Hvedekorn 1-2017 - omslag uden tekst
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Ja, afbryd gerne dit drømmeri med Skipper Skræk!

(fra Lydia Davis’ anmeldelse af John Ashberys oversættelse af Arthur Rimbauds Illuminations i New York Times – Davis + Ashbery + Rimbaud = tredobbelt (svaghed for) gnistren):

Formally, “Illuminations” — the title may refer to engraved illustrations, to epiphanies or flashes of insight, or to the productions of the poet-seer who has transformed himself into pure light — consists of 43 poems ranging from a few lines to works of several sections covering multiple pages; some are in large blocks of type, some in paragraphs so brief they are virtually two-line stanzas. (At least once, a single comma at the end of the paragraph magically turns it into a ­strophe.) Only three poems have broken lines.

Despite the uncertainty of its dates of composition, “Illuminations” is quite clearly written after Rimbaud’s most defiant and scurrilous phase had passed. It does not contain the explicit playful or lyrical obscenity of earlier times, but rather a subtler incandescent or ecstatic range of congruous and incongruous, urban and pastoral imagery, and historical and mythological reference often grounded in near-recognizable autobiographical narrative. A wealth of images — mineral, industrial, theatrical, royal, natural and nostalgic — often develop by leaps of immediate personal association rather than by sequential or narrative logic, employing the techniques of Surrealism decades before it existed as a movement. The poems shift in tone and register from the matter of fact to the highly rhetorical (“O world!”), the statements from the simple (“the hand of the countryside on my shoulder”) to the more abstruse (“He is affection and the present since he opened the house to foaming winter and the hum of summer”), while always departing from and returning to a concrete, sensory world. The more narrative poems — faux-reminiscences, exhortations, modern fairy tales — are punctuated by verse consisting almost solely of exclamatory lists of sentence fragments, what sound like celebrations of repeated amazement, contributing to create what John Ashbery, in his brief but enlightening preface to his new translation, calls “the crystalline jumble of Rimbaud’s ‘Illuminations,’ like a disordered collection of magic lantern slides, each an ‘intense and rapid dream,’ in his words.”

Ashbery has said he first read Rimbaud when he was 16, and he clearly took to heart the young poet’s declaration that “you must be absolutely modern” — absolute modernity being, as Ashbery says in his preface, “the acknowledging of the simultaneity of all of life, the condition that nourishes poetry at every second.” When Rimbaud’s mother asked of “A Season in Hell,” “What does it mean?” — a question still asked of Rimbaud’s poetry, and of Ashbery’s, too — Rimbaud would say only, “It means what it says, literally and in every sense.”

If Rimbaud anticipated the Surrealists by decades, Ashbery is said to have gone beyond them and defied even their rules and logic. Yet though nearly 150 years have intervened since Rimbaud’s first declaration of independence, many readers in our own age, too, still prefer a coherence of imagery, a sameness of tone, a readable sequential message, even, ultimately, what amounts to a prose narrative broken into lines. Enough others, however, find the “crystalline jumble” intellectually and emotionally revitalizing and say, Yes, please do interrupt the reverie you have created for us to allow an intrusion of Popeye!

Ja, siger jeg også, afbryd, afbryd! Og afbryd afbrydelsen!

Her en illumination fordansket af vores egen digteroversætter Jørgen Sonne:

DAGGRY

Jeg har omarmet sommergryet.

Intet rørte sig endnu foran paladset. Vandet lå dødt. Skyggernes lejre brød ikke op fra skovvejen. Jeg gik frem og vækkede de livlige og lune åndedrag, og smykkerne fik øjne og vingerne hævede sig lydløst.

Det første indgreb var, på stien som allerede fyldtes af friske og blege glimt, en blomst som sagde mig sit navn.

Jeg lo til det blonde wasserfall som foldede sig ud gennem granerne: på den sølvlyse tinde genkendte jeg gudinden.

Da hævede jeg ét for ét slørene. På stien, mens jeg slog med armene. Over sletten, hvor jeg angav hende til hanen. I den store by flygtede hun blandt klokketårne og kupler, og løbende som en tiger på marmorkajer, jagede jeg hende.

Øverst på vejen, nær ved en laurbærlund, omsluttede jeg hende og de sammenhobede slør, og jeg følte svagt hendes umådelige krop. Gryet og barnet faldt ned i bunden af skoven.

Ved opvågnen var det middag.

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Forside og billedkunst i Hvedekorn 1 2017: Johanne Østervang. Hvedekorn er støttet af Statens Kunstfond hvedekorn.dk af One Million Monkeys