Posts Tagged ‘Osip Mandelstam’

Desmond Painter. Mandelstam se wetenskap van die wedersiens

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
Osip Mandelstam

Osip Mandelstam

Osip Mandelstam se beroemde gedig Tristia begin met hierdie woorde: “I have learned the science of farewell”. Ek het ook al ander vertalings hiervan gelees: “I have studied the science of departures”; en: “The essence of farewell I have extracted…” Watter van hierdie vertalings die oorspronklike Russies die beste weergee weet ek nie, maar ek verkies beslis “I have learned the science of farewell.” “Studied” is vir my ‘n te aktiewe werkwoord hier; dit dui op ‘n doelgerigte handeling, terwyl “learned” ook meer passief kan verwys na iets wat met jou gebeur, iets wat jy geleer het of jy nou wou of nie. Dalk selfs teen jou sin. 

Volgens Jacques Ranciere is skeiding, afsondering en afwesigheid meer as net ‘n ongelukkige stand van sake waaroor Mandelstam skryf in sy gedigte. Afsondering “is the very principle of the poem, the science of the poet. For Mandelstam there is no poetic power except from the point of view of exile. There is no moment of recognition except by the power of separation that divides ‘the frothing nocturnal waters,’ which is not a farewell to the Soviet night but the interior movement that rearranges it and makes visible the stratification of meaning and image that compose it.”

Miskien daarom dat Mandelstam ook sulke treffende verse oor die verbeelde wedersiens kon skryf, in daardie selfde ontstuimige Sowjetnag… Vergelyk die twee vertalings hieronder (deur Onbekend en A.S. Kline onderskeidelik) van sy In Petersburg We’ll Meet Again. Die idee van die “blessed, senseless word” in die eerste vertaling (en die “sacred meaningless word” in die tweede) staan sentraal in hierdie gedig. Volgens Ranciere: “In the Soviet night — the night of resemblances — the blessed word, the ‘raving’ word, must be made to shine […] [I]t is possible to tear the poetic signifiers of the new life from their state-symbolist appropriation, to give them back their power: the power that the Russian language maintains from its double origin, from the Byzantine marriage of Hellenic culture, and from the Christian word: from the word made flesh of Christian religion and from the legend of Psyche, the soul, visitor of the Underworld… It is this active flesh of the word that must be risked in the Soviet night to provoke the event, the lightning of the encounter. The suffering of the Christian Word is identical to the free joy of Greek Psyche. The heroic calling of the poem is one with its ludic calling. The politics of the poem is the identity of them both, which hunts equally the phantoms of art for art’s sake, or of art at the service of the proletariat.” [Uit J. Ranciere, The Flesh of Words: The Politics of Writing, Stanford University Press, 2004] 

*

In Petersburg we’ll meet again – Osip Mandelstam

In Petersburg we’ll meet again,
As though we’d buried the sun there,
And for the first time utter
The blessed, senseless word.
In the black velvet of Soviet night,
In the velvet of worldwide emptiness,
The kind eyes of touched women still sing,
The immortal flowers still bloom.

2

The capitol arches like a wildcat,
A patrol is standing on the bridge,
A single angry motor speeds by in the dark,
And cries out like a cuckoo.
I do not need a pass for the evening,
I am not afraid of the sentries:
I will pray in the Soviet night
For the blessed and senseless word.

3

I hear the theater’s light rustling
And a young girl’s ‘Oh’ —
In Kypris’ arms, a huge bunch
Of immortal roses.
Out of boredom, we warm ourselves
By a bonfire. Perhaps centuries will pass,
And the kind hands of touched women
Will gather up the light ashes.

4

Somewhere the red rows of the gallery,
The sumptuous chiffon of the boxes;
The clockwork-puppet of the officer;
Not for black souls or vile hypocrites . . .
Right. Put out, please, our candles
In the black velvet of worldwide emptiness,
The sloped shoulders of blessed women still sing,
But you won’t notice the night sun.

 

We shall meet again in Petersburg – Osip Mandelstam

 

We shall meet again in Petersburg,

as though there we’d buried the sun,

and for the first time, speak the word

the sacred, the meaningless one.

In black velvet of the Soviet night,

in the velvet of earth’s emptiness,

flowers still flower everlasting, bright,

women sing, beloved eyes are blessed.

 

The city is arched there like a lynx,

the bridge-patrol stands its ground,

an angry motor dissects the mist

crying out with a cuckoo’s sound.

I don’t need a pass for tonight,

I have no fear of the guard:

I’ll pray in the Soviet night.

for the sacred meaningless word.

 

Amid the theatre’s soft rustling

I hear a girl’s startled: ‘Ah!’ –

and Cypris holds everlasting

roses, clasped in her soft arms.

Bored, by a fire we warm ourselves,

perhaps the centuries will pass,

and beloved hands, women’s, blessed,

will gather up the weightless ash.

 

Somewhere sweet Orphean choirs sound,

dark the beloved pupils of their eyes,

and programmes, fluttering to the ground,

fall towards the stalls, like doves in flight.

You might as well blow out our candles then:

in the black velvet of earth’s emptiness

women’s shoulders, rounded, blessed, still sing,

but the night sun will not shine here, a guest.

Vredesdigter in tye van konflik

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

 

Mahmoud Darwish

Mahmoud Darwish

Waar die Oos-Europese digkunste sowat ‘n dekade gelede ongekende blootstelling en erkenning geniet het, het die fokus die afgelope jare nogals ietwat verskuif met veral die Midde-Oosterse digters wat al hoe meer aan internasionale aansien begin wen. Met digters soos Adonis, Mahmoud Darwish, Yehuda Amichai, Dan Pagis en Dahlia Ravikovitch in hul geledere is dit ook geen verrassing nie. Tragies genoeg was dit Sondag, 9 Augustus, presies ‘n jaar gelede dat een van hul mees begaafde digters, Mahmoud Darwish, weens komplikasies na hart-chirurgie in Houston, Texas, gesterf het. Hy was 67 jaar oud.

Gebore in Al Birweh, Palestina, moes Darwish se ouers met hul gesin na Labanon vlug tydens die vestiging van die Israelse staat in 1948. Na vele omswerwinge het hy in 1996 na Israel teruggekeer en hom by Ramallah aan die Wes-Oewer gevestig. Meer as dertig bundels het na sy debuut in 1964 verskyn en hy was ongetwyfeld die mees prominente Palestynse digter; danksy die groot getal bundels wat na Engels vertaal is. Hieronder tel die volgende: Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems (2003), Stage of Siege (2002), The Adam of Two Edens (2001), Mural (2000), Bed of the Stranger (1999), Psalms (1995), Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone? (1994), en The Music of Human Flesh (1980). Die mees onlangse, The Butterfly’s Burden (Copper Canyon Press, 2006) is skitterend vertaal deur Fady Joudah en is sonder twyfel ‘n móét vir enige ernstige poësie-liefhebber. (Terloops, dié lywige bloemlesing van 326 bladsye se verkoopprys is ‘n skaflike R250.00 …)

Oor Mahmoud Darwish se werk het Naomi Shihab Nye die volgende te sê gehad: “Mahmoud Darwish is the Essential Breath of the Palestinian people, the eloquent witness of exile and belonging, exquisitely tuned singer of images that invoke, link, and shine a brilliant light into the world’s whole heart. What he speaks has been embraced by readers around the world-his is an utterly necessary voice, unforgettable once discovered.” Amen. Ek kan ten volle hiermee akkoord gaan. So, snuffel gerus op die internet rond en lees meer oor dié formidabele digter wat ons ‘n jaar gelede ontval het. Gaan kyk veral na Darwish se buurman, Raja Shehade, se ontroerende stuk wat hier te lese is.

Meteens besef ek hoeveel van die vernaamste digters in wêreldpoësie hul werk juis te midde van ontheemding en verbanning gelewer het (of steeds lewer): Adonis, Bei Dao, César Vallejo, Pablo Neruda, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Josph Brodsky, Osip Mandelstam en Paul Celan. Om natuurlik ook nie van Breyten Breytenbach te vergeet nie! Miskien het dit te make met iets wat Luigi Pirandello by monde van ‘n karakter in een van sy drama’s gesê het: “For never is man so introspective as when he suffers.”

Maar wag, nou begin ek babbel. Hieronder is ‘n vers van Mahmoud Darwish uit The Stranger’s bed (1998), soos vertaal deur Fady Joudah.

En bly tog uit die greep van die struikrowers vandag.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

SONNET V

 

I touch you as a lonely violin touches the suburbs of the faraway place

patiently the river asks for its share of the drizzle

and, bit by bit, a tomorrow passing in poems approaches

so I carry faraway’s land and it carries me on travel’s road.

 

On a mare made of your virtues, my soul weaves

a natural sky made of your shadows, one chrysalis at a time.

I am the son of what you do in the earth, son of my wounds

that have lit up the pomegranate blossoms in your closed-up gardens.

 

Out of jasmine the night’s blood streams white. Your perfume,

my weakness and your secret, follows me like a snakebite. And your hair

is a tent of wind autumn in color. I walk along with speech

to the last of the words a bedouin told a pair of doves.

 

I palpate you as a violin palpates the silk of the faraway time

and around me and you sprouts the grass of an ancient place-anew.

 

© Mahmoud Darwish (vertaling: Fady Joudah)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  •