onsdag 2 mars 2016

Confessions of Frances Leviston

  Inläggen med åttiotalister närmar sig sitt slut. Det näst sista avsnittet inleds med en vacker dikt om en trafikolycka. Författarinnan Frances Leviston har hyllats stort för den dikten och blivit jämförd med William Stafford.

Frances Leviston


  Frances Leviston föddes i Edinburgh 1982, och flyttade till Sheffield 1991. Hon läste engelska vid St Hildas College i Oxford, och har en MA i Writing från Sheffield Hallam University. Hon erhöll Eric Gregory Award 2006. Hennes första diktsamling, Public Dream (Picador, 2007), var nominerad till Forward Prize för bästa debutbok 2008. Hennes dikter har också dykt upp i New Writing 14 och TLS och Ten Hallam Poets. Källa: Scottish Poetry Library

Humbles, by Frances Leviston
(from Public Dream. London : Picador, 2007.)

If you have hit a deer on the road at dusk;
climbed, shivering, out of your car
with curses to investigate the damage
done, and found it split apart and steaming
far-flung in the nettle bed, utterly beyond repair,
then you have seen what is not meant to be seen,
is packed in cannily, coiled, like parachute silks,
but unputbackable, out for the world to witness:
the looping, slicked-up clockspring
flesh’s pink, mauve, arterial red,
and there a still-pulsing web of royal veins
bearing the bad news back to the heart;
something broken, something hard, black,
the burst bowel fouling the meat
exposed for what it is, found out – as Judas,
ripped from groin to gizzard, was found
at dawn, on the elder tree, still tethered to earth
by all the ropes and anchors of his life.


  Nedanstående "vattendikt" har författaren själv kommenterat så här:

  "When I began to write 'Lookout', I wanted to capture something about water – about the endless variety of its movements and appearances. I was also thinking about the possibility of saying something, anything, true. Watching water and listening to water always makes me think about speech: it sounds like a debate, a dissent, a vast crowd talking amongst its selves. In the end, however, I think the poem became more general." Citat från Scottish Poetry Library

Lookout, by Frances Leviston
(from Public Dream. London : Picador, 2007. First published in The Red Wheelbarrow 14.)

Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada

Nothing in sight but water's deferrals,
deflections, its million-galloned grief;
though sometimes, when the light is angled so
as to prism inside the waves' tips,
it seems we're actually anchored in fields:
that we could drop off and land on our feet
in a rich plough-land confected with frost, 
in mud flats, or sand dunes. We could forget 
dry land is a dream in the dream of it.


  Debutboken har fått sin titel från de allra sista orden, i den avslutande dikten "Scandinavia".

Polcirkeln, Norge

Scandinavia, by Frances Leviston
(from Public Dream. London : Picador, 2007.)

I think I could be happy there, north of fame, in light
unbroken; blending the imagined hours’ horizons into sky, sky
through soft-heaped fields, unclaimed, their rims forever
reforming at the wind’s deft caprice. I could try

to live as a glass of water, utterly clear and somehow
restrained, a sip that tells you nothing
but perpetuates the being-there; could sit, lie, settle down, the white
of one idea entirely lost upon another, as rain is lost

in the shift of the sea, as a single consecrated face
drowns in the swell of the Saturday host, and the notion of loving
that one critically more than any other flake in a flurry
melts, flows back to folly’s pool, the lucid public dream.

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