tisdag 2 maj 2017

"Into the morning-glory-colored future"

  Den andra nykomlingen till Poem of the week är webbplatsen Vinyl Poetry and Prose. I de inledande två ronderna har de dessvärre kammat noll. Det har nästan jag också när jag sökt uppgifter om sajten. Den har sitt ursprung i en tidskrift med samma namn, men några ytterligare uppgifter om dess bakgrund presenteras inte på webbplatsen. Genom andra länkar kan jag konstatera att chefredaktör är KMA Sullivan och poesiredaktör är Phillip B. Williams.

  Hur gick det för dem i tredje rundan?


  Jag har läst flera av John Ashberys dikter genom åren och måste erkänna att jag inte alltid förstår hans texter. De går ibland lite över mitt huvud.
  I februari var hans dikt "Someone you have seen before" veckans dikt hos Griffin Poetry Prize och den hade jag definitivt inga som helst problem med. Det är en fantastisk dikt som inbjuder till eftertänksamhet och jag utnämner den till årets bästa bland samtliga veckopoem.

  John Ashbery (f. 1927) studerade vid Harvard, där han bland annat var medredaktör för den litterära tidskriften The Harvard Advocate och 1949 tog en fil kand i engelska med ett arbete om W.H. Audens poesi. Sin magisterexamen eller Master of Arts i engelsk litteratur avlade han 1951 vid Columbia. Han debuterade 1953 som poet på ett udda litet förlag som drevs av ett konstgalleri i New York. Vid sidan av sin verksamhet som poet, har han även verkat som konstkritiker sedan början av 1950-talet, liksom översättare och universitetslärare. Källa: Wikipedia


Someone you have seen before, by John Ashbery
(From Notes from the air : selected later poems. New York, N.Y. : Ecco, 2007.)

It was a night for listening to Corelli, Geminiani
or Manfredini. The tables had been set with beautiful white cloths
and bouquets of flowers. Outside the big glass windows
the rain drilled mercilessly into the rock garden, which made light
of the whole thing. Both business and entertainment waited
with parted lips, because so much new way of being
with one’s emotion and keeping track of it at the same time
had been silently expressed. Even the waiters were happy.

It was an example of how much one can grow lustily
without fracturing the shell of coziness that surrounds us,
and all things as well. “We spend so much time
trying to convince ourselves we’re happy that we don’t recognize
the real thing when it comes along,” the Disney official said.
He’s got a point, you must admit. If we followed nature
more closely we’d realize that, I mean really getting your face pressed
into the muck and indecision of it. Then it’s as if
we grew out of our happiness, not the other way round, as is
commonly supposed. We’re the characters in its novel,
and anybody who doubts that need only look out of the window
past his or her own reflection, to the bright, patterned,
timeless unofficial truth hanging around out there,
waiting for the signal to be galvanized into a crowd scene,
joyful or threatening, it doesn’t matter, so long as we know
it’s inside, here with us.

But people do change in life,
as well as in fiction. And what happens then? Is it because we think nobody’s
listening that one day it comes, the urge to delete yourself,
“Take yourself out,” as they say? As though this could matter
even to the concerned ones who crowd around,
expressions of lightness and peace on their faces,
in which you play no part perhaps, but even so
their happiness is for you, it’s your birthday, and even
when the balloons and fudge get tangled with extraneous
good wishes from everywhere, it is, I believe, made to order
for your questioning stance and that impression
left on the inside of your pleasure by some bivalve
with which you have been identified. Sure,
nothing is ever perfect enough, but that’s part of how it fits
the mixed bag
of leftover character traits that used to be part of you
before the change was performed
and of all those acquaintances bursting with vigor and
humor, as though they wanted to call you down
into closeness, not for being close, or snug, or whatever,
but because they believe you were made to fit this unique
and valuable situation whose lid is rising, totally
into the morning-glory-colored future. Remember, don’t throw away
the quadrant of unused situations just because they’re here:
They may not always be, and you haven’t finished looking
through them all yet. So much that happens happens in small ways
that someone was going to get around to tabulate, and then never did,
yet it all bespeaks freshness, clarity and an even motor drive
to coax us out of sleep and start us wondering what the new round
of impressions and salutations is going to leave in its wake
this time. And the form, the precepts, are yours to dispose of as you will,
as the ocean makes grasses, and in doing so refurbishes a lighthouse
on a distant hill, or else lets the whole picture slip into foam.


Ställningen efter rond 3:

6 poäng   Griffin Poetry Prize                  
5 poäng   Times Literary Supplement    
3 poäng   Inpress Books                            
3 poäng   Vallum Magazine                      
3 poäng   The Guardian                            
2 poäng   Vinyl Poetry and Prose  

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