Posts Tagged ‘Craig Raine’

Craig Raine tree af (met ‘n roman)

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009
Craig Raine

Craig Raine

Craig Raine (65), sonder twyfel een van Brittanje se vernaamste digters, tree volgende jaar af met ‘n nuwe publikasie om dié geleentheid te vier: ‘n roman. “It is not a poet’s novel, finely written with lots of description and a little bit boring. I hope it’s a novelist’s novel that will be filthy and funny,” het hy aan The Guardian se beriggewer gesê. “It was nice to discover I could write novels because it’s not a given. Just because you are good at ping-pong doesn’t mean you’ll be good at squash. I already know it comes from a completely different part of the imagination which has been fascinating and I have a wonderful feeling of excitement and newness. It’s like Eliot remarrying this much younger woman in his 60s. I feel like a new life is beginning.”

Raine, wat vir die grootste deel van sy lewe drie beroepe beoefen het, naamlik dié van skrywer, dosent (by Oxford) en redakteur (eers by Faber & Faber en tans as hoofman van Areté – die tydskrif wat hy in 1999 tot stand gebring het), is egter allerweë as digter bekend. Vanweë sy onverskrokke, en eerlike kyk na dinge, het John Carey al by geleentheid na sy gedigte as “windscreen wipers across the eyeballs” verwys.

Gaan lees gerus die omvattende berig op The Guardian se webblad. Vanweë die biografiese inslag daarvan is dit inderdaad pure leesplesier; ‘n vermaaklike berig oor ‘n belangrike digter. En ai, ‘n mens hoop maar net dat hy nooit sy eerste liefde sal versaak nie … Of wat praat ek alles?

Ter illustrasie van Craig Raine se digkuns plaas ek ‘n voorbeeld daarvan hieronder.

 ***

Nuwe plasings op die webblad is die persverklaring oor die Versindaba wat nou net 24 slapies weg is, terwyl aan die blogkant van sake drie nuwe inskrywings gemaak is: Andries Bezuidenhout betreur die Johannesburge poskantoor wat vroeër vandeesweek in puin gelê is, Desmond Painter vra om genade weens werksdruk en Ilse van Staden verkeer sokratiaans met haar digterlike neus teen die grond.

Ten slotte – aan almal wat tans deur berge nasienwerk moet sleur, ‘n wenk: verruil jou rooi pen vir ‘n groene. Dit maak ‘n radikale verskil, glo my.

Lekker lees aan alles en hou moed. Die naweek is net om die draai.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

An attempt at jealousy

 

So how is life with your new bloke?
Simpler, I bet. Just one stroke
of his quivering oar and the skin
of the Thames goes into a spin,

eh? How is life with an oarsman? Better?
More in–out? Athletic? Wetter?
When you hear the moan of the rowlocks,
do you urge him on like a cox?

Tell me, is he bright enough to find
that memo-pad you call a mind?
Or has he contrived to bring you out–
given you an in-tray and an out?

How did I ever fall for a paper-clip?
How could I ever listen to office gossip
even in bed and find it so intelligent?
Was is straight biological bent?

I suppose you go jogging together?
Tackle the Ridgeway in nasty weather?
Face force 55 gales and chat about prep
or how you bested that Birmingham rep?

He must be mad with excitement.
So must you. What an incitement
to lust all those press-ups must be.
Or is it just the same? PE?

Tell me, I’m curious. Is it fun
being in love with just anyone?
How do you remember his face
if you meet in a public place?

Perhaps you know him by his shoes?
Or do you sometimes choose
another pinstriped clone
by accident and drag that home

instead? From what you say,
he’s perfect. For a Chekhov play.
Tall and dark and brightly dim,
Kulygin’s part was made for him.

Imagine your life with a ‘beak’.
Week after week after week
like homework or detention;
all that standing to attention

whenever his colleagues drop in
for a spot of what’s-your-toxin.
Speech Day, matron, tuck-shop, Christ,
you’ll find school fees are over-priced

and leave, but not come back to me.
You’ve done your bit for poetry.
Words, or deeds? You’ll stick to youth.
I’m a stickler for the truth –

which makes me wonder what it was
I loved you for. Tell me, because
now I feel nothing – except regret.
What is it, love, I need to forget?

(c) Craig Raine

  •