Louis Esterhuizen. Poësie geblameer vir die Russiese kattebasaar

Vroeër vandeesmaand is drie lede van die Russiese punk band Pussy Riot (foto) tot twee jaar gevangenisskap gevonnis nadat hulle in ‘n Moskouse katedraal teen Vladimir Putin en sy regering betoog het; gebeure wat wêreldwyd opslae veroorsaak het.

Na afloop van die vonnisoplegging het die drie feministiese punk rockers, synde Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich en Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, roerende vertoë gelewer ten einde hul optrede in die Ortodokse katedraal te verduidelik en te regverdig. En in al drie se verklarings is die digkuns uitgesonder as bron van inspirasie en beïnvloeding.

Alexander Vvedensky

Tolokonnikova  het veral die digtersgroep OBERIU uitgesonder as rolmodelle. Op die webblad GalleyCat word sy soos volg aangehaal: “Katya, Masha and I may be in prison, but I do not consider us defeated. Just as the dissidents were not defeated; although they disappeared into mental institutions and prisons, they pronounced their verdict upon the regime. The art of creating the image of an epoch does not know winners or losers. It was the same with the OBERIU poets, who remained artists until the end, inexplicable and incomprehensible … Pussy Riot are Alexander Vvedensky’s students and heirs. His principle of the bad rhyme is dear to us. He wrote, ‘Occasionally, I think of two different rhymes, a good one and a bad one, and I always choose the bad one because it is always the right one’.” (Vvedensky was die hoofman van vele tydens OBERIU se heerskappy.)

Daarteenoor het Alyokhina weer inspirasie vir hul optrede gevind by die Nobel-pryswenner Josep Brodsky: “I would like to point out that very similar methods were used during the trial of the poet Joseph Brodsky. His poems were defined as ‘so-called’ poems; the witnesses for the prosecution hadn’t actually read them-just as a number of the witnesses in our case didn’t see the performance itself and only watched the clip online. Our apologies, it seems, are also being defined by the collective prosecuting body as ‘so-called’ apologies. Even though this is offensive […] This freedom goes on living with every person who is not indifferent, who hears us in this country […] I believe that I have honesty and openness, I thirst for the truth; and these things will make all of us just a little bit more free. We will see this yet.”

Nou ja, toe. Vir jou leesplesier volg een van Alexander Vvedensky se gedigte hieronder.


An Invitation for Me To Think

Let us think on a clear day
sitting down on stump and stone.
Us around flowers grew,
stars, people, homes.
From the mountains tall and steep,
water fell at breakneck speed.
We were sitting at the moment,
we kept our eyes on them.
Us around the day shines bright,
underneath us stump and stone.
Us around the birds fluttered,
the blue maidens puttered.
But where oh where us all around
is thunder’s now absent sound.
We perceive the river partially,
we’ll tell the stone contrarily:
Night, where are you in your absence
at this hour, on this day?
Art, what is it that you feel or sense,
being there without us?
Government, where do you stay?
Foxes and bugs are in the woods,
concepts in the sky above-
Come closer God and ask the fox:
so, fox, is it far from dawn to dusk?
will the stream run a long distance
from the word understood to the word flower?
The fox will reply to God:
it’s all a disappearing road.
You or he or I, we’ve gone but a hair,
we hadn’t even time to see that minute,
and look God, fish and sky, that part has vanished
forever, it would seem, from our planet.
We said: yes, it’s apparent,
we can’t see the hour ago.
We thought-we’re
very lonely.
In a moment our
eye covers a little only.
And our hearing, down and out,
senses only one sound.
And our soul
knows but a sad snippet of science’s whole.
We said: yes, it’s obvious,
it’s all very upsetting to us.
And that’s when we flew.
And I flew like a cuckoo
imagining my lightness.
A passerby thought: He’s coo-coo,
he’s made in a screech-owl’s likeness.
Passerby, forget your stupid gloom,
look, all around putter maidens blue,
like angels, dogs run smartly round,
why is it all boring and dark for you.
We’re tickled by what is unknown,
the inexplicable’s our friend,
we see the forest walking backward,
yesterday stands all around today.
The star changes in volume,
the world grows old, the moose grows old.
We once happened to be
in the saltwater body of the seas,
where the waves let out a squeak,
we monitored the proud fish:
the fish floated like oil
on the surface of the water,
we understood, life was burning out everywhere
from the fish to God and the star.
And the feeling of calm
caressed everybody with its arm.
But noticing music’s body
you did not burst into tears.
The passerby addresses us:
Hasn’t grief taken hold of you completely?
Yes, music’s magic beacon
burned out, evoking pity.
The ruling night was just beginning,
we cried a century.


(c) Alexander Vvedensky
Uit Russies vertaal deur Matvei Yankelevich



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