Posts Tagged ‘Lawrence Ferlinghetti’

Louis Esterhuizen. Lawrence Ferlinghetti wys halfmiljoenrand se prysgeld van die hand

Monday, October 15th, 2012

 

Lawrence Ferlinghetti (foto) is ‘n gerekende digter, oud-uitgewer, boekhandelaar, kunstenaar en menseregte-aktivis wat in sy leeftyd al vele pryse en ander bekronings ingepalm het. Via ‘n skakel by die VSA se Poetry Foundation beland ek toe op New Directions, uitgewer van Ferlinghetti se boeke, se webblad waar die volgende aankondiging gemaak word: “Late last week, we learned that famed poet, publisher, bookstore owner, artist, and activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti had been awarded the Janus Pannonius International Poetry Prize from the Hungarian PEN Club, a chapter of the larger PEN organization. Established this year, the prize carries a 50,000 Euro financial award.”

Getrou aan sy aard her Ferlinghetti egter die ontstaansgeskiedenis (en befondsing) van dié prys nagevors en gevind dat ‘n beduidende deel van die prysgeld deur die Hongaarse regering bewillig word; ‘n regering wat al telkens in die verlede gekritiseer is vir die wyse waarop vryheid van spraak op sowel amptelike as nie-amptelike maniere onderdruk word.

Ferlinghetti het derhalwe besluit om dié eer van die hand te wys en het onderstaande brief aan die president van die Hongaarse PEN-organisasie geskryf:

Dear Geza Szocs,

After careful research into the Pannonius Prize and its sponsors, including the present Hungarian government, I have come to the following conclusions: Since the Prize is partially funded by the present Hungarian government, and since the policies of this right-wing regime tend toward authoritarian rule and the consequent curtailing of freedom of expression and civil liberties, I find it impossible for me to accept the Prize in the United States. Thus I must refuse the Prize in its present terms.

However, assuming the total devotion of the Hungarian PEN Club and yourself to freedom of speech and social justice, I propose that the Prize money be used to set up a fund to be administered by the Hungarian PEN Club, said fund to be devoted solely to the publication of Hungarian authors whose writings support total freedom of speech, civil rights, and social justice. These are the only terms under which I can accept the Pannonius Prize.

In defense of individual freedom and democratic institutions, I am faithfully yours,

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Hierop het Szocs onderneem om wel die voorgestelde kanalisering van fondse na ‘n gesublimeerde skrywer te ondersoek. As teenvoorstel het hy egter aangebied dat die regering sy bydrae tot die prysgeld geskrap word.

Hiervoor was Ferlinghetti egter nie te vinde nie; sy antwoord was kort en kragtig:

I hereby refuse the Prize in all its forms. There is no possibility of my accepting the prize in a ceremony in the United States or elsewhere. I am sorry it has come to this, and I am grateful to those in Hungary who may have had the purest motives in offering me the Prize.

Nou ja, toe. ‘n Man van intergriteit, inderdaad.

Hieronder volg een van Ferlinghetti se gedigte wat ek op die internet kon opspoor …

***

 Baseball Canto

Watching baseball, sitting in the sun, eating popcorn,
reading Ezra Pound,
and wishing that Juan Marichal would hit a hole right through the
Anglo-Saxon tradition in the first Canto
and demolish the barbarian invaders.
When the San Francisco Giants take the field
and everybody stands up for the National Anthem,
with some Irish tenor’s voice piped over the loudspeakers,
with all the players struck dead in their places
and the white umpires like Irish cops in their black suits and little
black caps pressed over their hearts,
Standing straight and still like at some funeral of a blarney bartender,
and all facing east,
as if expecting some Great White Hope or the Founding Fathers to
appear on the horizon like 1066 or 1776.
But Willie Mays appears instead,
in the bottom of the first,
and a roar goes up as he clouts the first one into the sun and takes
off, like a footrunner from Thebes.
The ball is lost in the sun and maidens wail after him
as he keeps running through the Anglo-Saxon epic.
And Tito Fuentes comes up looking like a bullfighter
in his tight pants and small pointy shoes.
And the right field bleechers go made with Chicanos and blacks
and Brooklyn beer-drinkers,
“Tito! Sock it to him, sweet Tito!”
And sweet Tito puts his foot in the bucket
and smacks one that don’t come back at all,
and flees around the bases
like he’s escaping from the United Fruit Company.
As the gringo dollar beats out the pound.
And sweet Tito beats it out like he’s beating out usury,
not to mention fascism and anti-semitism.
And Juan Marichal comes up,
and the Chicano bleechers go loco again,
as Juan belts the first ball out of sight,
and rounds first and keeps going
and rounds second and rounds third,
and keeps going and hits paydirt
to the roars of the grungy populace.
As some nut presses the backstage panic button
for the tape-recorded National Anthem again,
to save the situation.

But it don’t stop nobody this time,
in their revolution round the loaded white bases,
in this last of the great Anglo-Saxon epics,
in the territorio libre of Baseball.

© Lawrence Ferlinghetti

 

Desmond Painter. Ferlinghetti se bofbalgedig

Thursday, June 10th, 2010
Ferlinghetti

Ferlinghetti

Ek het gister belowe om vanoggend ‘n sportgedig deur Lawrence Ferlinghetti op hierdie blog te plaas. Ferlinghetti is natuurlik nie spesifiek bekend vir gedigte oor sport nie, maar hy het ten minste een klassieke gedig oor bofbal geskryf. Ag, eintlik handel sy “Baseball Canto” oor soveel meer as bofbal… Dit is myns insiens ‘n briljante gedig oor die ineengevlegtheid van sport en politiek, sport en ideologie, en sport en verskillende soorte maatskaplike identiteite en aspirasies. En aan die ander kant gebruik Ferlinghetti sport en bofbal bloot as metafoor vir ‘n besinning oor kultuurpolitieke kwessies in die VSA van sy tyd. Lees maar self:

 

Baseball Canto – Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Watching baseball, sitting in the sun, eating popcorn,
reading Ezra Pound,
and wishing that Juan Marichal would hit a hole right through the
Anglo-Saxon tradition in the first Canto
and demolish the barbarian invaders.
When the San Francisco Giants take the field
and everybody stands up for the National Anthem,
with some Irish tenor’s voice piped over the loudspeakers,
with all the players struck dead in their places
and the white umpires like Irish cops in their black suits and little
black caps pressed over their hearts,
standing straight and still like at some funeral of a blarney bartender,
and all facing east,
as if expecting some Great White Hope or the Founding Fathers to
appear on the horizon like 1066 or 1776.
But Willie Mays appears instead,
in the bottom of the first,
and a roar goes up as he clouts the first one into the sun and takes
off, like a footrunner from Thebes.
The ball is lost in the sun and maidens wail after him
as he keeps running through the Anglo-Saxon epic.
And Tito Fuentes comes up looking like a bullfighter
in his tight pants and small pointy shoes.
And the right field bleechers go mad with Chicanos and blacks
and Brooklyn beer-drinkers,
“Tito! Sock it to him, sweet Tito!”
And sweet Tito puts his foot in the bucket
and smacks one that don’t come back at all,
and flees around the bases
like he’s escaping from the United Fruit Company.
As the gringo dollar beats out the pound.
And sweet Tito beats it out like he’s beating out usury,
not to mention fascism and anti-semitism.
And Juan Marichal comes up,
and the Chicano bleechers go loco again,
as Juan belts the first ball out of sight,
and rounds first and keeps going
and rounds second and rounds third,
and keeps going and hits paydirt
to the roars of the grungy populace.
As some nut presses the backstage panic button
for the tape-recorded National Anthem again,
to save the situation.

But it don’t stop nobody this time,
in their revolution round the loaded white bases,
in this last of the great Anglo-Saxon epics,
in the territorio libre of Baseball.

Desmond Painter. Ferlinghetti se populistiese manifes

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Wie, wonder ek, onthou nog vir Lawrence Ferlinghetti? Hierdie Amerikaanse digter, gebore in 1919, is veral beroemd vir sy bundel A Coney Island of the Mind (1958) en vir sy rol as medestigter van San Francisko se legendariese City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in 1953. Allen Ginsberg se “Howl” was maar een van die vele legendariese titels wat by hierdie uitgewershuis verskyn het.

 

Ferlinghetti voor sy boekwinkel in San Francisko

Ferlinghetti voor sy boekwinkel in San Francisko

Al sedert ek Ferlinghetti se gedigte die eerste keer vroeg in my studentejare ontdek het –- waar hy ‘n gedig voorlees in Martin Scorsese se dokumentêre film oor The Band, The Last Waltz, en daarna in ‘n bloemlesing, gekoop in Langstraat, met gedigte deur hom, Ginsberg en Gregory Corso –- het ek ‘n sagte plekkie vir hierdie digter. Daar is iets in sy stem waarby ek aanklank vind, meer so as by sekere van sy tydgenote. Miskien is dit omdat sy digkuns, ten spyte van sy noue assossiasie (as uitgewer en vriend) met die digters van die “Beat Generasie”, nooit ten volle ingepas het by die Beats se estetika en lewensbeskouinge nie. Hy was in verhouding tot Ginsberg en Kerouac soos ‘n ouer, maar tog boheemse broer; hy was miskien ook meer burgerlik as hulle, in die beste, mees demokratiese sin van daardie woord.

Ek vind dan ook veral aanklank by Ferlinghetti se politieke stem. In sy Poetry as Insurgent Art, nog steeds ‘n “work in progress”, skryf hy hierdie woorde: “If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of apocalyptic times, even if this meaning sounds apocalyptic. You are Whitman, you are Poe, you are Mark Twain, you are Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay, you are Neruda and Mayakovsky and Pasolini, you are an American or a non-American, you can conquer the conquerors with words…” Vanoggend plaas ek graag een van Ferlinghetti se meer politieke gedigte; môreoggend een van sy sportgedigte.
 

Populist Manifesto No. 1

Poets, come out of your closets,
Open your windows, open your doors,
You have been holed-up too long
in your closed worlds.
Come down, come down
from your Russian Hills and Telegraph Hills,
your Beacon Hills and your Chapel Hills,
your Mount Analogues and Montparnasses,
down from your foothills and mountains,
out of your teepees and domes.
The trees are still falling
and we’ll to the woods no more.
No time now for sitting in them
As man burns down his own house
to roast his pig
No more chanting Hare Krishna
while Rome burns.
San Francisco’s burning,
Mayakovsky’s Moscow’s burning
the fossil-fuels of life.
Night & the Horse approaches
eating light, heat & power,
and the clouds have trousers.
No time now for the artist to hide
above, beyond, behind the scenes,
indifferent, paring his fingernails,
refining himself out of existence.
No time now for our little literary games,
no time now for our paranoias & hypochondrias,
no time now for fear & loathing,
time now only for light & love.
We have seen the best minds of our generation
destroyed by boredom at poetry readings.
Poetry isn’t a secret society,
It isn’t a temple either.
Secret words & chants won’t do any longer.
The hour of oming is over,
the time of keening come,
a time for keening & rejoicing
over the coming end
of industrial civilization
which is bad for earth & Man.
Time now to face outward
in the full lotus position
with eyes wide open,
Time now to open your mouths
with a new open speech,
time now to communicate with all sentient beings,
All you ‘Poets of the Cities’
hung in museums including myself,
All you poet’s poets writing poetry
about poetry,
All you poetry workshop poets
in the boondock heart of America,
All you housebroken Ezra Pounds,
All you far-out freaked-out cut-up poets,
All you pre-stressed Concrete poets,
All you cunnilingual poets,
All you pay-toilet poets groaning with graffiti,
All you A-train swingers who never swing on birches,
All you masters of the sawmill haiku in the Siberias of America,
All you eyeless unrealists,
All you self-occulting supersurrealists,
All you bedroom visionaries and closet agitpropagators,
All you Groucho Marxist poets
and leisure-class Comrades
who lie around all day and talk about the workingclass proletariat,
All you Catholic anarchists of poetry,
All you Black Mountaineers of poetry,
All you Boston Brahims and Bolinas bucolics,
All you den mothers of poetry,
All you zen brothers of poetry,
All you suicide lovers of poetry,
All you hairy professors of poesie,
All you poetry reviewers
drinking the blood of the poet,
All you Poetry Police –
Where are Whitman’s wild children,
where the great voices speaking out
with a sense of sweetness and sublimity,
where the great’new vision,
the great world-view,
the high prophetic song
of the immense earth
and all that sings in it
And our relations to it –
Poets, descend
to the street of the world once more
And open your minds & eyes
with the old visual delight,
Clear your throat and speak up,
Poetry is dead, long live poetry
with terrible eyes and buffalo strength.
Don’t wait for the Revolution
or it’ll happen without you,
Stop mumbling and speak out
with a new wide-open poetry
with a new commonsensual ‘public surface’
with other subjective levels
or other subversive levels,
a tuning fork in the inner ear
to strike below the surface.
Of your own sweet Self still sing
yet utter ‘the word en-masse –
Poetry the common carrier
for the transportation of the public
to higher places
than other wheels can carry it.
Poetry still falls from the skies
into our streets still open.
They haven’t put up the barricades, yet,
the streets still alive with faces,
lovely men & women still walking there,
still lovely creatures everywhere,
in the eyes of all the secret of all
still buried there,
Whitman’s wild children still sleeping there,
Awake and walk in the open air.

  •