Posts Tagged ‘London Elegy’

Desmond Painter. Manuel Bandeira skryf oor Londen

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo

Gewonder vanwaar my skielike obsessie met die Brasiliaanse digkuns? Wel, ek is op pad São Paulo toe vir ‘n akademiese besoek. Ek vertrek Dinsdag en sal oor ‘n bietjie meer as ‘n week weer terug wees in Stellenbosch. Baie toeriste verkies natuurlik om São Paulo eerder te vermy, maar dit is een van die wêreld se grootste metropolitaanse gebiede, ‘n stad bekend vir sy naglewe, straatkuns en argitektuur, en ek is nogal opgewonde om iets hiervan te kan ervaar. Die New York van die Suide, wil sommiges beweer. Ek is nie seker of ek sal kan blog terwyl ek daar is nie; maar ek sal in elk geval foto’s en indrukke versamel en later hier kom deel. Vir eers ‘n laaste gedig van Manuel Bandeira — ‘n wonderlike stadsgedig, maar nie oor São Paulo nie:

 

London Elegy – Manuel Bandeira

Ovalle, little brother, tell me
Du sein de Dieu ou tu te reposes
Do you still recall London and her moons?
It’s hard to imagine you here
— London is troppo big —
With your impossible love, your certitudes, gaps
You, Saint of the Red Light District, whore-house sinner
Lost in the early morning, sitting on the kerb
By the brothels, crying
The maps have played tricks on me:
Did you ever feel how Mayfair seems unrelated to the Thames
Did you feel that to be a pedestrian in Oxford Street
You have to like Rimbaud, genius and walker?
Or then a Portuguese
— Like the poet Alberto de Lacerda —
Ovalle little brother, how did you feel
In this sad and huge London
You who were always looking for a bit of Jesus
In everything
How did you look at these houses so exasperately alike
Were you sometime ill, continuously looking
From behind the panes at the lettering across the street?
— RAWPLUG HOUSE, RAWPLUG CO. LTD., RAWLING BROS.
In which bars did you drink the blues
Did you some evening ask the little women
In Picadilly Circus forgiveness
Did you go to the British Museum to look at
The Lapithaean virgin raped by the centaur
Did you take communion by the Infant Jesus of Piero
De la Francesca in the National Gallery?
Were you aware of Dame Edith Sitwell and her
‘Trio for two cats and a trombone’?
Ovalle, little brother, you are today a shiny star
In the high seas
Send to my London anguish a ray of your warm eternity

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