Posts Tagged ‘Valerio Magrelli’

Valerio Magrelli – ‘n Italiaanse meester

Friday, January 1st, 2010
Valerio Magrelli

Valerio Magrelli

Een van die meer opwindende wêrelddigters vandag is ongetwyfeld die Italiaanse digter Valerio Magrelli (1957). Pas het daar dan ook ‘n keur uit sy werk by Faber & Faber verskyn. Die verse, wat almal deur Jamie McKendrick vertaal en byeengebring is, is ongetwyfeld ‘n belangrike toevoeging tot die skat van wêreldpoësie.

In sy artikel oor “The embrace – Selected poems” sê Sean O’Brien die volgende op The Guardian se webblad oor Magrelli se digkuns: “Magrelli’s work seems wholly unconcerned with proving itself poetic except in the making of a poem. McKendrick draws an illuminating comparison with the Frenchman Francis Ponge, a poet of spectacular playfulness and obsessive detail. The title poem, “The Embrace”, shows the same relish in an extended working-out of comparison, when the embrace of sleeping lovers is compared to a heating system.”

Dieselfde gedagte word deur Jonathan Galassi op Poery International se webblad ge-eggo wanneer hy sê: “Magrelli, a scholar of French literature and an experienced translator, is obsessed by the “translation” involved in all writing, and thus by language games that reveal the complex inner life of words;[…] Language itself is, naturally, one of this poet’s prime subjects; Dante, he tells us, in a typically cheeky, inspired acrostic, is the “DNA of poETry,” and the structure of his terza rima is the literary double-helix that contains “the future of the mother tongue” in the same way that the ur-poet’s name magically incorporates life’s ultimate building block.”

Maar die treffendste opsomming, myns insiens, is gelewer deur Octavio Paz wat gesê het: “”Magrelli’s poetry is a soliloquy written with a pencil and a small note-book, during the latest and most silent hours of the night. It’s a poetry that looks at itself, but at the sight of its thought, vanishes.”

Wat ek wel ironies vind, is die reikwydte van ander digters met wie Magrelli se werk telkens vergelyk word in ‘n poging om die aard daarvan te verduidelik: Mark Strand, Paul Muldoon, Francis Ponge, Charles Tomlinson, en les bes, Zbigniew Herbert. Miskien is die “amper-soos-speletjie” maar die juk waarmee die hermetiese digter teneergedruk word, of hoe? 

Ter illustrasie plaas ek die titelgedig uit McKendrick se keur hier onder; weliswaar nie met sy vertaling nie, maar wel Anthony Molino s’n. (Terloops, op Poetry International se webblad is daar ook heelparty ander van Magrelli se gedigte te lees.)

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Dan het die nuwe jaar uiteindelik sy opwagting gemaak. Mag dit ‘n uitsonderlike jaar wees vir iedereen. Geniet die rusdag en veral die feesnaweek wat op hande is.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

The Embrace

As you rest beside me, I lean over
and by your face I catch hold of sleep
the way one wick
catches hold of another wick’s flame.
There, two night lights, flicker
as fire is passed, and sleep takes hold.
But in that hold thunders
the basement furnace.
Down there a fossile nature burns,
Prehistory is ablaze, and dead
submerged peat ferments, and flares
into my radiators.
In a dark halo of heating oil
our little room is a nest warmed
by organic residues, by bonfires, by scum.
And we wicks are the two tongues
of that single Paleozoic torch.

(c) Valerio Magrelli (vertaal deur: Anthony Molino, 2000)

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