Posts Tagged ‘Tomaz Salamun’

Breyten Breytenbach. Huldeblyk: Tomaz Salamun (1941 – 2014)

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Tomaz Salamun : 7 Januarie 1941 – 27 Desember 2014

 

Enkele dae gelede, so op die stert van die sterwende jaar (wat in doodstuipe nog steeds vloedwaters kon ontketen en vliegtuie uit die lug kon klap), het Tomaz Salamun sy dansskoene aangetrek en ligvoet tussen die sterre verdwyn. Miskien het hy besluit, « tot hier toe en nie verder nie. » Miskien het hy gevoel die duiseligheid en die verlies van ewewig is te veel ; dat dit nie die moeite werd is om te lewe as mens nie eens meer ‘n boek kan lees nie.

Ons verloor ‘n groot digter. Die merkwaardige is dat sy gedigte seker nou eers tot hulle enigmatiese en eie skoonheid gaan ontplooi. Vanaf die heel eerstes was hulle gekenmerk deur ‘n speelsheid, ‘n grensloosheid, ‘n verbeeldingsgebied wat in byna enige denkbare rigting kon strek, ‘n intelligensie en ‘n ‘logika’ wat die poësie vanselfsprekend gemaak het en slégs in die poësie kon lewe.

Natuurlik was die wêreld waarbinne hy opgegroei het, van oorloë en onderdrukking en mal ideologiese konstrukte en musiek en ‘n intense belewing van die absurditeit van menswees, ‘n vormende invloed –  as ‘Joegoslaaf’ (‘n suiderse Slawiër volgens die betekenis maar eintlik netsoveel van ‘n kunsmatige samevoeging as om ‘n Suid-Afrikaner te wees) van Sloweense afkoms uit ‘n kunssinnige familie, wat sonder komplekse of vrees vir die uitdoof en dood van die stam (daar is net ‘n raps meer as twee-en-‘n-halfmiljoen Sloweniërs) in sy moedertaal, Sloweens, bly skryf het. ‘n Wêreldburger – hy het seker ten minste vyf tale vlot gebruik ; ‘n ontwortelde burger van die Middelwêreld. Iemand wat nie gely het aan kopkolonisering nie en nie slaafs of kritiekloos die ‘vreemde’, solank dit maar eksoties en van ‘elders’ is, probeer naboots het nie. Iemand wat met humor vir jou kon verduidelik waarom Zizek byvoorbeeld, ‘n tydgenoot uit dieselfde wêrelddeel, ‘n holle vermaker is.

Enkele aanhalings uit die voorwoord van Christopher Merrill tot die keuse, in vertaling, van Salamun se gedigte (« The Four Questions of Melancholy »). Charles Simic (ook eens ‘n Joegoslaaf) wat verduidelik – « Here is something we can all count on : sooner or later our tribe always comes to ask us to agree to murder. » Salamun self, in « Folk Song » : « Every true poet is a monster, he destroys people and their speech. » Dalk het hy hom ook as ‘n monster ervaar, en as ‘n « sfeer wat deur die hemele spoed. » (En ek onthou van die foto’s wat Salamun se vrou Metka Krasowek die aand geneem het toe Ko Un so wild gedans het in die sleepwa wat ons agter ‘n trekker terug opstal toe vervoer het onder die sterre, van die strepe lig vasgelê op film soos dansende ‘engele’ om die dansers in die nag. Weer Simic : « The lyric poet is almost by definition a traitor to his own people. He is the stranger who speaks the harsh truth that only individual lives are unique and therefore sacred. He may be loved by his people, but his example is also the one to be warned against. The tribe must pull together to face the invading enemy while the lyric poet sits talking to the skull in the graveyard. »

 

by die heengaan van Tomaz Salamun, 27 desember 2014

 

« l’amour est fort comme un poème »

Carmen, Bizet

 

« Little robin,

  bones pinned to the cosmos.

  Who whistles, who calls ? »

(Untitled), Tomaz Salamun

 

1.

die mens se blouskrif loop tot waar die reis

verskiet in sterre

en nie verder nie

onderweg fluit nagvoëls in die kreupelhout

branders staan op om te swel en breek

laat seisoen wanneer dae saamkrimp

sal daar soms berge wees

gestolp onder ‘n laag sneeu

van mymering of ‘n geheue

aan ewige lewe

en nie verder nie

 

niks is verklaarbaar in die worp woorde nie

maar wanneeer die nag uitskei in dag

is alles aanwesig

soos dit nog altyd was

 

bome, ‘n snawelmaan getower uit rook

ook skaduwees en kinders se helder klokklanke

en nie verder nie

 

die mens kry sy laken

wat ‘n seil pas by die lyk

 

sy kis as sloep vir die gedagdroomde vaart

oorkant toe

 

en niks verder nie

 

 

 

 

2.

ons was saam hier voor die nag se oneinde
om te tuur in daardie ruimte

waar ‘n wenteling sononders

in die kolk verdwyn

 

en net die knettering skroeisels oorbly

as flonkerpetale oor ‘n swart tafeldoek

 

ek lig ‘n glasie op die stilte van jou verkoolde lippe, vriend –

al het die kyk my oë verblind

en is daar niks meer om te sien nie

 

 

3.

… het onthou van die halfmaanmuur

in die onderste tuin

waar twee suurlemoenboompies

nou skuilte soek

 

… daar byna uitgevee deur seisoene

geskryf sien staan :

 

rug téén die muur

van bergwindkoue uit die noorde

anderkant die grens om ballingskap

 

om die rug te draai

en oor einders te soek

na gerugte van vryheid

 

*

 

En hierdie huldigingsgedig van Bill Dodd :

 

For Tomaz Salamun

 

you’ve gone out now into your own

uncanny logic

where trees are trees and not trees

and looking is absorbed into light

 

we imagine you there

one step ahead of angels

two of devils

your tuft of grey hair

flapping in interstellar breeze

your boyish grin

as you show them

you have not died at all

but simply sidestepped

that dull thing called time and place

 

by now you’re ready again to

sneak up behind us

spring a fifth question of melancholy

vanish into your next impossible world

before we can turn

 

you always had so many lined up ahead

a world or two per poem

and since they all need winding up

from time to time

we know we’ll always glimpse you there

whizzing through your volumes

turning ineffable keys

clocking in and out of nowhere

leaving us gasping

a page behind

 

but grinning back at us

teasing us on—

 

‘the dance is here, there,

dance it,

dance it now!’

*

 

(c) Breyten Breytenbach / Desember 2014

Dansende Digtersfees. Die vier vrae wat melancholie aan jou stel

Friday, April 26th, 2013

 

Vir dekades reeds word die Sloeweense digter, Tomaž Šalamun, as een van die vernaamste digters in wêreldpoësie gereken. Daarom dat dit ook nie verrassend is dat daar soveel bundels van Šalamun beskikbaar is in Engelse vertaling nie … En elkeen van hulle is eenvoudig oorrompelend; veral sy mees onlangse bundel, The Blue Tower, wat in 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt verskyn het.

Die publikasie wat ek egter aan jou sou wou voorhou as “beste aanwins” tydens die Dansende Digtersfees, is die bloemlesing The Four Questions of Melancholy – New and Selected Poems, ‘n keur uit die eerste 25 bundels van Šalamun wat deur Christopher Merrill saamgestel en versorg is. (En dit boonop teen ‘n uiters bekostigbare prys aangebied word.)

Tomaz Salamun

Volgens die resensent wat die boek vir die Midwest Book Review geresenseer het, die volgende: “Ably edited by Christopher Merrill, The Four Questions Of Melancholy is a collection of poetry containing selections from each of Tomaz Salamun’s 25 works. Although images of the larger world (war, politics and peace) pervade his works, there are also images that speak to the more personal and immediate. This blend creates a complete whole rare in such collections. “Only God exists. Spirits are a phantom. /Blind shadows of machines concealing the Kiss. /My Death is my Death. It won’t be shared/with the dull peace of others laid beneath this sod […] The poetry of Tomaz Salamun criticizes the often-absurd universe of politicians, and legends emergent out of everyday events. Without a doubt the Leninist-Stalinist society in which Salamun is raised plays a major role in his development as a poet. During Tito’s regime in Yugoslavia, poets could be arrested and could spend a year in jail for impolite references to any number of public officials. While in other circumstances, political repression raises a feeling of revolution among artists and especially in poetry of revolt; rejection and denouncement, in much of Eastern European poetry takes on a much more rebellious, clever and even mocking tone. It is because Salamun is a free man who likes his country and likes his country free that Salamun feels the need to talk about the wrong doing during the period of oppression.”

Ter afsluiting, die volgende aanbeveling deur Jorie Graham: “What a joy – a large, wonderfully selected collection of Tomaz Salamun’s poems – one of Europe’s great philosophical wonders. Finally seeing so much of the work in one sequence makes clear how brilliantly and stubbornly – and uniquely – he has explored the nature of the real, how many avenues of perception he has coursed down. Realism, surrealism, song, aphorism, lyric, anti-lyric – everything from Apollinaire’s physical wonders to Rilke’s theological fears swirl through these beautiful, scary, and deeply original poems.”

 

Vervolgens die boekbesonderhede en dan die gedig “History”, een van Šalamun se bekendste en mees geliefde gedigte.

 

[ISBN: 9781877727573, Sagteband, 265 ble., White Pine Press, R221.00]

***

History

Tomaz Salamun is a monster.
Tomaz Salamun is a sphere rushing through the air.
He lies down in twilight, he swims in twilight.
People and I, we both look at him amazed,
we wish him well, maybe he is a comet.
Maybe he is punishment from the gods,
the boundary stone of the world.
Maybe he is such a speck in the universe
that he will give energy to the planet
when oil, steel, and food run short.
He might only be a hump, his head
should be taken off like a spider’s.
But something would then suck up
Tomaz Salamun, possibly the head.
Possibly he should be pressed between
glass, his photo should be taken.
He should be put in formaldehyde, so children
would look at him as they do foetuses,
protei, and mermaids.
Next year, he’ll probably be in Hawaii
or in Ljubljana. Doorkeepers will scalp
tickets. People walk barefoot
to the university there. The waves can be
a hundred feet high. The city is fantastic,
shot through with people on the make,
the wind is mild.
But in Ljubljana people say: look!
This is Tomaz Salamun, he went to the store
with his wife Marushka to buy some milk.
He will drink it and this is history.

© Tomaž Šalamun (Vertaal deur die digter in samewerking met Bob Perleman)

 

 

Dansende Digtersfees. Tomaž Šalamun (Sloewenië)

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Die Dansende Digtersfees / Dancing in Other Words, is ‘n internasionale fees van digters en digkuns wat op Vrydag 10 en Saterdag 11 Mei 2013 op Spier, buite Stellenbosch, gaan plaasvind. As ‘n gesamentlike projek tussen Spier en die Pirogue Kollektief, is die Dansende Digtersfees die eerste beliggaming van ‘n vennootskap met die bedoeling om verder vorentoe soortgelyke ruimtes van skepping en verbeelding te bevorder en te fasiliteer, hetsy literêr, maatskaplik, of polities van aard. 

*** 

Tomaž Šalamun (1941) is ‘n Sloeweense digter wat in Zagreb (Kroasië) gebore is en in Koper (Sloewenië) grootgeword het. Tot dusver het daar reeds 39 digbundels uit sy pen verskyn. Sy gedigte is al in meer as twintig tale vertaal.

In 1964 was Šalamun redakteur van die literêre tydskrif Perspektive waarin sy opspraakwekkende gedig Duma ’64 (Gedagte ’64) verskyn het. As gevolg van dié gedig is Perspektive verban en Šalamun gearresteer weens die verband tussen die (dooie) swart kat in die gedig met Ivan Maček Matija, ‘n gevreesde lid van Tito se regering in hierdie dae. (Terloops, die woord “maček” is sloeweens vir “kat”.) Na vyf dae is hy uit die gevangenis vrygelaat; oornag ‘n held en kultusfiguur.

Die gewraakte gedig, wat nié in sy debuut twee jaar later opgeneem is nie, lees soos volg in Engelse vertaling:

 DUMA ’64

Screwed by the Absolute,

gorged with virgins and other deadly wounded,

I love you, O my fellow-creatures, you who are humble godfather’s flash of wit;

I love you, O you complete personalities of sweet observations; in my spirit, mercy has moved.

O you, owners of mental grief,

O you, fawning intellectuals with small sweaty hands,

O you, logicians – vegetarians – with a diopter of minus fifteen,

O you, rectors with muzzles on your snouts,

O you, ideologists with your prostitute ideologies,

O you, academicians who chew gingerbread from Skofja Loka as well as punctuations,

O you, mummies who applaud passions and sufferings in an academic way,

You, Pascals who are trying hard and you Bachs who have succeeded,

O you, lyricists who are drying up with delight,

O you, gardeners – the rationalists and swallows,

O Thou, Socialism a la Louis XIV, or with idea of how to prevent cruelty to animals,

O you, hundred thirty five constitutional bodies, or what to do with the carrion cat in order not

to have it stink,

O you, revolution of all the people’s masses, or where is the sanatorium to cure us of impotence.

I have walked throughout our country and got an ulcer;

country of Zimpermanns and of their pimply lady-adorers,

country of servants, myths and pedagogy;

O you, steady Slovenians, you, object’s of history who caught a cold.

 

Oor Šalamun se debuut, Poker, het die Amnerikaanse digter Robert Hass die volgende te sê gehad: “Fresh, sometimes shocking, full of absurdist irreverence and playfulness, it is said to have inaugurated a modernist Slovene poetry in the postwar years […] Šalamun belongs to the generation of Eastern European poets – it includes Joseph Brodsky of Russia and Adam Zagajewski of Polandwho came of age in the 1960s. They grew up not with the searing experience of war and its aftermath that has marked the poetry of the older generation (Zbigniew Herbert in Poland, Miroslav Holub in Czechoslovakia, Vasko Popa in Yugoslavia), but in the postwar years, when the pinched material circumstances of economic recovery and the pervasive intellectual dishonesty of Stalinism were a kind of normality, the world as given.”

Op Poetry International se webtuiste begin Iztok Osojnik sy oorsig van Šalamun se digkuns soos volg: “The Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun is too slippery to be compared to anything; his imaginative procedures belong to his country or its capital only when he wants them to do so. This does not mean that his work is entirely private, although he can be astonishingly personal when the mood takes him. He is, as a poet, supremely clever, but he is also intelligent enough to dampen this cleverness in the name of poetry when he feels like it. His work is elegant and ironic and often surreal and lined with dark laughter, yet it can also be sharp and forbidding. Nothing is lost on him.”

Dit is egter Osojnik se slotparagraaf wat ek graag wil aanhaal: “His natural interest in the absurd, the playful and the irrelevant was greatly aroused by the study of American postwar art and poets such as Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, not to mention Walt Whitman. But he remains a great postwar central European poet, which means that his work is a battle to give equal power to the cheeky voice and the soaring voice, avoiding always the obvious and the prosaically meaningful, making sure that nothing can make poetry happen, and that poetry in turn can become more important than history or politics or mere philosophy.”

Inderdaad.

Nog ‘n besonder teffende stuk wat ek kon opspoor, was een van my gunsteling prosaskrywers, Colm Tóibín’s, se artikel wat in The Guardian verskyn het. Net die lees daarvan, in Tóibín se kenmerkende styl, is die moeite werd. Maar, by wyse van verdere toeligting, die volgende aanhaling: “It would be too easy to say that the Slovenian poet Tomaz Salamun possesses the same qualities as his city or his country. But he is too slippery to be compared to anything; his imaginative procedures belong to his country or its capital only when he wills them to do so. This does not mean that his work is entirely private, although he can be astonishingly personal when the mood takes him. He is, as a poet, supremely clever, and then he is also intelligent enough to dampen this cleverness in the name of poetry when he feels like it. His work is elegant and ironic and often surreal and lined with dark laughter but it can also be sharp and forbidding. Nothing is lost on him.”

Bundels van hom wat tydens die fees te koop sal wees, is die volgende:

The Blue Tower (2011: Houghton Miffin Harcourt)

Row (2006: ARC Publications)

The Book for My Brother (2006: Harvest Books)

Feast: Poems (2000: Harcourt Brace International)

Four Questions of Melancholy: New & Selected Poems (1996: White Pine Press)

Hieronder volg nog ‘n gedig uit die pen van Tomaž Šalamun.

***

RED FLOWERS

Red flowers grow in the sky, there’s a shadow in the garden.
The light penetrates, there’s no light to be seen.
How then can the shadow be seen, there’s a shadow in the garden,
all around big white stones lie scattered, we can sit on them.
 
The hills around are just like the hills on earth, only lower.
They look perfectly tender. I think we, too, are perfectly light,
we hardly touch the ground. When I take a step,
it seems the red flowers draw back a little.
 
The air is fragrant, both cool and burning. New beings
draw closer, some invisible hand smoothly placing them in the grass.
They are beautiful and quiet. We are all here together.
Some of them, swimming toward this place,
 
are turned around and cut off.
They disappear, we can’t see them anymore, they groan.
Now my body feels as if it’s in a fiery tunnel,
it rises like dough, drizzles apart in the stars.
 
There is no sex in heaven, I feel no hands,
but all things and beings are perfectly joined.
They rush apart only to become even more united.
Colors evaporate, all sounds are like a sponge in the eyes.
 
Now I know, sometimes I was a rooster, sometimes a roe.
I know I had bullets in my body, they crumble away now.
How beautifully I breathe.
I feel I’m being ironed, it doesn’t burn at all.

 

© Tomaž Šalamun

Vertaal in 1988 deur die digter en Anselm Hollo. (Uit: Selected Poems, Ecco Press)