Rain

Posted: May 23, 2022 in Chat
Tags: , , , , ,

RAIN

A drop of rain falling –
it didn’t know where its parents were,
It didn’t know where its companions were
all it knew was falling.

The wind took it up, turning it over
curious
fingering the bead of it until it shone.
It lay dead-weight in the palm, submissive
to all the wind’s intimacies.

But the wind had other business 
caught up for a moment with all this
glittering, and wondering
What was all this
stripping its valuables
leaving the wind empty 
and cold in the sky?

Pearls, diamonds, gem-stones – 
worthless; all it needed 
was sustenance.
Wind threw rain over.

And being taken up, cast down
rain fell heavier than ever
a pebble for its heart

To destroy itself on a leaf.
Caught hurting on the tree’s hand
spilling all that encrusted it;
to enter the green caverns
a formless thing.

PLUIE

Une goutte de pluie qui tombe –
il ne savait pas où étaient ses parents,
Il ne savait pas où étaient ses compagnons
tout ce qu’il savait était de tomber.

Le vent l’a emporté, le retournant
curieux
en caressant le grain jusqu’à ce qu’il brille.
Il gisait comme un poids mort dans la paume, soumis
à toutes les intimités du vent.

Mais le vent avait d’autres affaires
rattrapé un instant avec tout ça
scintillant et se demandant
C’était quoi tout ça
dépouiller ses objets de valeur
laissant le vent vide
et froid dans le ciel?

Perles, diamants, pierres précieuses –
sans valeur; tout ce qu’il fallait
était la subsistance.
Le vent a chassé la pluie.

Et d’être prendre en haut, 
jeté vers le bas
la pluie est tombée plus fort que jamais
un caillou pour son Coeur

Se détruire sur une feuille.
Pris blessé sur la main de l’arbre
renverser tout ce qui l’incrustait ;
entrer dans les cavernes vertes
une chose sans forme.

PIOVERE

Una goccia di pioggia che cade –
non sapeva dove fossero i suoi genitori,
Non sapeva dove fossero i suoi compagni
tutto cio che sapeva stava cadendo.

Il vento lo prese, capovolgendolo
curioso
toccando il vetrofinché non brillava.
Giaceva come un peso morto nel palmo, sottomesso
a tutte le intimità del vento.

Ma il vento aveva altri affari
preso per un momento con tutto questo
scintillante e meravigliato
Cos’era tutto questo
spogliando i suoi oggetti di valore
lasciando vuoto il vento
e freddo nel cielo?

Perle, diamanti, pietre preziose –
senza valore; tutto ciò di cui aveva bisogno
era sostentamento.
Il vento ha rovesciato la pioggia.

Ed essendo preso, gettato giù
la pioggia cadeva più pesante che mai
un sassolino per il suo cuore
Autoistruggersi su una foglia.

Preso ferito sulla mano dell’albero
rovesciando tutto ciò che lo incrostava;
per entrare nelle caverne verdi
una cosa senza forma.

LLUVIA

Una gota de lluvia cayendo –
no sabía dónde estaban sus padres,
No sabía dónde estaban sus compañeros.
todo lo que sabía era caer.

El viento se lo llevó, volteándolo
curioso
digitación la cuenta de vidrio
hasta que brilló.
Yacía como un peso muerto en la palma de la mano, sumisa
a todas las intimidades del viento.
Pero el viento tenía otros asuntos
atrapado por un momento con todo esto
brillando y preguntándose
que fue todo esto

despojando de sus objetos de valor
dejando el viento vacío
y frío en el cielo?

Perlas, diamantes, piedras preciosas –
sin valor; todo lo que necesitaba
era sustento.

El viento descartado lluvia .
y siendo arrebatado, echado abajo
la lluvia cayó más fuerte que nunca
un guijarro para su corazón
Destruirse en una hoja.

Atrapado lastimado en la mano del árbol
derramando todo lo que tenía incrustado;
para entrar en las cavernas verdes
una cosa sin forma.

SUMMER SUN HAS…

Summer sun has all the new
plastic black guttering cracking
and creaking, expanding;
the sound along the terraces
unique, rousing.

As the heat fades they’ll retreat again,
regain their old state. All their
hidden musics dictate the noise
of neighbour’s grass cutters, something-elsers.

I thought of the endless dripping from
the corner gutter that turned to pouring
when the join went, and me trying
all sorts to stop it cheaply. How it
cost us dearly.

And I thought of us getting all
the soffits changed, fearing old asbestos;
but there was none. That also cost us.
To relish peace of mind,
is to pay its pound.

I thought of that lonely pigeon
three days up there alone, mate dead,
the feathers scattering in the after-draft.
Its grieving there, unfed; silent
in the dark,
in the head.

My Admiration

Posted: May 7, 2022 in Chat

for skill and enterprise, endurance and great sense of values.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-61174988

In Time of Illness

Posted: April 25, 2022 in Chat
Tags: , , , ,

When I first became ill, Berg’s String Quartet was a revelation to me.
The concentrated form and narrow range of instruments was all I could handle.
But I still cherish this piece of music, maybe for that reason, and I hope for the
music itself as well.

Quand je suis tombé malade pour la première fois, le Quatuor à cordes de Berg a été une révélation pour moi.
La forme concentrée et la gamme étroite d’instruments étaient tout ce que je pouvais gérer.
Mais je chéris toujours ce morceau de musique, peut-être pour cette raison, et j’espère aussi pour la musique elle-même.

Quando mi sono ammalato per la prima volta, il quartetto d’archi di Berg è stato per me una rivelazione.
La forma concentrata e la gamma ristretta di strumenti erano tutto ciò che riuscivo a gestire.
Ma apprezzo ancora questo pezzo di musica, forse per quella resason, e spero anche per la musica stessa.

Cuando me enfermé por primera vez, el Cuarteto de Cuerdas de Berg fue una revelación para mí.
La forma concentrada y la estrecha gama de instrumentos fue todo lo que pude manejar.
Pero todavía atesoro esta pieza musical, tal vez por esa razón, y también espero por la música misma.

Experiments in translation 2

Posted: April 19, 2022 in Chat
Tags: , ,

Schrödinger’s Cat

The black cat of space
closes its eyes to sleep
and the last stars go out

The cat wakes, stretches
and its with nails prick holes in space
new stars shine through 

le chat noir de l’espace
ferme les yeux pour dormir
et les dernières étoiles s’éteignent

Le chat se réveille, s’étire
et ses clous piquent des trous dans l’espace
de nouvelles étoiles brillent à travers

lo spazio è un gatto nero
chiude gli occhi per dormire
e le ultime stelle muoiono

il gatto si sveglia, si allunga,
le sue unghie perforano buchi nell’oscurità
le nuove stelle sono nate

el espacio es un gato negro
cierra los ojos para dormir
y las ultimas estrellas mueren

el gato se despierta, se estira,
sus uñas perforan agujeros en el negro
nacen las nuevas estrellas


The opening fanfare is phenomenal!
What a performance.

DARK ENERGY

As black-on-black of stellar crows
chase by treetop high earth,
they leave it reeling.

Their monstrous battles
are sunbursts, supernova.

When they mate our times tense,
pressured;
the incubation of the egg our doldrums.

The hatching egg
moves our achievements onwards.

Feeding the newborn,
are our periods of acquisition;

when the fledgling flies we feel its wrench, 
its absence

                        like the loss of a god.

There is no knowing
they will ever fly our way again.

ÉNERGIE NOIRE

Comme noir sur noir des corbeaux stellaires
chasser par la cime des arbres haute terre,
ils le laissent chancelant.

Leurs batailles monstrueuses
sont des coups de soleil, supernova.

Quand ils s’accouplent nos temps tendus,
sous pression;

l’incubation de l’oeuf notre marasme.
L’éclosion
fait avancer les réalisations.

Nourrir le nouveau-né,
sont nos périodes d’acquisition ;

quand l’oisillon vole on sent sa déchirure,
son absence

                         comme la perte d’un dieu.
Il n’y a pas de savoir
ils voleront à nouveau vers nous.

ENERGIA OSCURA

Come nero su nero di corvi stellari
inseguire sulla terra alta delle cime degli alberi,
lo lasciano vacillare.

Le loro battaglie mostruose
sono raggi solari, supernova.

Quando si accoppiano i nostri tempi tesi,
sotto pressione;

l’incubazione dell’uovo la nostra stasi.
La schiusa
fa avanzare le conquiste.

Nutrire il neonato,
sono i nostri periodi di acquisizione;

quando la neonata vola sentiamo la sua stretta,
la sua assenza

                         come la perdita di un dio.

Non c’è sapere
non voleranno mai più per la nostra strada.

ENERGÍA OSCURA

Como negro sobre negro de cuervos estelares
persecución por la copa de los árboles de la tierra alta,
lo dejan tambaleándose.

Sus monstruosas batallas
son rayos de sol, supernova.

Cuando se aparean nuestros tiempos tensos,
presionado;

la incubación del huevo nuestro estancamiento.
la eclosión
mueve los logros de nuestro tiempo hacia adelante.

Alimentando al recién nacido,
son nuestros períodos de adquisición;

cuando el pichón vuela sentimos su tirón,
su ausencia

                         como la pérdida de un dios.

no hay saber
volverán a volar en nuestro camino.

I bought this collection two or three years ago. I find listening to the them deeply enjoyable. They have come to mean a great deal to me.

J’ai acheté cette collection il y a deux ou trois ans. Je trouve leur écoute profondément agréable. Ils sont devenus très importants pour moi.

Ho comprato questa collezione due o tre anni fa. Trovo ascoltarli profondamente piacevole. Sono diventati molto importanti per me.

Olivier Messiaen écrit

Each piece is written in honour of a French province. It bears the title of the bird-type of the chosen region. It is not alone: the habitat neighbours surround it and also sing (-)… its landscape, the hours of day and night that also change this landscape, are also present, with their colours, their temperatures, the magic of their perfumes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalogue_d%27oiseaux

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivier_Messiaen#Birdsong_and_the_1960s

His elegant, minimalist and wholly practical solutions need to be widely appreciated.
This is a start.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-60764585

It’s good to see American director, Jane Campion, back in the news.

We just happened to catch one of her earlier films a few weeks back, An Angel At My Table, based on the autobiographies of New Zealand writer Janet Frame.

It was great to watch the film again; I got more out of it this time around, too:  Kerry Fox is really very good in the main role.

And so I went to the autobiographies.
To the Is-Land (1982); An Angel at My Table (1984); The Envoy from Mirror-City (1985)

There are so many surprises and enlightening episodes and events. Her writing is very even-handed, even though she had every reason to not be so. She casts no blame, partly because her life, like everyone’s is a steady revelation of meaning, realisation. And also, I suspect, because of the counselling she received.

One of the first things surprised me was the difference between the South and North island of New Zealand. Following eight years of hospital treatment she travelled to Auckland, to stay with her married youngest sister and family. The air, she found, seemed more temperate, the flora more lush, almost tropical, brighter colours, different flowers, plants.
Away from the snow melt of the Lord-of-the-Rings mountains of South island, and also being that little bit nearer to the equator, made a lot of difference.
We only meet one Australian in the books, and then only in passing, as passenger on the sea journey to England.

The family background is intriguing, as well as tragic. Her mother had cleaned for the writer Katherine Mansfield’s family. 
Of the five children, the eldest, ‘Bruddie’, developed epilepsy; the next, Myrtle, drowned in the local swimming pool; Janet went through eight years of mental health hospitals; lively, vibrant Isabel developed heart trouble and also drowned… only the youngest, June, came through relatively unscathed.

It was suggested that ‘Bruddie’ be taken to Seacliffe, the mental health hospital – that is how epilepsy was seen and treated in those years. Her mother swore no child of hers would go there. She cared for him at home.

When Janet was to be taken to Seacliffe, her mother signed the papers. 
How is one to take this, she asked, in the autobiography.

The diagnosis was schizophrenia. 
There’s a new electrical treatment, she heard at one point. It was ECT; she went through about two hundred of these ‘treatments’.

Later, another new treatment came forward: Leucotomy, or as we now know it lobotomy. And she was on the list.
It was only by winning a prize for her short stories The Lagoon and other stories, and mentioned in the newspaper review, that she was saved that fate, and later released.
One associate, Nola, had not such luck. Janet Frame wrote to her often, and she was in and out of hospitals all her life.
It’s the dependency upon other’s judgements, decisions, that is so disabling, reducing, negating. This is especially so for women, the never-ending centuries of subjection 

Her mother died: Her life was awful, she said, and her sister agreed. She had no life of her own, or the one she did have she sank into her Christadelphian beliefs.
She wrote The well-meaning consideration of my family served to emphasise and increase the separation I felt from them.

‘You are the unmarried daughter. Your duty is to look after your father now.’
Other’s expectations… even one’s own expectations… can be destructive.

It was in Auckland that she met Frank Sargeson, a successful New Zealand writer, living in his little isolated island of art. She stayed there… eighteen months? Writing her first book, Owls Do Cry; and it was accepted for publication, and published in New Zealand.
Frank’s own books were out of print by then, a horrible fate for a living writer.

Coming out of the mental health system, where the emphasis was on non-communication between staff and in-patients, no newspapers, no stimulation, and observation of rules, order, regulated time. It was an experience she described as a steady diminishment of one’s personality. 

With Frank Sargeson she then found herself in a caring, considerate environment.
The problem there was, as nurturing as he was, his interest was other men, and constantly disparaged her woman’s body. From one area of negation, to another.

He did have connections, though. 

On the strength of her novel she applied for a travel grant ‘to broaden one’s life experience’, and was awarded what was then a reasonable amount of money: three hundred pounds sterling.
She travelled to England, by boat: she was not a good sailor. 
She was determined to go to Spain – Ibiza was the place to live cheaply, so she stayed there about eighteen months. 

Poverty was a trap; there was no way out for the local people, except tourism, a hate-relationship but necessary. She identified more readily with the poor, that was her background, her experience.
Aged thirty-two, and then her first love affair! And a pregnancy. Money was running out, and so Andorra was recommended, the exchange rate more amenable. And almost trapped into marriage with a local smuggler. Then losing the baby.

Back in London she was to fall into another redundant relationship: poor, dull, unimaginative, and thinking he was looking out for her – but he was forcing her into corners.
She had to look for work, and her situation became untenable.
A previous medic recommended her contact the Maudsley Hospital when in London. She did, and they took her in observation. ‘You never had schizophrenia.’ they said. ‘What you are going through now is the result of eight years of hospitalisations.

She loved London, though: the early nineteen sixties, all the new life, the French New Wave writers, the American Beat writers, West Indian literature appearing. She witnessed the growth of CND, the Aldermaston Marches https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldermaston_Marches

She loved being anonymous but a part of the multitudinous life.
She wrote, and published. One review wrote This must be the worst book, whilst another said of the same book, This book could well be a work of genius.
What do you do with that disparity? 
You have to come to some accommodation, and it has to be one’s own.

She was healing, she was growing stronger.
She changed her name to Nene Janet Paterson Clutha …in part to recognise Māori leader Tamati Waka Nene, whom she admired (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Frame).
This is the only Maori reference I am aware of.

And then her father died. And she returned to New Zealand, still a bad sailor. 

But the legacy had to be sorted, the meagre belongings.
She loved London, but was glad to return to New Zealand.
Beware, the London doctor said, They might not accept our diagnosis.

Her appreciation of the neglect of women’s lives comes through in the autobiographies. 

She could spot desperation in all its forms, it was something that affects everyone, but especially women denied prospects, lives, education. 

We may think that is all being solved now but, well, it isn’t, and there’s nothing to stop any improvements being turned around tomorrow. 

We are so vulnerable – to economic constraints, to market forces, to prices shooting up beyond control: heating, basic foodstuffs, energy, petrol. And the ones who bear the brunt of this are the poor and women, because they have no protection in society.
The poor are always with us, and especially the ones who cannot, do not know how to, fend for themselves.

I would love to know what happened next; how she lived. Her New Zealand celebrity status protected her somewhat, but could also ensnare.

But take a look at the prizes she had won in her lifetime!

1951: Hubert Church Prose Award (The Lagoon and other Stories)

·      1956: New Zealand Literary Fund Grant

·      1958: New Zealand Literary Fund Award for Achievement (Owls Do Cry)

·      1964: Hubert Church Prose Award (Scented Gardens for the Blind); New Zealand Literary Fund Scholarship in Letters.

·      1965: Robert Burns Fellowship, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ

·      1967: “Buckland Literary Award.” (The Reservoir and Other Stories/A State of Siege)

·      1969: New Zealand Literary Fund Award (The Pocket Mirror: Poems)

·      1971: Buckland Literary Award (Intensive Care); Hubert Church Prose Award. (Intensive Care)

·      1972: President of Honour: P.E.N. International New Zealand Centre, Wellington, NZ

·      1973: James Wattie Book of the Year Award (Daughter Buffalo)

·      1974: Hubert Church Prose Award (Daughter Buffalo); Winn-Manson Menton Fellowship.

·      1978: Honorary Doctor of Literature (D.Litt. Honoris Causa) University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ

·      1979: Buckland Literary Award (Living in the Maniototo)

·      1980: New Zealand Book Award for Fiction (Living in the Maniototo)

·      1983: Buckland Literary Award; Sir James Wattie Book of the Year Award (To the Is-Land); C.B.E. (Commander, Order of the British Empire)

·      1984: Frank Sargeson Fellowship, University of Auckland, NZ

·      1984: New Zealand Book Award for Non-Fiction (An Angel at My Table); Sir James Wattie Book of the Year Award (An Angel at My Table); Turnovsky Prize for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts

·      1985: Sir James Wattie Book of the Year Award (The Envoy from Mirror City)

·      1986: New Zealand Book Award for Non-Fiction (The Envoy from Mirror City); Honorary Foreign Member: The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters

·      1989: Ansett New Zealand Book Award for Fiction; Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (The Carpathians)

·      1990: O.N.Z. (Member, Order of New Zealand)

·      1992: Honorary Doctor of Literature (D.Litt.), University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ

·      1994: Massey University Medal, Massey University, Palmerston North, NZ

·      2003: Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Award; New Zealand Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement[77]

·      2007: Montana Book Award for Poetry (The Goose Bath)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Frame

One of her family homes on South Island was bought and restored by a group of supporters, and it is now open for visitors, a tourist spot:

https://jfestrust.org.nz

Janet Frame House

Next, of course, is to read the books.