Nuuswekker. Bloeityd vir die Griekse digkuns


“For never is man so introspective as when he suffers,” het Luigi Pirandello al toendertyd beweer by monde van een van sy karakters in die grensverskuiwende drama Six Characters in Search of an Author. En dieselfde geld die digkuns, want wanneer dinge minder gunstig verloop in ‘n bepaalde land, bloei die digkuns, lyk dit my. Soos dit die geval is tans in Griekeland: “When there is less to go around, people fight, grab, get tough. Lately, Greece and the Balkans have been living with more than their share of less. Hunger, unemployment, slashed pensions and ruined businesses are rife in Athens. Electricity and water shortages reach levels associated with countries at war. More than 27% of Greeks are unemployed.” Aldus Karen van Dyck in The Guardian waar sy skryf oor haar onlangs verskene Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry (2016: Penguin).

Volgens haar het hierdie haglike toestand gelei tot ‘n ongekende opbloei in die Griekse digkuns: “Poetry, though, is one thing there is more of. Much more. Poets writing graffiti on walls, poets reading in public squares, theatres and empty lots, poets performing in slams, chanting slogans, and singing songs at rallies, poets blogging and posting on the internet, poets teaming up with artists and musicians, teaching workshops to school children and migrants. In all of the misery and mess, new poetry is everywhere, too large and various a body of writing to fit neatly on either side of any ideological rift. Even with bookshops closing and publishers unsure of paper supplies, poets are getting their poems out there. Established literary magazines are flourishing; small presses and new periodicals abound.”

Dit is ‘n lang, omvattende beskouing. Gaan lees dit gerus op The Guardian se webtuiste, maar by wyse van lusmaker, die volgende: “What most distinguishes the poetry of this new millennium from that which came before is, on the one hand, its diversity – there are no clear-cut schools or factions – and, on the other hand, the cultural conditions that it takes for granted […] The times are an invitation to speak out against dogma, division, and monolingualism – and also, often equally importantly, simply to register the lived experience of Greeks today, the news that stays new when headlines move on to cover other parts of the world.”

Vir jou leesplesier volg ‘n uitreksel uit ‘n gedig deur een van Griekeland se klassieke meesters.

Lekker lees.





Disobedient State

And I, my brothers dream
of a song for our state-
A song that will be like a house for the homeless
that will be like bread for the hungry
like justice for those who have been wronged-
A song like a table that has been spread
where you can set down
the bread and your glass
your fist, your elbows
your foreheads, your hope,
where you can set down
a vase of cold water with five red roses.
A song that will give birth to songs,
joy and trust,
a song that will be the child of our state,
a song that will hold our state under its arm…
A song that will help you
my brothers, to build happiness
a song that will make the world
more just more beautiful more strong
a song that will make the world free.”


© Yiannis Ritsos

(Vertaling deur Eva Johanos)


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