon het, het hy hom in 1947 in Israel gevestig waar hy onder andere ook as soldaat in die weermag diens gedoen het.  “In Israel, the poet’s utterance became at once literary and directly contemporary; he expressed formal ideas in language he heard in parks and cafes, from bartenders and taxicab drivers. He was familiar not only with biblical and midrashic tradition, but with the full range of Hebrew poetry.” Laasgenoemde is danksy die feit dat hy redakteur was van die omvattende  Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse, wat die Hebreeuse digkuns van die Bybelse tye tot die hedendaagse byeen gebring het.

Met die oorsigartikel word Carmi se digkuns soos volg getipeer:  “T. Carmi is a poet whose vision is at once historical and miraculous. He has, like others of his time and place, an acute awareness of human suffering, and he recognises the absurdity of individual lives in the context of social and political events. At the same time, his focus is intensely personal, and in many ways close to the surrealist mode of pursuing the marvellous in everyday life by discovering and using strange images close to subconscious thought.”

Nog ‘n waardevolle toevoeging tot die oorskou, is die twee artikels wat daarmee geplaas is, te wete Ezra Spicehandler se “I will return to my silences: An overview of T. Carmi’s poetry” en Ariel Zinder  se “What T. Carmi Taught Me – Poetry and a traditional Jewish genre“. Albei artikels het in 2011 verskyn; laasgenoemde is deur Rebecca Gillis in Engels vertaal.

Vir jou leesplesier volg die gedig “Beloved” hieronder. Dit kom uit ‘n reeks, “remember that you are the most beloved of all”, en het as persona ‘n vrouestem wat afskeid neem van haar geliefde. Op Poetry International Web is daar ook heelwat van sy ander verse wat gelees kan word.

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BELOVED

 

Sternest of all, most suspicious of all.
A gift that is a liability,
an eternity which will come to fruition.

Believe me:
I have not many reckonings
nor few reckonings.
I do not wish to be
a debt collector, holding a bond, an abandoned creditor.

I know:
If you repeat it endlessly
It becomes a sharp bark.

Beloved. Beloved. Beloved.

So I say it
before the door locks shut
once and for all.

 

© T. Carmi (1925 – 1994)

 

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