By John Ashbery
Thrill of a Romance
It's diversified when you've got hiccups.
every little thing is—so many pleased palms competing
on your realization, a headscarf, a gasp of soot,
or simply a blast of silence from a radio.
what's it? That's that you should study
in your dismay while, on the finish of an extended queue
within the cafeteria, tray in hand, they inform you the gate closed down
after the second one international conflict. Syracuse used to be declared capital
of a kingdom in malaise, however the directorate
had different, hidden ambitions. To proclaim good judgment
a casualty of fact was once one.
Everyone's solitude (and ensuing promiscuity)
perfumed the byways of villages we had concept civilized.
I observed you looking ahead to a streetcar and pressed ahead.
sadly, you have been just a baby in armor. Now whilst ribald toasts
sail around a desk too reasonable laid out, why the results
are just dirt, disorder and outdated age. friendly stories
are only that. So I channel no matter what
into my contingency, a vein of mercury
that retains breaking out, better up, extra on time
each time. Dirndls noticed with out of date flora,
worn within the urban back, advertise open discussion.
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A compelling argument for the need for paintings in lifestyles, Nietzsche's first ebook is fuelled through his enthusiasms for Greek tragedy, for the philosophy of Schopenhauer and for the tune of Wagner, to whom this paintings was once committed. Nietzsche defined a contrast among its significant forces: the Apolline, representing attractiveness and order, and the Dionysiac, a primal or ecstatic response to the chic.
This isn't my experiment. This used to be despatched to me through a friend.
The attractive little paintings now ahead of us was once initially revealed in France, in a fashion unknown, by means of P. O. L. , a widely known writer of avant garde poetry. the current variation, introduced out via a newcomer within the box, is in any occasion incredibly neat and convenient--we presume that it capability to be not anything more.
The series comprises fifty one poems, each one constituted of a random trend of one-, - and three-line stanzas, and with out poem extending past a unmarried web page. right names abound, often first names and position names, and there are various references to envelopes, to glass, to pebbles, and to images. holiday and friendship are the superficial motifs of this autobiographical paintings, whose certain size conforms to the author's age on the time of composition.
The fifty one poems are every one imprinted on the recto of a web page whose verso is still white, growing the impression of an en face translation--with this distinction, that the English displays a clean unique, an empty web page. Given Mr. Hocquard's intentions, the presentation is an apt one. His afterword, "Grammatical Unrest," describes concept of Tables as a "continuation" of the author's translation of Michael Palmer's Baudelaire sequence into French. because the English model of the current poem has been rendered by way of this self-same Mr. Palmer, we would additionally infer that Palmer's concept of Tables is usually a continuance of Baudelaire Series--his personal continuation. besides the fact that that could be, the connection among translation and unique, among unique and its resource of concept, is especially a lot at factor. Accuracy isn't the element; that's, the publication itself, giving one textual content in simple terms, in a single language, doesn't invite the reader to gauge discrepancy, to make comparability. comparability, discrepancy, accuracy--what i might name tabular reading--are subject matters of the series, yet no longer its aspect. To learn in a tabular style might suggest coming into the paintings, whereas Mr. Hocquard's goal--and might be Mr. Palmer's also--is to maintain the reader at an admiring distance, with realization serious about the skin. (The version is painting--looking at work in a museum. ) let's imagine even more in this topic, yet house doesn't enable. This, at least, is Mr. Hocquard's Theory.
Michael Palmer is the Paul Auster of poetry. not just is there a tenacious deadpan and superficial strength to his poems (reminiscent of Auster's detective novels), there's a related manipulation of plot that drives Palmer's poetic tasks, within which his major motivation seems to be the discharge of that means into ephemeral air, the place it momentariy scintillates sooner than vanishing. one in every of Palmer's most modern efforts, a translation of Emmanuel Hocquard's conception of Tables, isn't any exception. an outline of the booklet reads like a summary to the most recent Auster novel: whereas translating into French the "Baudelaire Series" that makes up a part of Palmer's solar, Hocquard came upon himself inspired, instead of being prompted via it, which he describes as a extra passing situation. Hocquard confesses: "Translating Baudelaire sequence, I had the sensation, dreamlike, that i used to be writing a ebook i used to be no longer writing. " conception of Tables, he claims, is his imaginary "continuation" of solar. Or, photographically talking, "Sun was once the destructive from which i started to print this thought of Tables. "
Hocquard, although underwhelmingly represented in American translations, has an important physique of poetry, a few twenty books, to talk for him. he's additionally some of the most major proselytizers of postmodern American avant-garde poetry in French, basically via his modifying of 2 influential anthologies, 21 + 1 poetes americains d'aujourd'hui and forty nine + 1 poetes americains d'aujourd'hui. And, after all, in addition to being Palmer's translator, he's the translator of others--among them Paul Auster. considered one of Hocquard's first appearances in the United States used to be in Auster's exceptional Random residence booklet of 20th Century French Poetry, with accompanying translations through none except Michael Palmer. Who greater, given all this, to translate Theorie des Tables than Palmer? Cryptic verses from his "Baudelaire Series" begin the series: "You are professor of watery drugs. " idea of Tables, it sort of feels, is Palmer's poem to start with.
Translation as writing is Hocquard's after which Palmer's topic during this publication, a approach produced from an archaeological bricolage undertaken whereas on holiday. this is often the speculation of tables. Hocquard describes how in the summertime of 1989, he started gathering pebbles at the Greek islands of Delos and Paros; each one pebble he put in an envelope on which he marked the date, position, and time the pebble used to be gathered. He endured his accumulating in Leningrad and Moscow, and on the volcano at Madeira. Hocquard writes within the "Afterword" to concept of Tables:
At domestic, I emptied individually the contents of the envelopes onto tables, and immersed myself within the contemplation (theory) of pebbles. For months I saw them and devoted my observations to writing. I had turn into, in sum, the translator of pebbles.
In translating the pebbles into poems, Hocquard is dependent upon the instruments of the collector, ever-present within the fifty-one poems that make up concept of Tables: images, lists, annotations, envelopes, the pebbles themselves, the desk on which he observes them. All of those give a contribution to the transferring association of info from which he makes poems.
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Additional info for A Worldly Country: New Poems
The cheap shots you sent us yesterday are back today in force, mouthing with precision whatever wisdom is printed on the wrapper’s verso. Let no one draw strength from that. Our climate turns its face toward the heights again. This would have been a powerful soul adventure in the old calendar. Now it’s just random effusiveness: ﬁrecrackers and maybe shots in adjacent streets. Well, have the car sent round while we stumble toward this strange thing: an anomaly. Don’t think the wind is doing you a favor by refusing to die down.
With that, we can pick up and get lost. Far into the night an argument stitches its way. How long can we go on comprehending? A lot, unfortunately. So get a life. It’s been real. I mean really real, like you can’t imagine it. The city was leaving anyway, closing its ranks behind him. Soon no one would remember the boy in dross who used to come and stare through the skateboards at the abandoned furniture warehouses. Nor was this a reproach, not to him for coming 26 with his charts and other paraphernalia, for no one, not even his mother, could ﬁgure out what to ask him, or what outlandish reply he would come up with, even if he answered, as indeed he never did.
You rest the same. 53 A Small Table in the Street Less and less sightly, Lord! The cheap shots you sent us yesterday are back today in force, mouthing with precision whatever wisdom is printed on the wrapper’s verso. Let no one draw strength from that. Our climate turns its face toward the heights again. This would have been a powerful soul adventure in the old calendar. Now it’s just random effusiveness: ﬁrecrackers and maybe shots in adjacent streets. Well, have the car sent round while we stumble toward this strange thing: an anomaly.