INGER CHRISTENSEN (1935 – 2009)

Posted: July 4, 2014 in Chat
Tags: , , ,

from my kindle book, Parameters:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Parameters-Michael-Murray-ebook/dp/B07893LB8Z/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1513430854&sr=1-1&keywords=parameters

 

from ALPHABET (1981) Bloodaxe Books:

 

Alpha

10 June nights exist, June nights exist,

……………………………………………………..

chiming of insects and dew, and no one in this gossamer summer,

no one comprehends that early fall exists, aftertaste, afterthought;

…………………………………………………………………………

never the zinc-white nights so white, so defensively dissolved,

gently ionised and white, never the limit of invisibility so nearly

…………………………………………………………………..

a drift of galactic seed between earth so earthly and sky so heavenly,

………………………………………………………….

translated by Susan Nield The whole 14 sections of ALPHABET are constructed on the Fibonacci numerical system:  (1), 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 etc constantly adding the last two figures together; in effect adding the new to the whole. The implications of this to society and a sense of community are very apposite. That these were Inger Christensen’s concerns also is fully evident in her earlier book, It (1969), as well as in Alphabet. The idea of a ‘soft city’ from It became an impactful concept for Scandinavian architects and sociological workers: a city able to adjust, grow organically, change shape and structure as need demands, as populations and ethnologies alter. In section 10 we see stanzas of 5, 8, 13 lines, then instead of 21 and 35, we have 13 again. Then it starts again at 1, 1 then 2, 2, 2, 2; 3, 3, 3, 3; 5, 5, 5, 5 = 42. Altogether section 10 has 89 lines. Fib These structures, as well ass her range of references save her work from being solely gendered: the zinc-white also and majorly references the periodic table than night and skin creams. As a chemical element it can be’ read’, it is a part of the construction that constitutes all our experience of the world and ourselves. In the excerpt she references natural history, the old term that combined botany, chemistry, science and art. I remember having to draw freehand the plant cells seen through a microscope, and marvelling at the genre-breaking of science and art involved in this one act. The continual refrain through the whole book, of what ‘exists’, also occurs in this excerpt, and marks change of tone, and variation. Theme and variation suggest a musical superstructure. Messien figures on a large scale behind It, and his serialist structures are also here present. ‘Watersteps’, her 1982 poem piece collected in Butterfly Valley: A Requiem, (New Directions, 2004) displays another rich development of ‘system poetry’. That it is alive and well still, can be seen in the first two books of Matthew Welton. Inger Christensen is a source of endless admiration, wonder and enjoyment. She was a true pioneer and visionary. IC

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Great many Thanks! to all who have Liked this post. The credit, of course, goes entirely to Inger Christensen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s