Dansende Digtersfees. Yang Lian (Sjina)

 

Yang Lian (1955) is in Switzerland gebore, maar het in Bejing grootgeword. In 1970 is hy ten gunste van ‘n politiese herskolingsprogram na die Sjinese afgeleë platteland gestuur en dit is gedurende dié tyd van afsondering wat hy begin skryf het. Met sy terugkeer na Bejing was hy een van die stigterslede van die sogenaamde Misty-digtersgroep. Sy statuur as digter het vinnig gegroei; veral na die regering sy gedig “Norilang” gekritiseer het en dit as anti-spiritualistiese besoedeling afgekam het. Na die slagting by die Tiananmenplein in Bejing  moes hy na die buiteland vlug en woon sedertdien in London in ballingskap.

Tot op datum het daar elf digbundels uit Lian se pen verskyn, asook twee prosawerke en ‘n versameling essays. Sy gedigte is al in meer as twintig tale vertaal. Op sy webtuiste kan gelees word van die vele bekronings wat sy werk tot dusver al ontvang het.

Graag hou ek die volgende uitsprake voor as voorbeelde van die waardering wat daar jeens dié unieke digter en sy bepaalde digkuns bestaan.

“The poetic works of Yang Lian, International Nonino Prize 2012, is one of heights of Contemporary Chinese thought. Grounded to the millenary root of his culture, he reinterprets it reinventing and opening it to the tensions of Contemporaneity, touching in his lines all the great questions of our existence and reminding us that “poetry is our only mother tongue”. He lives and writes as an exile not only from his land, pushing his view to the extreme limit. An absolute exile and distant profound poet far beyond our space-time.”  (Uit die commendatio vir die Nonino International Literature Prize 2012, wat deur V. S. Naipaul (Nobel Laureate vir Letterkunde in 2001 voorgelees is.)

“Yang Lian is one of the most astonishing poets I’ve read for years. He has a westernist, modernist sensibility allied with an ancient Chinese, almost shamanistic one. He can both excite and frighten you – like MacDiarmid meets Rilke with Samurai sword drawn!” (W.N. Herbert, wat saam met Lian Yang verantwoordelik is vir die bloemlesing Jade Ladder waarin die kontemporêre Sjinese digkuns byeengebring is.)  

 “He continues his work bridging Chinese tradition to western modernism. The scope of his creative imagination is astounding. Yang Lian is one of the great world poets of our era.” (Klaus Rifberg in die Edinburgh Review.)

 “Yang Lian distinguishes himself in representing the pain of life caught in between historic eras…a new version of an old issue for world literature as well as Chinese literature is proposed: how to continue writing, relying on individual rather than enforced communal inspiration.” (Allen Ginsberg)

‘n Fassinerende digter, inderdaad.

Die volgende publikasies van Yang Lian sal tydens die Dansende Digtersfees beskikbaar wees:

Jade Ladder – Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Bloodaxe Books, 2012)

Lee Valley Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2009)

Riding Pisces – Poems from five collections (Shearsman Books, 2008)

Sailor’s Home (Shearman’s Books, 2005)

Concentric Circles (Bloodaxe Books, 2005)

Where the Sea Stands Still (Bloodaxe Books, 1999)

As leestoegif volg Deel 13 uit die lang gedig “What Water Cornfirms”. Op Yang Lian se amptelike webtuiste is daar nog baie ander gedigte wat solank geniet kan word.

***

13.

clouds are like ten thousand women hurrying in frequent urination
the official blue     looks at them unmoved
a sudden snowfall    pigeons’ daily classes on instrumental performance
crash behind that string on the roof ridge
a big bunch of tulips arrogant red
and scentless     assail the nostrils
                  Hackney is simply a group of images

seeping more deeply than an address
a pear tree then gives the street corner a white flag of pipe dreams
a pause     climbs along the presumed stem
flooding his expired forty-seven years of age
to surrender to living is simply to be operated on

            imitate a starfish that meticulously constructs
            its own shape and colour

arrange an itinerary into a tight knot under the feet
separately execute     movements
clouds change again     sky adopts a swarm of scorpions
                 echoing the necessity of pain

people he meets all his life are as unavoidable as this place
the self he avoids from afar    the more amended the more likely it comes to
Hackney     when it slowly appears as a disposition
Complete collapse picks him up on his way home
to synchronize with a dry branch of winter jasmine in melted snow
                
return behind the iris of the eye
                delicately ponder the delight of being exhausted

 

© Yang Lian (Uit: Lee Valley Poems, 2009: Bloodaxe Books)

Vertaal deur Brian Holton en Agnes Hung-Chong Chan

 

 

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