21st of March - Day of Poetry
LE MOUVEMENT POÉTIQUE MONDIAL
vous invite à une lecture
en collaboration avec
La Biennale des Poètes en Val de Marne
L’Oreille du Loup
Le mercredi 21 mars 2012
Avec les poètes
(France, Biennale des poètes en Val‐de‐Marne)
Bas Kwakman Myriam Montoya
(Poetry International, Rotterdam Pays‐Bas) (Colombie)
La Question radiante
poèmes traduits par Stéphane Chaumer
Guerra / Guerre
Siempre tendras reazones
Tu vas a sacar la espada
como u angel
Y cuando la has desenvainado
ya eres un demonia
Toujours tu auras des raisons
Tu vas tirer l'épée
comme un ange
Et a l'instant ou tu la dégaines
tu deviens un démon.
(Colombie, directeur du Festival de Medellin)
Poem by Hatto Fischer
The blind man
- for Costis, the son of Melina
He sees better than anyone else
what you feel and contemplate.
He senses with his hands
what your smile means to others.
And he gathers a lot from your voice.
Often you wonder how he moves
through the streets and still
finds his way back home
all by himself.
He seems never to be alone
in his world of constant daze.
Everyone greets and loves him
because he knows no sarcasm
and has a friendly word for everyone,
who passes by his house in Dafnomili,
Even to a stranger, he would say,
good that you live among us,
especially when a crisis
hits us so hard that no one can see
what lies ahead. To this he adds
with a nod of his head while his eyes
search where you are standing
that life is most powerful
when the vision of a common future
guides us all. He then shakes your hand
and lets you go, trusting
you will find the way alone.
Jorge Torres Medina
Paul de Brancion
At a glance - the audience at Motif for the poetry reading on March 21, 2012
6, villa Marcel‐Lods
Passage de l’Atlas 75019 Paris
Métro Belleville (lignes 2 et 11) / Bus ligne 26
Greetings from Anjan Sen with his poem
This river breadgiving, this water, this Narmada
Will stone-fetters bind it
Will the river stop
Water bells ring out jingling
The water is speaking to man
Strength # give people strength O river
The stretching shore beyond the shore
The freshness of corn
Huts who will destroy
Row upon row of stones harden in darkness
Row upon row of people sing songs of the river
Where do you come from river
From the tide of life
Flows the river, flows into a million souls
Let Narmada live
Original title “narmadaar” ,first published in ‘Anubartan”,1998. Ccollected in “Bhando Bevando”2002 translated from Bengali by E.V.Ramakrshnan
answer from Paris
If one word does not suffice, dear friend, Anjan Sen, then either we do not speak the same language or I am trying to convince you poetry without words is a beautiful silence in the morning air.
Children will remember that best before they learn to speak.
And even when youngsters shout 'who we are for', then the poet will reply with a nebulous sentence, but that does not matter.
The poet distinguishes between natural poetry with rhythms saved well and the kind of amateur like discipline taking on shapes and forms according to certain rules.
Sometimes it is best to take the guitar and to sing a song in which the lyrics come from a poem about this sweet love while looking at the moon. It lets the colour be equal to the texture of a pergamont paper with a candle behind it being lit at the moment of such a glance.
Indeed, the true poetic element is really colour. With the paintbrush of words use can be made of these colours.
Important is that adults realize poetry is very much like a child's imagination. It is so rich that it can deliver at any time a word or two while playing with the wind.
Let us dedicate this day to the still unborn words becoming poetry with time, that is when someone begins to use the poetic brush and someone else notices what is beginning to take shape.
Greetings from Paris
Poetry events elsewhere
It was a mini poetry protest in Athens as reflection of the current crisis.
Anläßlich des Welttag der Poesie findet die zentralen Veranstaltung von DUK und Literaturwerkstatt Berlin im Max-Liebermann-Haus, direkt am Brandenburger Tor statt. Neben Grussworten der Chefin Kultur der DUK, werden die Vorsitzende des Kulturausschuss Deutscher Bundestag und Thomas Wohlfahrt von der Literatur Werkstatt reden. Lesen werden: Ali Al Jallawi (Bahrain-wird von uns als Flüchtling betreut), Chirikure Chirikure (Simbabwe), Sigitas Parulskis (Litauen) und aus Deutschland Ulrike Draesner und Simone Kornappel. UND Anläßlich des Welttag der Poesie wird beim Staatsminister für Kultur offiziell der Antrag für ein zu schaffendes Deutsches Zentrum für Poesie eingereicht. Mehr als 200 namhafte Unterstützer aus Poesie, Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft und Politik stehen dahinter.
The main event in Berlin will be a poetry reading supported by the cultural committee of the German Parliament and by the literature Werkstatt Berlin. The poets will be
Ali Al Jallawi, Chirikure Chirikure, Sigitas Parulskis,Ulrike Draesner and Simone Kornappel.
At the same time, a petition shall be handed to the cultural committee to request the creation of a German Poetry Centre.
21 March 2011
World Poetry Day in Athens involved paying tribute to Elytis
World Poetry Day on Monday will be marked with a tribute to Greece's Nobel Literature Prize laureate Odysseas Elytis (1979), as 2011 has been declared 'Elytis Year' by Greece's culture and tourism ministry.
March 21 was declared World Poetry Day by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in 1999 for the purpose of promoting the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world, and to "give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements".
Poetry nights with readings of works by Elytis are being organised on Monday by the National Center for Books (EKEBI) in collaboration with the Society of Writers, at several bookshops in Athens and Thessaloniki.
The Megaron-Athens Concert Hall will mark the day with readings of ancient Greek poetry dedicated to love by Sappho, Archilochos, Meleagros, Krinagoras and others, and a concert of love poetry set to music by celebrated Greek composers such as Manos Hatzidakis, Yannis Spanos, Eleni Karaindrou and others.
Also, the Hellenic American Union (HAU) in Athens is organising an open discussion on Homer's works on Monday evening.
21 March 2009
Introducing the Day - Hatto Fischer
What have I done?
An innocent question requests to be heard.
It is the question of a confounded soul
not silenced by strong winds
or trucks rushing by,
but by her withdrawing
to create windstill pages.
Now I wait in the shadow
for another sign,
a whisper, a kiss or her nose
after pressing down my face
on pages sent with the snail post
to cross rivers, mountains, plains
till they arrive at the desk
underneath the trees
on Lycabettou hill
overlooking the city of Athens
with streets winding past corners
by rubbish cans, parked motorcycles
and pedestrians rooted there
to be like trees
as if in resistance against those
who want to brush away
or else wishes that kick like horses
back at negative perspectives
as if every one is like the youth
Pretense was never poetry's alignment with death as a way to hide things! That is something which can said about Christa Wolf's discovery that very often state promoted logics tend to hide the real secrets about life. It puts everyone on a wrong path of undoing what was done before and makes one generation feel that the following one is ungrateful. Poetry is then like the paper used to fill the gaps in between time zones of understanding. Or just a way to imitate wind stillness! That is when sayings of people take on finally character. Naturally there are endangered if they are too opportunistic, merely bend on to serve the wind and this no matter from which direction the wind comes from. Yet here in Greece, during the hot summer months, everyone welcomes the cooling wind coming from the North and not necessarily going South.
But certainly Katerina Anghelaki Rooke has made her mark in poetry. Recently she said that everyone should use poetry as a tool to dig deeper into the self. That reminds of Brendan Kennelly showing to his audience greater courage than all by going deep inside and questioning what he saw or came across.
Between these two poets there are many other linkages as experienced during the 'Myth of the City' conference organised by me and Anna Arvanitaki. We brought poets into a dialogue with planners about living conditions in cities back then in Crete, in 1995. Amongst the poets were present Anne Born, Paula Meehan, Theo Dorgan, Bruno Kartheuser, Maja Panajotova, Sophia Yannatou, Liana Sakelliou-Schultz, Emer Ronan, Pedro Mateo, Reina L. Palazon, but also many others who participated from the distance such as Voula Mega with her poems about cities and their characteristic images.
In Berlin, there just ended 'printemps des poetes' organised by Catherine Launay. Among the many events there was a special one organised by Ariadne Ghabel at the Savignyplatz. She had ten actors perform the poem "Permission" by Nahid Kabiri. With such actions, including posting poems at traffic lights with people able to tear off the page, in order to take a poem home or to work with them, a sure sign is given that poetry does enter and links up with everyday life.
In a time of the global crisis, the human self understanding between people is ever more important to be upheld by poems which weigh as little as a feather, hence can tickle or sail through the air. They also stand as symbol or metaphor for writing in the air which we breathe. Here Ariadne Ghabel has shown paths of breathing to give new life a wonderful chance.
Contributions from all over the world
SRAVAN by Anjan San
The sky shivers with the swing of rains
the rain drip-dropdrenching the visionary world
O grace. O thunderous gracequench the cosmic thirst
In the rice field, the festival song is on
In the roots the swing of the rains
Towards their rock the pilgrims move
Their shoulders heavy with the sacrosanct water
Pouring water - Sravan takes a shower
Once again the song of desire for grain
The rock has been washed by many monsoons.
translated from Bengali by Amlan Dasgupta
and send by Asit Poddar, artist and member of Kids' Guernica in Kolkata, India
WAHL - KARRIERE von Rosemarie Lang-Barke
Steigst du auf,/ steigst du auch ab
Steigst du ab,/auch wieder auf!
Willst du das / und weisst darum,/ findest du dein Publikum.
Hast du Erfolg,/ wirst du bald seh'n,/ nicht jeder laesst es dir gescheh'n.
Manch einer schaut nach dir sich um,/ laechelt dir zu/ und bleibt gern stumm.
Da ploetzlich kommt er her zu dir,/ ueberrascht dich/ und schreit brausend:/ Hier / ist ein Verseh'n gescheh'n.
Ihr schaut verkehrt,/ lasst den nur steh'n!
Die richtige Person ist da!/ Ich bin's / das ist doch jedem klar!
Und man schaut hier/ und man schaut da, / als wenn es selbstverstaendlich war.
Bis jeder denkt: / Es ist zu dumm!/ Wir drehn uns nach dem Falschen um.
Sie waehlen nun, / den keiner wollte.- / Ganz selbstverstaendlich!
Ob's / immer so sein sollte...?
CHOICE - CAREER
Do you climb up, / Then you climb down as well.
Do you climb down, / Then you climb also up.
If you want that,/ And know about it,/ Then you will find your audience.
When you have success,/ You will soon see/ Not everyone lets you enjoy that success.
Some of them turn around to look at you / Smile at you / And remain preferably silent.
There he comes suddenly towards you,/ Surprises you/ And shouts at the top of his lungs / Here / Someting happened which should not have.
You look at them perplexed / Let them stand there.
The right person is here! / I am the one, / That is hopefully to everyone quite clear.
And one looks here / And there, / As if it was self understood.
Until everyone thinks: / This is too stupid! / We end up turning to the wrong one.
They select only the one / No one wanted to have - / As if self understood.
If / That should always be the case?
translated from German by Hatto Fischer
Many voices were heard in Athens. It included a public reading of 40 poets at the French Institute. The previous day poems made into politische songs were performed at the megaron. Alexia Amvrasi at FM 104,4 the Municipal Radio Station of Athens invited Sofia Yannatou and Hatto Fischer to discuss the difference, if there is any, between poetry and prose.
Poetry day should really be dedicated to Norb Blei:
In the United States, Norb Blei continues to send his poetry dispatches and allows for more discoveries of poets till then unheard. In the introduction to his most recent publication, an anthology under the title "Other Voices" published by Cross + Roads Press, he expresses his belief in poetry as follows:
"Writers and artists spend their entire lives seeking confirmation. They need to know they are being taken seriously, for their own good, for the satisfaction of others (friends, loved ones, parents), many of whom fail to understand how a person can turn away from everything and lead an isolated life of work and dedication with no gurantee of success or financial gain. 'You want to do what? Go find a job.' It's all about money of course, given our culture."
Recently Norb Blei drew attention to the Palestinian poet Taha Mohammed Ali who wrote a poem under the title 'Where':
behind the night of words
behind the clouds of hearing,
across the dark of sight
and beyond the dusk of music
that's hidden and revealed
But where is it concealed?
And how could I
when I am
by the light of the day,
to find my pencil.
(from 'So What', New Selected Poems 1971 - 2005, Copper Canyon Press)
As to the topic 'poetry and prose', Sam Hamill thinks there is a difference:"The poem sayswhat cannot be said in prose. Perhaps verse requires of its maker a struggle to open the heart, a vulnerability, a belief that words – at least it has been for me – mean exactly what they say, simply and clearly."
Sam Hamill, (1998) „Bidding Farewell to My Stepson“ in Gratitude, Rochester N.Y.: Boa Edition, p. 93 - 95
George Crane, on the other hand, can hardly distinguish anymore the difference between poetry and prose; to him prose is horizontal poetry.
Resume of the Day of Poetry:
Always we should appreciate poetry in what Elytis said has to be done in praise of life. We should also do so by adding the refrains of the Blues. What characterizes the Blues still today is the amazing gift to 'save rhythms well' (Louis Armstrong) while admitting 'you love me no mo', there is a chance for love to bloom again like flowers in the next spring. Jean Paul Sartre explained why the Blues touch so many people for in its lyric universal pain is being expressed.
The restraints of the Blues
What are restraints when walls wail like electrical guitars
Gone wild with the boys in jail or close to a fight
whenever they are afraid of death
so take the beats and the rhythms
cool it, man, cool it,
if only you could find an escape from such ugly fights
leaving lips bleeding and the nose in tatters
with even an ear damaged unvoluntarily when the ugly voice
screams and screams over and again,
so don't be afraid, man, or a fool, man,
the sockets in the wall are not meant for you
unless you wish to hip hop over the edges and stretch your muscles
till no one budges, till no one budges
due to everyone smoking a joint at the bar
except for those who escape,
and set the stage to sing the Blues
'you don't love me no mo!'
Listen to how the wolves howl
at midnight to the moon,
listen to the silence of the plains
across which sweeps the moon light.
Yes, I see you standing there
to make sure this earth is no magic place,
but still a home where you can hear your own voice
gone over to the other side of the moon
to spin another tale
about white and green cheeses
because you left them for too long in the cupboard,
and like your soul
they are forgotten by now, never touched again,
except by fragments of light setting off chemistry,
so let me fire you up again to sing
some rhythms saved well by Louis Armstrong,
for that one poem you have tucked away
in your pocket and like all forgotten loves
can remind you what you never knew it was there all along,
and now awaits to be heard,
so step into the public light and sing the refrain
about the Blues heard so well with your voice listening
to a never stopping or ending whistle blow by the train
moving slowly out of the station with you on board as if a last journey.
No wonder, you've got the Blues, man, so jump off before the train
moves faster and faster into the twilight zones of your dreams.
I reckon you need a beer and some music to read your poem,
to let her know that you survive despite her loving you no mo.
Yah man, you are at risk that the steam goes cold
as if no mo fire heats up the engine
while the folk goes home beset by endless dreams
to drift later on with the clouds
past the blue moon now casting shadows of my sailing ship
so wait till dawn, till sunlight, till the Blues
give you a gift of life, o man, a gift of love like the Blues.
Athens March 21, 2008
Day of Poetry: 21.March 2005
Dip into that material
called substance of life
and behold that hand
which touches like a child
to let dreams go free
if only to glide with the winds
out over the sea with horizons stretched
to remember days
when rhythms became tunes
sung by our mothers and fathers
while we were still innocent,
indeed brave enough to look everyone
in the eyes and laugh!
Poems are written, sung, uttered, murmured and many often forgotten even before they could be written down.
The music that goes with the poem is the intertwining of voice and thought.
What is language without pronunciation, what is a river without a silver tongue of water gliding over rocks and past hushed banks when the mist lifts early in the morning?
Yes, sounds painted in words may be one metaphorical description of poems that last centuries.
There is a Homer telling narrative poem about a man who left and came back twenty-two years later. James Joyce picks that up and lets his hero walk through Dublin in 24 hours. At the final stage his hero walks underneath a train bridge. It is one of those long, endless tunnels with water dripping down and only the footsteps to be heard as they rickashade off the barren walls. James Joyce writes that passage without any punctuation. The reader has to know by then the rhythm, when to stop, when to add an imaginary coma as symbol of the kind of speech that makes sense because of the rhythm and tunes.
Indeed, poetry means much more than just recreating the physical world as it appears in our senses. The Ancient Greeks had wondered about this difference between what we perceive to be the outer world and what we use to make up in our minds what image fits to the object we wish to identify. Is that a chair? Is that a dolphin swimming beside the boat? What is the difference between a river and the open sea, if not for the form that brings about such existence? Since we don’t know the answers, poems dig deeper and find often nothing but their own exasperation but also joy of life.
So poetry is a compound or even a mix of reactions to the possibilities of what we perceive through our senses and what then takes us further than what images can suggest just by themselves.
A visual artist may be orientated along what Wittgenstein says. He may come to the conclusion it is better “to observe rather than to think”, since he believes truth is not possible, only approximation. However neither half truths or onesided stories can be true. Nor does a poet accept such distortion of truth for the sake of a lie.
Poetry is really about the logos of feelings and emotions that come into existence when we confront the death of a friend, hear the outcry of a man selling flowers in the street and strain our eyes when the clouds darken on the horizon as the ship leaves the harbor. Time and images coincide to bring about a landscape known to our senses. We feel touched and touch like a blind man attempting to identify what exists out there. He can do it by trusting what he senses through his fingertips.
It is said that the sense of touch brings about sober truth (Ernst Bloch), provided, as Louis Armstrong would attest, ‘the lesson of materialism is learned well’. Louis Armstrong means ‘lesson learned well’ in a very specific sense for then the rhythms are saved and songs go out for a ride like children with their parents in a rowing boat.
Yes, poems begin with confusion, a mix of awe and sadness, but they come out well if they save the rhythm to be felt when the very last word lets you remember what was said at the beginning and so the poem can complete the journey on its own.
Immediately upon arrival there is the question what has been conveyed, developed, said, narrated, and stated? So many questions, would the Greek poetess Katerina Anghelaki Rooke reply, but so few answers. Or another answer she could give, is that half true questions would but confuse the issue of perception and understanding of poetry even further. Hence she prefers like so many other poets ‘silence’: the art of listening to the voice inside of us.
If anything is true to our nature, Katerina would continue in her argument, then not to complicate things any further but to simplify. “We are not stupid human beings, we have a brain to think”, she would add emphatically. Especially in her case ‘Logos of poetry’ entails philosophical thoughts. It is the wisdom that goes with listening to our voices.
Tell me more, is the demand of a child of the grandfather. Generations upon generations murmur and tell stories. The rhythm of life continues, provided poetry saves these rhythms well. It is a thought that may return to the child when itself much older and thinking back to those times when it set its dreams to set sail and to depart from imaginary harbors to venture into the world.
The philosopher Kant said we can set sail only once we have sounded out human understanding for then we can charter through unknown seas and unknown lands.
Once poetry sets sail to our dreams then not to leave behind those waving along the shores as the ship disappears on the horizon because there is expressed right from the beginning the certainty of coming back. Once self confidence has been bestowed upon the people as done by Homer, they can face the changes. It is up to modern poets to continue giving that self confidence to face the fresh winds of change. Important is that no one looses orientation as to where we shall find our own Ithaca.
Midwinter England - Oxleas Woods
January 2nd 2005
by Alan Dix
The usual low northern sun spills from the sky
And streams through leafless dormant trees
To make bright puddles that blind the eye
Sharp edges dissolve into a foam of white and gold
A fallen limb sinks into the dark mud
Disturbed birds lift themselves into the cold
The bark of a hidden dog threads through oak and beech
A bright red hat bobs across the path
My compass is gone my maps have drifted out of reach
There is death on the wind I can hear it in the high branches
Swirling and tossing the bodies of leaves
The roaring sea rears up with open mouth and advances
This is the time when everything stops
This is the last time the sun’s light will ignite your mind
This is the time when everything stops
This is the time when everything is lost
When the slow clock of the future slips a cog
And pain covers everything like a baked salt frost
This is the time when the living wish they were dead
When vast grief obliterates the tin shacks of certainty
When wisdom and knowledge and hope have all fled.
Tsunami: a visitor has come and gone
With the force of ten thousand
A vast shudder has passed across the world
But there are no messages from god in the sky today
A tragic flag has been slowly unfurled
And our brief tenancy is on display.
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