Tuesday, November 06, 2007

whose world

I was browsing Amazon yesterday looking at “world poetry” and there was a book, a translation of a book, by an (east) German guy named Lutz Rad-something and the review was brief but indicated he was worth checking out so after work I went over to the biggest bookstore in town – HUGENDUBEL – and had to search out the poetry section, which had been moved since I’d last been there. It’s now located in a small drawer behind the cash register where they keep the rags and window cleaner. Anyway there was no Lutz Rad-something in there, which was disheartening since this is Germany last I checked. So I browsed the other books which were mostly crap. If you dislike it when English poets use lower-case letters as a rule (which I don’t mind – be my guest), you’d go hari-kari if you saw “serious” German poets doing it. There seemed to be lots of juvenalia poetry there – innocuous, insipid “i put an envelope in your absence” kind of cat-lover poems. To be honest I’ve forgotten now what it was about and can’t be bothered to go back and check. Luckily there was a bit of Ernst Jandl, which is hard to translate, which helped me forget briefly all the assholes who talk too loud on their cellphones.


michi said...

ah yes, some jandl every now and again ... some good things did come from austria, apparently. :)

Andrew Shields said...

Jandl's "sonett" was one of the easiest poems to translate that I have ever translated!

Do you know the children's books of his poems "fünfter sein", "ottos mops", and "antipoden"? Brilliant stuff.

LKD said...

Am I the only one that thinks Johnny Depp is a dead ringer for the Medusa?

SarahJane said...

i tried translating a bit of it and first you have to switch into a parallel universe. I've never read "sonett," please send them to me.
we do have "otto mops" here at home. my husband loved it and i think i would have loved it bare on the page but with all that illustration it was too much for my delicate nerves.

laurel -
only you. "the depp is in the details." actually those aren't snakes but telephone cords.

Andrew Shields said...

I've posted "sonett," along with "fünfter sein" in German and in my English.

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