Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Voltando à poesia: reflexões de George Szirtes

Can we hear it as the poet heard it? Is there an authentic, true way of hearing a poem?

These are pretty much philosophical questions. Can we know how the poet heard it? If it is by the poet's performance of the poem that we judge, does that mean everyone else has to imitate the poet's performance to get maximum value from the poem? What if the poet reads it differently at different times (I experiment with my own in performance, not wildly, but a little, depending on the audience)? Does the poet actually know what there is to be heard? Can the poet control hearing? Is the poet the best interpreter of the poem? Is there a best interpreter? Is there a meaning that we are edging towards, like a homing device?

I suspect the answer to all of these is: no. I suspect that if there were a single point, a single hearing, a single voice, a fully articulated intention, there would be no poem. Sometimes when I am not sure if a poem is working aurally, or syntatically, usually because I have got too tangled up with it, I paste it into Text and get the impersonal computer voice to read it for me. That voice has no capacity for sly persuasion. It cannot emote, amplify or give me dramatic pauses. It has no sensibility, no intimacy. The language is naked, out there, shivering in the cold. And somehow it can look a little clearer there.

This is not some precious piece of Poesy mystification, it is, I believe, the very nature of language: a compound of music, distance, breath, loss, the absurd, the attempt to build something out of such codes as we have.

(do excelente blog do poeta George Szirtes, georgeszirtes.blogspot.com - tem até três fados, que ele traduziu... )

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