Posts Tagged ‘Francesc Parcerisas’

Desmond Painter. Nog ‘n stem uit Barcelona: Francesc Parcerisas

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Ek het ʼn week of wat gelede genoem dat ek tans op die internet aan die rondkrap is vir digters uit Katalonië (en Barcelona, om meer spesifiek te wees). Ek kom toe af op ʼn paar Engelse vertalings van Francesc Parcerisas (geb. 1944) se Katalaanse gedigte. Parcerisas stel homself en sy poëtiese wêreld só bekend:

“I am a product of the 1940s middle-class bourgeoisie in Catalonia, with the bitter contradictions that entails and the subtle richness that tends to go hand in hand with the contradictions. I was born in Begues, a small town in the coastal range, but I consider that my education is urban; if Barcelona at the end of the 1940s, with flocks of sheep blocking the tramlines, rubbish carts and the smell of boiled cabbage, was really a city in the sense we give the word nowadays.

Country and city were connected and blended together despite the toll-houses, in an interaction that is very different from what we have at present; and having gone from home to school catching lizards or breaking up processions of bilious green caterpillars in the environs of the fence of the monastery garden – a monastery full of cloistered monks who, at the midday mass on Sundays, sang spectrally from behind operatically dramatic bars – does not prevent me from mythologizing in equal parts my memories of nature and my bedazzlement before the enormous multihued cardboard toys hanging from the columns and ceilings of the city’s only department stores, or the enchantment produced by the penetrating smell of burning wax – not oil – of the silver-plated racing cars that trained for the Penya Rhin race, stridently and speedily crossing in front of the esplanade with the fountain where we went for the Ash Wednesday ceremony of burying the sardine.”

Parcerisas is, volgens die alwyse Google, glo een van die belangrikste Katalaanse digters van sy generasie. Of dit waar is of nie, en wat dit sou beteken indien die wel waar (of onwaar) sou wees, weet ek nie. Wat ek wel weet is dat híérdie een smoel(ver)neuker van ʼn gedig is:

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Shaving – Francesc Parcerisas

Observe yourself in the mirror,
unchanged yet strange,
still shaggy with sleep, startled
at seeing your likeness.
These wrinkles, these graying temples
that you’ve already accepted gracefully
—affable guests who showed up
so suddenly, that you can’t quite recall
just when they initially appeared.
They represent the shameless price required
for this fictitious intimacy with the body.
And now, begin to shave.
The blade, once quick and cold, no longer
glides taut on your skin like the pleasant
lickety-split friction of youthful skis:
you’re forced to stretch your flabby cheek
with your fingers. Don’t despair.
Perhaps if you’re shrewd and willfully avoid
the shameful mark of a nick,
you’ll forget your alliance with your body
has already begun to dissolve.

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