Louis Esterhuizen. W.H. Auden se verlore joernaal gevind …

 

Groot opgewondenheid heers in die internasionale boekgemeenskap nadat The Independent bekend gemaak het dat ‘n joernaal van W.H. Auden (foto), wat vir dekades as “verlore” geag was, inderdaad gevind is: “Auden, who died in 1973 aged 66, wrote the journal between August and November 1939. It gives an insight into the poet whose works include “Funeral Blues”, “Lullaby” and “The Unknown Citizen”. Edward Mendelson, the literary executor of Auden’s estate and an English professor at Columbia University, said: ‘The journal gives a personal sense that we don’t really have elsewhere of Auden in this hugely important era’.”

Dié joernaal gaan glo volgende maand deur Christie’s opgeveil word en die algemene verwagting is dat dit vir tussen £40,000 en £60,000 van die hand gesit sal word. Die joernaal, wat 96 bladsye beslaan, is glo  deur Auden aan sy vriend George Davis gegee waarna dit verlore geraak het.

Volgens The Independent se berig, die volgende: “It is one of only three journals that the poet is known to have kept and covers the period shortly after what he described as the ‘eleven happiest weeks of my life’ – the honeymoon period of his relationship with the American poet Chester Kallman. The frank details of his personal life are set against the build-up to the Second World War. He wrote: ‘I am happy, but in debt… I have no job. My [US] visa is out of order. There may be a war. But I have an epithalamion to write and cannot worry much’.”

Aangrypend is egter die volgende aanhaling uit die joernaal: “Woke with a headache after a night of bad dreams in which C [Kallman] was unfaithful. Paper reports German attack on Poland. Now I sit looking out over the river. Such a beautiful evening and in an hour, they say, England will be at war.”

Sjoe. Vir jou leesplesier volg een van die drie gedigte wat in die periode wat dié joernaal geskryf was, ontstaan het.

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Funeral Blues (Song IX / from Two Songs for Hedli Anderson)

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

© Wystan Hugh Auden (1907 – 1973)

 

 

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