Posts Tagged ‘Jenny Joseph’

‘n Blomjaar vir Britse digkuns

Thursday, December 17th, 2009
Warning

Marlise verjaar!

Vir die Britse digkuns was 2009 inderdaad ‘n besonderse jaar, soos hierdie oorsig deur Sarah Crown duidelik te kenne gee. Vele hoogtepunte was daar, soos die aanstelling van Carol Ann Duffy as poet laureate, byvoorbeeld. Bloosmomente ook, soos die fiasko rondom Derek Walcott en die smeerveldtog jeens hom tydens die verkiesing vir die pos van Oxford Professor of poetry.

Maar dit is veral op die gebied van nuwe publikasies wat die Britse poësiejaar ‘n blomjaar maak. Te midde van ‘n horde nuwe digbundels, is daar egter myns insiens twee digbundels wat kop en skouers bo die ander uittroon: Don Paterson se bekroonde Rain (Faber & Faber), en  die 77-jarige Jenny Joseph se nuutste bundel Nothing like love (Enitharmon).

Oor Paterson se bundel reageer Sarah Crown soos volg: “Sparer, sadder and more inward-looking than his previous outings, Rain displays the technical grace, philosophical breadth and deep personal questioning that we’ve come to expect from Paterson.” En oor Jenny Joseph, die volgende: “Over the years, poets have developed an armada of tools to tackle the problem of love: a fusillade of imagery (roses, birdsong, moonlight); a formal battery of sonnets and ballads. Joseph exploits all of these, of course, but the strength of her poetry is her ability to undercut; to tease out the contradictions in the images while still honouring their intentions, as in “Still Reading Fairy Stories”, which begins “If you were bred on fairy tales / As was I / You would know where the prince was going to / And why; / And if you had then also lived in the world / As I have done / You would know too that he went past the ten-foot wall of roses / And kept straight on.” They may be nothing like love, but there’s an irresistible sincerity to her lyrics which makes them worth having.”

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Nou ja, toe. Jenny Joseph is natuurlik bekend vir een van die bekendste (en mees gewilde) gedigte in die Britse taalgebied: die onvergeetlike “Warning”. Vir jou leesplesier vanoggend plaas ek dié vers heel onder, want vandag is dit my geliefde meeloper se verjaarsdag. En ek weet toevallig dat hierdie gedig een van háár gunstelingverse is … Marlise, mag die nuwe lewensjaar propvol nuwe vreugdes (en uitdagings) wees. Dit is inderdaad pure genade om ‘n lewe met jou te kan deel.

Ten slotte – Philip de Vos het ‘n wonderlike nuwe inskrywing oor die vertaling van Annie Schmidt se gedig “De Kat van Ome Willem” geplaas.

Lekker lees en laat hierdie dag blom in al die kleure wat jy ook al mag begeer.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

Warning

 

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers

in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

 

(c) Jenny Joseph

 

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