tisdag 28 mars 2017

P.K. with compassion for Planet Earth

  Den här veckan är initialerna bestämt P.K och de står för Patricia Kathleen, med det tillhörande efternamnet Page.


  P.K. Page var poet, prosaförfattare och bildkonstnär. Hon föddes i Dorset, England 1916. Med lämnade England 1919 med sin familj och de bosatte sig i Red Deer, Alberta. Hon utbildade sig i Calgary och Winnipeg och studerade senare konst i Brasilien och New York. I slutet av 1930-talet bodde hon en kort stund i Saint John, New Brunswick; i början av 1940-talet flyttade hon till Montreal och arbetade som arkivassistent och historisk forskare. Källa: University of Toronto

  Det yrkesvalet tycker jag influerar hennes texter också.

My chosen landscape, by P.K. Page

(From Poetry Magazine, May 2007.)

                I am a continent, a violated geography,
                Yet still I journey to this naked country,
                to seek a form which dances in the sand,
                This is my chosen landscape.
                                                  - Gwendolyn MacEwen

Sand dunes, interminable deserts, burning winds
the night temperature bitter, a land of grit;
and floating above me stars as violent
as fire balloons, tactile and brilliant.
The all-enveloping sky, a cloak of soot.
This is my story, my brief biography.
The sum total of my experience. I travel –
a compass useless in my useless hand –
through a sandscape, a singular topography.
I am a continent, a violated geography.

Restless in all this emptiness, I seek

a fellow traveller, search for a sign –
a secret handshake, a phrase, some unusual colour
like periwinkle, for instance, or bright citrine,
but the monotony of sand persists
and nothing improbable finds entry
into the appalling platitudes of speech –
the lingua franca of everyone I meet –
in this land devoid of flags and pageantry.
Yet still I journey to this naked country,

for something in its nakedness has a beauty

so pure it is as if I thrust a knife
into my immaculate flesh and drew it forth
without a drop of blood being spilled.  It is
abstract and invisible as air
this empty geometry, this ampersand
upon ampersand that leads me on
as if I were zero or minus sign,
through ‘and’ and ‘and’ and ‘and’,
to seek a form which dances in the sand

But nothing formal dances.  Only the wind

blows – unchoreographed – a floating ghost
across the dunes.  The sand molecular,
airborne and free, is faint with the scent
of absolute dryness, a small mineral smell.
And this almost scentlessness, this shape without shape
is a violated country, one in which
I am both exile and inhabitant
and though I would escape
this is my chosen landscape.


  Den amerikanska poeten och kritikern Edward Hirsch kännetecknade henne, i Washington Post, som en av de "finest and most exuberant Canadian poets... a celebratory writer with a keen eye, a roving intelligence and a compassionate sensibility."

  Page förklarade själv sin poetik så här:
"the idea [for a poem] diminishes to a dimensionless point in my absolute centre. If I can hold it steady long enough, the feeling which is associated with that point grows and fills a larger area... It is from here that I write - held within that luminous circle." Källa: University of Toronto


Motel pool, by P.K. Page
(Published in Canadian Poetry Online)

The plump good-natured children play in the blue pool:
roll and plop, plop and roll;

slide and tumble, oiled, in the slippery sun

silent as otters, turning over and in,

churning the water; or-seamstresses-cut and sew

with jackknives its satins invisibly.

Not beautiful, but suddenly limned with light

their elliptical wet flesh in a flash reflects it

and it greens the green grass, greens the hanging leaf

greens Adam and Eden, greens little Eve.


  P.K. Page var "en medborgare inte bara i världen, men på jorden", som Eric Ormsby påpekar i sin inledning till hennes verk Planet Earth (1994). I själva verket så förutspår hon global uppvärmning redan i sitt visionära prosastycke "Unless the Eye Catch Fire", som publicerades första gången 1972.
  "Planet Earth" is a celebration: "It has to be made bright, the skin of this planet/ till it shines in the sun like gold leaf."

  Patricia Kathleen Page dog 2010, vid en ålder av 94 år.


  Jag avslutar med en dikt om poesins eviga frågeställning. 

P.K. Page

Single traveller, by P.K. Page
(Published in Canadian Poetry Online)

What is this love that is my life's companion?
Shape-changer, sometimes faceless, this companion.

Single traveller, I wander a wasting world

awaiting the much anticipated Companion.

A trillium covered wood one April day

served as a nearly consummate companion.

A horse, two dogs, some cats, a blue macaw 

each in its turn became a loyal companion.

Behind the loved embrace, a face of light-

demon or angel-lures me from my companion.

The street of love is neither wide nor narrow.

Its width depends on me and my companion.

Am I too bound and blinded by coarse wrappings

ever to know true love as my companion?

O Poet, squanderer of time and talents

why do you search for love as your Companion?

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