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Leben des Dichters 5

Leben des Dichters Ezra Pound in Auszügen (5)

Er mag neunzehn gewesen sein, ich war ein Jahr jünger. Maßlos intellektuell, maßlos überlegen, maßlos ungeschliffen, ein Geschöpf, das keinem der Brüder und der Brüder Freunde und der Jungen glich, mit denen wir tanzten (und er tanzte schlecht). Mit ihm wollte man um dessentwillen tanzen, was er sagen würde.

(…) und, ach, ich litt fürchterlich unter seinem unbeholfenen Tanzen.”

H.D. (Hilda Doolittle): Das Ende der Qual. Erinnerungen an Ezra Pound. Zürich: Arche, 1985, S. 33f, S. 102

 

Ähnlich wie der Remix

Ist eine Papierhülle schon Lyrik? Mit Flarf Disco tastet Hartmut Abendschein die Synergien zwischen moderner Lyrik und Popsong neu aus. Alle zwei Monate erscheint das Popkultur-Magazin Spex mit einer CD als Zugabe. Ausgehend von den Musiktiteln auf der Papierhülle arrangiert der Lyrikband 60 Popgedichte in sechs Zyklen.

Flarf ist Googles Werk und Autors Beitrag, wie einmal die „Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“ titelte. Man gebe zwei Begriffe in die Google-Suche ein, wähle einige Ergebnisse aus und forme sie zu Gedichten. Diese werden wiederum über Websites und Mailinglisten verbreitet und neuverwertet. Das ist das Grundkonzept des Flarf-Kollektivs rund um die New Yorker Gary Sullivan, Sharon Messmer und K. Silem Mohammad. In Anschluss an einen Wettbewerb hat sich Flarf Anfang des neuen Jahrtausends in den Vereinigten Staaten, mehr noch als in Deutschland, als Bewegung etabliert. Ein Beispiel: Aus den Suchbegriffen „Michael Jackson“ und „Latex“ wird bei Sharon Messmer „What in the latex-rainbow-Monistat hell / is that big-haired pensioner doing / wriggling around to ‚Don‘t Stop Till Get Enough‘ / in a skin-tight latex leotard?“ Irritiert fragt sich das frisch ergoogelte Ich, weshalb der Rentner im Latex-Anzug zu Jacksons Disco-Funk-Song tanzt. Zwar steht Flarf in der Spannung aus technischem Know-how und kreativem Prozess, doch würde man es sich zu einfach machen, Flarf als Algorithmen-Lyrik abzutun. Flarf ist ein Konzept – teils aleatorisches Spiel und teils komponierendes Prinzip – ähnlich wie der Remix in der Musik. / Julian Gärtner, literaturkritik.de

Hartmut Abendschein: Flarf Disco. Popgedichte.
edition taberna kritika, Bern 2015.
92 Seiten, 14,00 EUR.
ISBN-13: 9783905846348

Deaths 2

Cynthia Macdonald, whose idiosyncratic blend of humor and the grotesque made her a distinctive voice on the American poetry scene, died on Aug. 3 in a nursing home in Logan, Utah. She was 87.

(…)

“People forget their children in the strangest places,” the poem “Casual Neglects” begins. “Crossing Fifth in front of Saks, Little Jane/left behind.” It concludes: “The air is absent-minded/and the empty sky of Paradise is pocked with small pink shells,/those baby fingernails which couldn’t quite keep holding on.”

(…)

She trained as a Freudian psychoanalyst at the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute, becoming certified in 1986. She later joined the faculty there. As a practitioner, she specialized in treating patients with writer’s block.

/ William Grimes, New York Times AUG. 24

Deaths 1

William Jay Smith, who wrote poetry with classical precision and childlike whimsy and who was a globe-trotting poetry consultant to the Library of Congress for two years, died Aug. 18 at a hospital in Pittsfield, Mass. He was 97.
(…)

He did not like the term “poet laureate,” (…) because he thought it implied a quasi-official responsibility to be a national cheerleader. He also detested literary theory, which he said contributed to “the ruination of English departments,” and he sometimes clashed with other leading poets and critics.

In one controversial poem, “The Tall Poets: A Bicentiennial Mediation, July 4, 1976,” Mr. Smith took direct aim at poetic self-indulgence — with a thinly veiled reference to John Ashbery, in particlar:

I am bored with those Tall Poets,
those first and second-generation baby Bunyans,
sick of their creatively written writing,
their admired ash-buried academic anorexia …
I’m weary of having to dive into their driven dreck that hits the fan
weekly in every puffed and pompous periodical …
I long for the pure poem,
the passionate statement,
the simple declarative sentence …

/  Matt Schudel, Washington Post August 22

Prize for Charles Bernstein and Giuseppe Conte

The 2015 Janus Pannonius Grand Prize for Poetry has been awarded to Charles Bernstein and Giuseppe Conte. The prize was founded in 2012 by the Hungarian PEN Club (an affiliate of International PEN). In 2014, Yves Bonnefois (France) and Adonis (Syria) won the prize, which is modelled on the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 2013 the prize went to Simin Behbahani (Iran). The prize was announced on the Janus Pannonius web page.  The web page includes an  English pdf about the prize.

According to Hungarian PEN president Géza Szőcs:

Our prize seeks to honour and reward those poets who can be considered heirs to human spirituality and culture, the grand chain of values, accumulated over millennia. We wish to honour those contemporary artists who have done the most to advance the representation and enrichment of forms of consciousness in harmony with the reflection and interpretation of the world today. The prize has been named after Janus Pannonius, the first known and celebrated Hungarian poet. The prize awarded is 50,000 euros.

The prize will be presented both in Italy and Hungary. In Milan on August 27 at 7pm there will be a reading of the Janus Pannonius laureates and translators at the Hungarian Pavilion of Expo Milano, sponsored by The Hungarian Pen Club and the Casa della Poesia Milano. The joint bilingual volume of Charles Bernstein and Giuseppe Conte, Tutto il whiskey in cielo/Tutto il meraviglioso in terra (All the Whiskey in Heaven/All the Wonder of the World) will also be presented at this time. This will followed by a concert by Béla Faragó on the Bogányi-piano. The award ceremony will take place on August 29 in Pécs, the birthplace of Janus Pannonius. The ceremony will take place in the Courtyard of the Episcopal Palace. Laudations will be given by Enikő Bollobás and Tomaso Kemény. In addition to the two poetry prizes, two translation prizes will also be presented there. At 7pm that same day new books with the Hungarian translations of Bernstein and Conte will be launched at the Ceremonial Hall of the National Széchényi Library in Budapest. Joined by their translators, the two laureates will read from their works during this event to be held in three languages, English, Italian, and Hungarian.

This is the second major international poetry prize for Bernstein in 2015. He also won the Münster International Poetry Prize.  Poetry magazine published two poems by Conte in 1989, translated by Lawrence Venuti: one & two. Finalists for the Janus Pannonius Grand Prize for Poetry have included Augusto de Campos, Knut Odegard, Justo Jorge Padrón, Yang Lian, Christian Bök, Leonard Cohen, Tom Raworth,  Tadeusz Różewicz, Geoffrey Hill, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and Cole Swensen.

E-Books Turn Poet-Friendly

When John Ashbery, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, first learned that the digital editions of his poetry looked nothing like the print version, he was stunned. There were no line breaks, and the stanzas had been jammed together into a block of text that looked like prose. The careful architecture of his poems had been leveled.

He complained to his publisher, Ecco, and those four e-books were immediately withdrawn.

That was three years ago, and digital publishing has evolved a lot since then. Publishers can now create e-books that better preserve a poet’s meticulous formatting. So when Open Road Media, a digital publishing company, approached Mr. Ashbery about creating electronic versions of his books, he decided to give it another chance.

Last week, Open Road published 17 digital collections of Mr. Ashbery’s work, the first time the bulk of his poetry will be available in e-book form. This time, he hasn’t asked for a recall.

Marktcoup oder literarisches Phänomen?

Über die  Gedichte der 23-jährigen amerikanischen Lyrikerin Mira Gonzalez, die soeben bei Hanser auf Deutsch erschienen, wird seit Tagen in sozialen Netzwerken kontrovers diskutiert. Knallhart kalkulierter Marktcoup oder herausragender Band und eine der wichtigsten jungen Stimmen ihrer Generation?

Jetzt erscheinen erste Besprechungen. Fast ungeteilte Zustimmung im Blog von Jan Drees

Ihre Gedichte, die nun bei Hanser in einer schönen, zweisprachigen Ausgabe erscheinen, übersetzt von Verleger Jo Lendle, sind Schlüssellochblicke in das Leben einer Anfang-20-Jährigen, die schon jetzt geübt ist im künstlerischen Zugriff auf die ernüchternde Welt einer weißen, urbanen und privilegierten Bohème.

Kritik am Verhalten des Verlags und ausführlicher Hinweis auf die problematische Seite einer vielleicht schon gescheiterten Bewegung bei Kristoffer Cornils (auf Fixpoetry) – ich beschränke mich auf kurze Zitate, die keineswegs repräsentativ für Cornils’ Informationen und Thesen ausfallen:

Alt Lit, ein weitestgehend US-amerikanisches Phänomen, setzte der schönen neuen Welt eine radikale Aufrichtigkeit entgegen.

Plötzlich ging es wieder weniger um ästhetische Diskurse denn um das eigene Leben. Eine Generation, die sich per sozialen Netzwerken wie Twitter oder Facebook unablässlich selbst zum Ausdruck brachte, nahm den nächsten logischen Schritt. Alt Lit ist eine Art Naturalismus des 21. Jahrhunderts: Ungeschönt, direkt und mit dem Ziel versehen, die eigenen Erfahrungswerte möglichst transparent zu machen. (…)

Gonzalez ist eine (Zu-)Spätkommerin der Alt Lit-Szene, ihr erster Gedichtband i will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together erschien 2013 und damit ein Jahr, bevor die bis dahin weitestgehend heile Welt der literarischen Bewegung einen vernichtenden Rückschlag erhielt. Hanser legt ihn jetzt auf Deutsch auf, um die Übersetzung hat sich Verlagschef Jo Lendle selbst gekümmert. (…)

Gonzalez skizziert mit knappen, gestisch abgeklärten Worten – Gedichte sind für sie so etwas wie in Breite ausgeführte Tweets – Szenarios von gegenseitiger Ausbeutung. Sie entspringen der internalisierten Entfremdung, ihr Ausgangspunkt ist »an inability to experience phenomena first-hand«. (…)

Obwohl es sich verbietet, das Dargestellte mit der Darstellung und erst recht nicht mit Affirmation zu verwechseln: Dessen Vermarktung muss unbedingt hinterfragt werden. Denn die stützt sich, ob sie will oder nicht, auf die Verharmlosung des Einzelfalls und damit auch des Gesamtkontextes.

Mira Gonzalez
Ich werde niemals schön genug sein, um mit dir schön sein zu können
Übersetzung: 
Jo Lendle
Hanser
2015  ·  112 Seiten  ·  16,90 Euro
ISBN:  978-3-446-24940-0

Im Auftrag

Richard Blanco, who was President Obama’s inaugural poet in 2013, has written a poem to honor the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba on Friday, Aug. 14.

The son of Cuban exiles, Blanco was commissioned to write “Matters of the Sea/Cosas del Mar,” by the U.S. State Department. He will travel to Havana to read the poem in person at the historic flag-raising ceremony.

“Matters of the Sea is one of the most emotionally complex and personal poems I’ve ever written, invested with all my love for the people of two countries that are part of my very being,” said Blanco, in a statement released by the University of Pittsburgh Press. “As with the presidential inauguration in 2013, I am once again humbled and honored to participate as a poet in another significant historic moment.”

University of Pittsburgh Press will publish “Matters of the Sea/Cosas del Mar” as a bilingual paperback chapbook… / , blog.chron.com

A close reading

“No sweeter music can come to my ears,” Robert Frost once wrote a friend, “than the clash of arms over my dead body when I am down.”

Frost’s ghost, then, can be grateful to New York Times poetry columnist and Cornell University prof David Orr for this book. It will certainly stir up the kind of tumult that the poet — whom many remember as a kindly if eccentric New England farmer and many others regard as an egomaniacal monster — would have enjoyed.

Orr lays out the battle lines on the book’s cover: “Finding America in the Poem Everybody Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong.” That’s a lot to promise in a subtitle: that the poem most of us have heard proclaimed at commencement exercises, weddings and funerals; have memorized and written school themes about; have Googled — more than any other poem in the English language, Orr reports — and have even had pitched to us in advertisements for Mentos and Nicorette, is also a poem most of us do not understand. That the poet has, in effect, bamboozled us. Frost would like that, too. / Bill Marvel, Dallas News

David Orr: The Road Not Taken: Finding America in the Poem Everyone Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong
(Penguin, $25.95)

American Life in Poetry: Column 533

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

I once knew an artist who seemed to live on those little envelopes of free sugar that one can find on tables in restaurants. And he took the little “watercolor pans” of jelly, too, stuffing his pockets. Here’s a poem by Ned Balbo, who lives in Baltimore, about another sugar snatcher.

The Sugar Thief

If it was free, you taught, I ought to grab it
as you did: McDonald’s napkins, pens,
and from the school where you were once employed
as one of two night shift custodians,
the metal imitation wood wastebasket
still under my desk. But it was sugar
that you took most often as, annoyed
on leaving Dunkin’ Donuts, pancake house,
and countless diners, I felt implicated
in your pleasure, crime, and poverty.
I have them still, your Ziploc bags of plunder,
yet I find today, among the loose
change in my pockets, packets crushed or faded—
more proof of your lasting legacy.

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Poem copyright ©2010 by Ned Balbo, “The Sugar Thief,” from The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems, (Story Line Press, 2010). Poem reprinted by permission of Ned Balbo and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2015 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

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