Ostaijen to Picasso

* * * Pleasure this morning to come across PoetryInternational‘s new addition: a site for the Belgiam/Flemish poet Paul Van Ostaijen (1896-1928) that includes a little bio and a good number of poems (and indicates that a full English translation of Ostaijen’s Bezette Stad —Occupied City—, 1921) will be published shortly in Jacket magazine. Do not miss reading one of my favorite Ostaijen poems, the Homage to Singer, which contains the following lines in James Holmes & Peter Nijmeijer’s translation from The First Book of Schmoll. Selected Poems (Bridges, Amsterdam, 1982):

A Singer?
yessir
yessir yessir yessir I'm telling you a Singer
don't you understand English Mister
Circulez
Bitte auf Garderobe selbst zu achten
I want a sewingmachine
everyone has a right to a sewingmachine
I want a Singer
everyone a Singer
Singer
singer
meistersinger
Hans Sachs
doesn't Hans Sachs have a Singermachine
why doesn't Hans Sachs have a Singer
Hans Sachs is entitled to a Singer
Hans Sachs must have a Singer
Yessir
that is his right
Right makes might
Long live Hans Sachs
Hans Sachs is right
he has a right to

SINGER'S SEWINGMACHINE ARE THE BEST

* * * Checking out Jacket 30 (the Ostaijen isn’t up yet) I came across John Most’s review of Jerome Rothenberg’s and my The Burial of the Count of Orgaz & Other Poems by Pablo Picasso ( Exact Change Publishers, 5 Brewster Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA; orders@exactchange.com; http://exactchange.com/.)
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1 Response

  1. John Sakkis says:

    first time i saw you (ONLY time i’ve seen you) at SFSU you read from the Picasso…i was just watching that tape a couple months back…dig…

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