lördag 13 februari 2016

Sky view of Paris

  Kvällens författarinna är mycket skärpt, vilket avspeglas i såväl hennes språkliga formuleringar som hennes bildningsnivå. Hon är numera pensionerad professor efter att ha undervisat i engelska vid City College of New York. Hon tilldelades National Book Award (1974) för sin debutsamling Presentation Piece, och hon har vunnit priser för sina översättningar. 

  Kvällens bok är Desesperanto: Poems 1999-2002, av Marilyn Hacker.


  Marilyn Hacker (f. 1942 ) är en poet vars verk kombinerar det politiska och det personliga, det traditionella med det radikala. Hon är en New Yorker, född i Bronx till judiska föräldrar. Hacker var en brådmogen student, hon inledde sina studier vid New York University, när hon var bara femton år. Hennes kärnämnen var naturvetenskap men hon utvecklade också intressen för filosofi och fransk litteratur. Källa: Poetry Archive

  Jag älskade verkligen det tredje och avslutande segmentet i boken, som gett samlingen dess namn. De tjugofyra dikterna i tredje delen är skrivna i Frankrike, och flera av dem har franska titlar. Mitt första diktval präglas av en delikat rytm.

Explication de texte (four stanzas), by Marilyn Hacker
(from Desesperanto : poems, 1999-2002. New York : W.W. Norton, 2003.)

Paris is wintery gray.
The small rain spits and sputters.
Before the break of day
when green trucks hose the gutters
lights go on in the bakery.

The days go on, routine
light lingers on the clocks
Yellow and red and green
crowd in the window box
impermanent and benign.

The tiny sans-abri
and her more substantial friend
arrive from a night on the quay
at their avenue, extend
their hands to earn their pay,

each on her opposite side.
They've been on the street together
for over a decade
while others jettisoned other
partners and promises made.


  Och hur många poeter är kapabla att skriva fyra sonetter på ämnet migrän. Jag ger er den första ...

Migraine Sonnets (first sonnet), by Marilyn Hacker
(from Desesperanto : poems, 1999-2002. New York : W.W. Norton, 2003.)

It's a long way from the bedroom to the kitchen
when all the thought in back of thought is loss.
How wide the dark rooms are you walk across
with a glass of water and a migraine
tablet. Sweat of hard dreams: unforgiven
silences, missed opportunities.
The night progresses like chronic disease,
symptom by symptom, sentences without pardon.
It's only half past two, you realize.
Five windows are still lit across the street.
You wonder: did you tell as many lies
as it now appears were told to you?
And if you told them, how did you not know
they were lies? Did you know, and then forget?


  Nedanstående citat från Poetry Archive utgör en träffande beskrivning av hennes poetiska stil, och den avslutande dikten följer mallen. Även huvudvärken återkommer hos författaren.

  "Her use of form has been interpreted by some critics as subversive, a "taking on" of traditional male territory, but Hacker has denied this, saying her love of form is "purely hedonistic". What is incontrovertible is her technical brilliance in allying form to a brash, contemporary language so that her poems seem both spontaneous and perfectly controlled. The stuff of life - people, places, food, politics - has remained her material, her poems busy with incident and restless energy.". Citat från poetryarchive.org

February 10, by Marilyn Hacker
(from Desesperanto : poems, 1999-2002. New York : W.W. Norton, 2003.)

Inarticulate, the dream subsides in growls.
Nothing as human as clean sentences.
Nothing as cleansing as repentance.  Was
some life left folded into plush blue towels
and 200-plus thread all-cotton sheets
like a housewifely sachet of lavender?

I've learned the answer or I haven't, or
the question balances, repeats, repeats
day after night into the cotton's cool
and solitary folds, the resurrected
light I look into with unprotected
eyes.  Sometimes the sky is beautiful.
Sometimes despair is as habitual
as walking in the morning to the train
station to be in class on time, as plain
yogurt, as grapefruit juice, steady and dull
as the seventeenth hour of a migraine
all evening long, still with me when I wake.
And don't I often trigger a headache
refilling glass on solo glass of wine?
Isn't there something clearer about pain
than year-old grief gone tarnished with its dull
blade, with its blotched skin, with its bad smell?
The dusk recedes again, or afternoon
extends itself, life measured against light:
how new, how much repeated, for how long,
whether, and how profoundly, I was wrong,
whether, in what ignorance, I was right.

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