Dienstag, 30. November 2010
Samstag, 27. November 2010
Human concerns are not so happily arranged that the majority favours the better things: evidence of the worst choice is the crowd." [De Vita Beata II,1]
‘Do not worry:
Wherever you are
You are always you.’
Ikkyū is accredited as one of the great influences on the Japanese tea ceremony, and renowned as one of medieval Japan's greatest calligraphers and sumi-e artists. Known to drink in excess he would often upset [his teachers] with his remarks and actions to guests.
He was among the few Zen priests who argued that his enlightenment was deepened by consorting with pavilion girls, and entered brothels wearing his black robes, since for him sexual intercourse was a religious rite. At the same time he warned Zen against its own bureaucratic politicizing. After training Ikkyū quickly left the temple and lived many years as a vagabond. He was not alone, however, as he had a regular circle of notable artists and poets from that era. Around this time, he also established a relationship with a blind singer Mori who became the love of his later life. (Cobbled together from here)
If, at the end of our journey,
There is no place to rest,
We need not worry about
Losing the way.
(Translations of poems by me.)
Cover your path
With fallen pine-needles
So no one will be able
To locate your
True dwelling place.
Dienstag, 23. November 2010
(Bag by Timberland- fake-distressed but recommended, they did a good job there;
Loafers by K&K Schuhmanufaktur Alt Wien.)
As you all know I am a well-integrated, conforming citizen but in the winterly months, especially during carnival-season, I sometimes tend towards the eccentric. Today, shortly before dusk, we arrived at some small, provincial airport on the Eastern outskirts of our former empire- the region where snowflakes dance and wolves howl just beyond the border of vision- when I spontaneously decided to buy this fine-looking bottle of vodka from an honourable fringe dweller of proto Indian descent. Good, inflammatory stories begin like that, those that I never will write since I am but a mere poseur of the arts; but- as I keep repeating: I am the poet of poets- I am the one who the poets read for inspiration! Aye, and now I’ll enter the gates of Ereshkigal with my heroic compatriots via a communal sample of that fine-looking beverage!
Samstag, 20. November 2010
Non so più cosa son cosa faccio...
Or di foco, ora sono di ghiaccio,
Ogni donna cangiar di colore,
Ogni donna mi fa palpitar.
Solo ai nomi d'amor, di diletto,
Mi si turba, mi s'altera il petto,
E a parlare mi sforza d'amore
Un desio ch'io non posso spiegar.
Parlo d'amore vegliando,
Parlo d'amor sognando,
All'acqua, all'ombra, ai monti,
Ai fiori, all'erbe, ai fonti,
All'eco, all'aria, ai venti,
Che il suon de'vani accenti
Portano via con se.
E se non ho chi m'oda,
Parlo d'amor con me!
[I don't know any more what I am,
what I'm doing,
Now I'm fire, now I'm ice,
Any woman makes me change color,
Any woman makes me quiver.
At just the names of love, of pleasure,
My breast is stirred up and changed,
And a desire I can't explain
Forces me to speak of love.
I speak of love while awake,
I speak of love while dreaming,
To the water, the shade, the hills,
The flowers, the grass, the fountains,
The echo, the air, and the winds
Which carry away with them
The sound of my vain words.
And if there's nobody to hear me,
I speak of love to myself!]
Freitag, 12. November 2010
One of the best modern German poets- apart from Eichendorff and Rilke- that I know of. He was the last one to be able to express genuine mythical, emotive 'pathos' in his work before the rather dark period of the last 50 years set in. Here are two of my favourite poems by Benn; to all who don't speak German I can only say: It is worth learning it in order to be able to read them.
Benn also said that, if one already concerns onself with something as futile and seemingly useless as poetry, one better should try to give ones very best.
Nur zwei Dinge
Durch so viel Form geschritten,
durch Ich und Wir und Du,
doch alles blieb erlitten
durch die ewige Frage: wozu?
Das ist eine Kinderfrage.
Dir wurde erst spät bewußt,
es gibt nur eines: ertrage
- ob Sinn, ob Sucht, ob Sage -
dein fernbestimmtes: Du mußt.
Ob Rosen, ob Schnee, ob Meere,
was alles erblühte, verblich,
es gibt nur zwei Dinge: die Leere
und das gezeichnete Ich.
Dennoch die Schwerter halten
Der soziologische Nenner,
der hinter Jahrtausenden schlief,
heißt: ein paar große Männer
und die litten tief.
Heißt: ein paar schweigende Stunden
Erfüllung ist schwer von Wunden,
wenn es Erfüllungen sind.
Heißt: ein paar sterbende Krieger
gequält und schattenblaß,
sie heute und morgen der Sieger -:
warum erschufst du das?
Heißt: Schlangen schlagen die Hauer
das Gift, den Biß, den Zahn,
dem Mann in Blut und Bahn -
heißt: so viel Trümmer winken:
die Rassen wollen Ruh,
lasse dich doch versinken
dem nie Endenden zu -
und heißt dann: schweigen und walten,
wissend, daß sie zerfällt,
dennoch die Schwerter halten
vor die Stunde der Welt.
Montag, 8. November 2010
(picture/screen from my private collection)
Donnerstag, 4. November 2010
Per esempio: HMS Pinafore, or:
I asked a Chinese friend if she understood what the actress is singing there and she didn't have a clue; my guess is that it is Shanghainese (nearly not-understandable for other Chinese) pronounced in a completely faulty way...
There are actually quite a few songs in 'Anything Goes' that I like: You're the Top, I Get A Kick Out of You, It's De-lovely, et cetera...