Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yesterday's blog ended with a poem from Hafenklänge, Havenklanken, Sounds of Harbour. The books arrived finally after a two weeks plus anticipation. Here they are, with their own poster and greeting card. One bookshop has them for sale: The Groene Waterman and soon even the Standaard bookshop will carry the anthologies and individual volumes of poetry.
The authors from this book are : Fred Schywek, like a friend noticed a cross between Schiller and Arthur Rimbaud, and Wilfried Bienek, both from Germany, Ruhrgebiet2010 Cultural Capital of Europe area, staring in the Gegenlesung evening: Deutschland im Fadenkreuz, in den Hopsack. The other poets write in Dutch: Job Degenaar, who surprised us with his songs and the tearjerker: Junge komm bald wieder during the festival, Roger Nupie (see yesterday's post), and our city poet laureate Peter Holvoet-Hansssen with his idiosyncratic, surprising performances. And yours truly, writing sometimes in English and other times in Dutch. The creative yet loyal German translations are by Fred Schywek. Respecting the original, he turns them into real German poems one can read at a poetry evening in the Rhineland. For the English I am responsible in this volume.
We're a bunch of people intrigued by harbors, water, inland waterways, the sea. And at least one of us is intrigued by the sea-bears and seabeds... at least in  his poetry. Special in the book is that the six poets wrote Gezeit, Tij, Tide each in 2 quatrains. (I heard later a similar form under the name of Renga exists in Japan) This poem features in the book under the name of Charles Kléber - kind of Charley Glued Together... On the road from New York to Amsterdam American (street)musician Ken Post joined in the merrymaking of sounds of harbor and putting a bit of guitar blues under an antiwar blues poem, which you' be able to read in a later blog..
 Les Sons du Port sont arrivé - Fresh words are in the air...!
It is fitting the books arrived just when I was going to deal with that part of the festival evening.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Master of Ceremony reads

Roger Nupie, how to describe his qualities? He is the president of the Nina Simone fan club and knew her well. He likes his diva's.  As an MC he is is funny, and efficient, keeps a good rhythm. As a poet he is can be bitter, sweet and naughty. The the anthology Sounds of Harbor he has a rather funny and and slightly skewed. He reads The embarkation is with a lot  of aplomb.
©: Bram Goots


De liefde
haar getijden

Dat wegeebben blijft
ons bij versteend 
op de oever

halen we

Die Liebe
ihre Gezeiten.

Das Wegebben bleibt
uns erhalten, versteinert
auf dem Ufer.

holen wir
das Morgen.

German: Fred Schywek

its tides.

This ebbing away stays
with us petrified
on the shore.

will we make it
to tomorrow.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Two musicians, one a poet

Here the incredible duo enjoyed by all: Lucienne Stassaert, the Grande Dame of Poetry reading from the cycle: Long enough.
It is a heart wrenching end of love situation, sharply formulated, merciless in its honesty.

One of Lucienne's poetry's strong points is the rhythm. She played even in the Queen Elizabeth competition. When proofreading a translation of her work, she will try out the cadence of the new coat for her feelings and thoughts.

Here she plays with her friend Jean Demey.

  pictures: © Bram Goots

Jean  does grand improvisations.
That is how we met. He has a feel for the moods and the color of the words. His playing with Lucienne's words was in different shades of blues. in the past  he performed with poets as Paul Snoek, Hugo Raes, Willem Roggeman, Cees Buddingh and Gust Gils,

Lang genoeg
Lang genoeg quatre-mains gespeeld
zonder één keer op te kijken,
na te gaan zoals Orfeus
of mijn lief al dan niet nog bestond.

Lang genoeg bij hoge noten
een bas gemist bij het samenspel
om de toonloze stilten te wegen
vóór en na de kleine dood.

Jodelen kon. En zich te pletter ademen
zoals minnaars op het hoogst van de min
in volle vlam uit het licht vallen
en in den blinde uit elkaar.

Tot op een zeker zwart-wit moment,
juist afgesteld en gekadreerd,
de waarheid als een inmaakbom
van verrot fruit aan scherven sprong:

Hij speelde al jaren niet meer mee.
Long enough
Played a duet long enough
without looking up once,
checking as Orpheus
whether or not my lover still existed.

Long enough with high notes
missed a bass in this ensemble
to weigh the toneless silences
before and after la petite mort.

Yodelling possible. Breathing oneself to pieces
as lovers at the height of ardour
in full flame fall out of the light
blindly fall apart.

Till a certain black/white moment,
correctly focused and framed,
the truth like a preserving bottle bomb
of rotten fruit exploding in shards:

He hadn’t played along for years.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rose Vandewalle here in the studio when we recorded the poems included in the different anthologies we are working on. Her she is reading her poems from Love in Holland and Flanders. She reads in a fragile, faltering voice which renders all the emotion that went into the writing of the poem. During the evening at the Permeke library she read Always at the bottom of the steep stairs

So today I post another of her love poems.
Wanneer ik zijn kamer betreed
valt op hoe overstuur hij is
zijn ogen schichtige vissen in een vijver

hij kan me niet meer thuisbrengen
geeft na enig aarzelen toe dat dit
de heerlijkste dag is van zijn leven

nu ik hem kom bevrijden
en hij reikt me zijn pols
waarrond de band met identificatie

dat het oorlog is, verkondigt hij
en hij met eigen ogen heeft gezien
hoe mensen om zich heen

gebrandmerkt en afgevoerd werden
tranen van angst slaan om
in tranen van vreugde
Wenn ich seine Kammer betrete
fällts auf wie durcheinander er ist
seine Augen kopfscheue Fische in einem Teich

er kann mich nicht mehr nach Haus bringen
gibt nach einigem Schwanken zu daß dies
der herrlichste Tag seines Lebens

jetzt da ich komme ihn zu befreien
und er reicht mir seine Hand
worum das Band mit der Identifikation

daß es Krieg ist, verkündigt er
und er mit Augen gesehen hat
wie Menschen um ihn herum

gebrandmarkt und abgeführt werden
Tränen von Angst schlagen um
in Tränen aus Freude
When I enter his room
it's obvious how disturbed he is
his eyes shy fishes in a pond

he can not place me
admits after a few hesitations that this
is the most delightful day of his life

now I come to liberate him
and he offers me his wrist
around it his identification strip

that it is war, he declares
and that his own eyes have seen
how people around him

were branded and deported
tears of fear turn into
tears of joy

Monday, September 20, 2010

Preparing for a performance

Preparing for a performance entails meeting the people one will be surrounded by for the next couple of hours.  LIGHT, COMPOSITION OF THE STAGE, SOUND CHECK: essential and Roel, the technician covered it all in a kind and gentle and professional way. Thanks to him all worked well and smoothly. When Lucienne Stassaert, Frank De Vos and Patricia van Nunen were done gauging the distance to the microphone, knowing were they would read or sing, they relaxed with a glass of excellent Portuguese cava.

The anker of the evening

Roger Nupie was the MC, he kept a good rhythm going, announced with a lighthearted seriousness. One could tell he was having fun doing what he did. See the sign Rurhgebiet 2010 ? Well it is in the framework of the Cultural Capital of Europe that this big translation project started.

Patrica opened the evening with a song by Jean Ferrat: Le poète a toujours raison - The poet is always right. She performs a capella and goes to edge of what is singable. I am always moved by her renditions...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Three day Festival is over

This the official handing over picture of three books: The Anthology Die Liebe in Holland and Flanders,Liefde in Holland en Vlaanderen, Love in Holland and Flanders, Felsenleiter by Fred Schywek and Werkworte, Werkwoorden, workbook by Annmarie Sauer.

The Small festival of European poetry is over. The last night in the library went as well as the night in den Hopsack , last Thursday. The preparation for this festival took eight month of work, planning and thinking for the two organizers. The choice of poetry, the projection of translations in Dutch, German and English, the different ways of presenting the poetry, all was appreciated by the audience. As one of camera operator said, we offered something for the eye and the ear, had different duets who read together indifferent ways, simultaneous, whispering, interspersed lines.... One singer full of emotion and presence and one enjoying the acoustics and ringing out... People had been encouraged to do something with the presentation and many rose to the challenge performing with a base guitar, singing a tear-jerking harbor song with a guitar as the frivolous ending. One poem was danced... People were curious at what would happen next.So all was well. The picture above is Fred Schywek reading with Frank De Vos an Anti War Blues... In the next days I'll thank each poet and performer with a text and/or a picture. Five languages were used in the course of the night...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Love in Holland and Flanders

 Today is the great day of  the Festival. Part of it, the third part is about 'Love' The poetesses will read poems  from the book Love in Holland and Flanders. It is the official international presentation of the book tonight. Yesterday in the studio 4 of the poetess read their complete contribution to the project. it went smoothly and the music with Lucienne Stassaerts poems sounds great. We'll have to see what we do with the material when it is complete. Many projects and thoughts.

3 pm building the stage, sound check and lights, working technical issues  for projections.
4 pm: general rehearsal...
7 pm: door s open to the public
8 pm: start with the song: Le poète a toujours raison...

Friday, September 17, 2010

German Evening- International day

The poets have arrived. My place filled to the brim with paper and books now houses two more poets one from Bretagne France and one from Essen Germany. Wilfied Bienek presented his poetry in German and English, and translations of his work were read in Dutch and English. Fred Schywek presented his latest volume of Poetry Felsenleiter

They were flanked by the translations by Annmarie Sauer. Bart Stouten, Olivier Cousin, and JOb Degenaar shared thoughts about German poets.
A German translation by Fred Schywek of Frank's poem was also read. The audience listened appreciatively to the change of language and moods that was offered. The following tribute by Fred Schywek to the only German Nobel prize laureate for poetry Nelly Sachs was performed.

God is Black  
Memory of Nelly Sachs

That is a real death-dance
all moan and groan
and during the year of punishment
that is there on the horizon
with its hard mountains
and the water
out of the salt cried tears
of these nights
on the ferry over the Black Ocean
over the black river
in the stronghold where there was love
in the night between the stones
like dark diamonds yet shining
in this night
when I left my dearest
when I went
to kiss her
on her brow
by night in this night
waking up from the
white dream
of year 1


Friday, September 10, 2010

German Poetry

On the 16th two German poets Wilfried Bienek, (Essen) and Fred Schywek (Duisburg) are the main attraction for Gegenlesung, Deutsland ins Fadenkreuz: Counter lecture: Germany in the line of sight. This activity takes place in den Hopsack, in Antwerp, at eight thirty pm of course.
Here a poem inciting to resistance...

Autos zerfahren ziellos Reih und Glied.
Bäume zerschneiden planlos Lichterketten.
Wenn die Stadt prunkt rar und stattlich
Das Land glänzt porentief.

Aufpoliert ist der Fluss.
Von fleißigen Wasserträgern.
Aber da die überbrückten Kanäle:
Dampfen falsch ins Weite.
Als wollten sie sprechen
Sagen: Schöpft Verdacht

Auto's rijden doelloos rij en gelid stuk.
Bomen snijden zonder plan door lichtslingers.
Als de stad pront fijn en statig
Het land glanst tot diep in de poriën.

Opgeboend is de stroom.
Door vlijtige waterdragers.
Maar daar de overbrugde kanalen:
Stomend fout de wijdte in.
Alsof ze spreken wilden
Zeggen: Maakt verdacht!

For more info about the Small Festival of European Poetry check
For those who don't know: den Hopsack is a small, brown, literary café, active in this field during many years. And not unimportant with the cheapest beer in town. Grote Pieter Pot Straat...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Love in Holland and Flanders

This is the cover of Love in Holland and Flanders, a small edition with 9 poetesses and each one poem. Of course it is a tri-lingual publication. Since today it is available in Germany.

In  for the Small Festival of European Poetry you click on the left side on 'Aktuelle Anthologie***
Die Liebe in Holland and Flandern.

Now follows a poem by Catharina Boer from this anthology.

In zo’n zwarte montycoat,
mijn haar woei uit een
capuchon, schooltas woog
als lood, gaat ze graatmager

op hoge wankelhakken.
Staat daar. Staart, mascaraveeg
traan of regen, in schrale
maandagnamiddag en wacht.

Met oordop, boek en liefdes-
verzen even zat, wacht ze.
tot hij komt, haar overkomt
en wat dan nog te dromen overblijft.

Zo haal ik haar in. Leen haar
mijn oud verhaal. Opdat zij
leest, herschrijft.

In so einem Dufflecoat
mein Haar weht aus einer
Kapuze, Schultasche wog
wie Blei, geht sie grätenmager

auf hohen Wackelhacken.
Steht da. Starrend, Wimperntuschenschmiere
Tränen oder Regen, in Dürrheit
Montagnachmittag und wartet.

Mit Ohrenstöpseln, Buch und Liebes
Versen fast voll, wartet sie.
Bis er kommt, sie überkommt
und was dann noch zu träumen über bleibt.

So hole ich sie ein. Leihe ihr
meine alte Geschichte. Auf daß sie
liest, wieder neu schreibt.

In one of those black Monty coats
my hair blown loose from a
hood, schoolbag heavy
as lead, she thin like a stick

on high wobbly heels.
Stands there. Stares, smudge of mascara
tear or rain, on a bleak
Monday afternoon and waits.

With earplug, book and love
poetry, a moment filled, she waits.
till he comes, overcomes her
and what then is still left to dream.

So I catch up with her. Lend her
my old story. So that she
reads, rewrites.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Embarkation

The local Tv Channel had a call for boots men for Inland waterways, with a one year contract. I immediately thought of Roger Nupies rather naughty poem. You can hear him at the Small European Festival of the Art of Poetry, September 18, in the Permeke Library Antwerp, where he will MC the event en read his poetry too.

sms:foto duisburg/rhein 2010
© Portrait of the poet
De inscheping

O zeebonk, zoek mij
bij de blinde passagiers,
bij de bevaren kapiteins
en de jonge schippers.

O zeemaat, scheep mij in,
ik wil bootje met u varen,
uw rivier bakenen,
uw vlag hijsen.

O zeegast, ik hoor
uw bootsfluit al,
ik zie uw scheepslantaarn,
ik voel u aan boord komen.

O zeeman, bevracht mijn schip
sla mijn schroef achteruit,
gooi mijn roer om,
voel mijn vrijgezellenknoop.

O zeerob, uw dekknecht
zal ik zijn.
En nu, alle hens,
ahoy, kies het zeegat!

Die Einschiffung

Oh Seebär, such' mich
bei den blinden Passagieren,
bei den erfahrenen Kap'täns
und den jungen Schiffern.

Oh Meermaat, schiff mich ein
Boot fahren will ich mit dir,
an eueren Fluß die Baken setzen,
eu're Flagge hissen.

Oh du Seekerl, ich höre schon
deinen Bootsmanns Pfiff,
ich sehe eu're Schiffslaterne
ich fühle euch kommen an Bord.

O Seemann, befrachte mein Schiff
schlag mein Schraubenwerk heraus,
werf mein Ruder um,
fühle meinen Junggesellenknopf.

Oh Seerobbe, dein Deckknecht
soll ich sein
und nun, alla Mann,
ahoi, wähl' die Pforte hinein in die See!

German by Fred Schywek

Oh seadog look for me
among the stowaways,
among experienced captains
and the young skippers.

Oh sea mate, embark me
I want to sail with you
beacon your river,
and hoist your flag.

Oh sea bloke, already I hear
your boatman’s whistle
I see your ships lantern,
feel your coming on board.

Oh seaman, load my boat
lift up my rotor,
turn my rudder,
feel my bachelor’s knot.

Oh sea stud, your deck mate
I shall be
and now, all hands,
ahoy, sail through the sea gate.

English by Annmarie Sauer

Friday, September 3, 2010

Volle maan - Voller Mond - Full moon

Lucienne Stassaert is a special lady, the grande dame of Flemish poetry. In the small edition of Love in Holland and Flanders she contributed an honest and surprising poem. It is the poets cat speaking and the poet herself.
Lucienne will read some other love poetry with musician Jean Demey on September 18, 8 PM at the Permeke Library in Antwerp at the Small Festival of European Poetry. For the full program
This is a project in the framework of Ruhrgebiet2010, European Capital of Culture.

The cat of the poetess
 sms:foto duisburg/rhein

Volle maan
(het afscheid van Rosebud)

Er is vannacht veel drift op til
wanneer de blote maan begint
te trillen als een hete snaar.

Ik hoor het al, Manneke Poes,
fluistert ze teder in mijn oor.
Ze is warempel even krols.

De maartse min zit in haar vel
daarom beschrijft ze met geen pen
zoiets heel triest als de muziek

in een Andante Amoroso.
Als Mozart zwijgt, keert ze zich in -
Dat houdt ze nu al jaren vol.

Wie weet verspreekt ze zich nog meer
als ze alleen is, zwart op wit.
Voller Mond
(der Abschied von Rosebud)

Da ist heut’ Nacht viel Trieb am Horizont
Wenn dieser bleiche Mond beginnt
zu zittern wie heißer Saitenklang

Ich hör’ das alles schon, du Männchen Katz,
flüstert sie zärtlich in mein Ohr.
Sie, so wahrhaft und so rollig

Die Märzen Liebelei sitzt auf der Haut
darum beschreibt sie ohne Stift
sowas so Traurig’ wie die Musik

in einem Andante Amoroso.
Wie Mozart schweigt, zieht sie nach innen –
Und das nun schon seit Jahr und Tag.

Vielleicht verspricht sie sich noch mehr
wenn sie allein so schwarz auf Weiß.

Translation into German: Fred Schywek
Full Moon
Goodbye of Rosebud

Tonight a lot of passion is on the loose
when a naked moon starts
shivering as red hot string.

I can hear it yet, Tom Cat,
she whispers tenderly in my ear.
She truly is also just so in heat.

The love of March is under her skin
and thus with no pen does she describe
something so sad as music

in an Andante Amoroso.
When Mozart is silent, she turns inward -
She has been keeping this up for years.

Who knows her tongue may trip even more
when she is alone, black on white.

Translation into English: Annmarie Sauer

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Writing in full

A friend participated in a writing contest called 1001 love letters. Her poem has been choosen and can be found on page 108 of book number 9 of the project.

Congratulations José, wel done. The writing is gentle and full of fire, and the lay out is catching.Yet Blogspot seems to have trouble with it. At least you have an idea with the scan of  a page from the book. Dear readers practice your Dutch:

Ik wil je de huid
vol schrijven
kruidige tatoeages
met pluimzachte naald
diep gegrift
over van hoop
Heel diep
een vleugeltje angst
Ik wil je
vol schrijven
je huidig
vol schrijven
ik wil
je diep gegrifte zijn.

by: José Meyvisch - Published in 1001 Liefdes