January 2005

Saturday, January 8, 2005

About Autobiographies

Yevtushenko: A Poet´s Autobiography is his Poetry

Yevgeny Yevtushenko, (was he the Mayakovsky of the sixties? Perhaps and more. Where is he nowadays, anyway. I have to look up in the web to find his recent news). He states, "A poet´s autobiography is his poetry." This is the opening sentence of his "A Precocious Autobiography" (Penguin Books, 1963, p. 7).
I would say, not all poet´s work, only the best of his poems. Y. wrote his autobiography when he was around thirty. I thought fifty would be a more adequate age. How much I desired to write my autobiography at that age. I tried, but it is only now that I am really focused and would start writing it.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

A Fraction Of The Thoughts of Just One Day

Again, Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Yesterday, the letter from Fernando Rendón of the XV. International Poetry Festival of Medellin, Colombia (June 25 - July 2, 2005) to which I have been invited. In the updated list of those who have confirmed their participation appears the name of Yevtushenko.
I would certainly like to talk to him about Pushkin (I have to find that old damaged book of Pushkin´s love poems in German. Where is the book?)

Dictators And Poets

Human weaknesses can be easily exploited; with a small dosis of fear and extortion, human beings become submissive for a short or a long time.

This is what dictators do.

Human beings need to be reminded of their inherit beauty, of their potential as beauty creators. They need that their weaknesses are unmasked and paraded in front of them, as simple facts of their nature. They have to be alerted about their inevitable death. At the same time, it is necessary to underline their prospects of finding their own voices and becoming effective, first themselves for themselves, and then, moving from there to higher grounds, to help and inspire others to find their voices.
This is aesthetical and factual upbringing and education, emotional refinement, promotion of human greatness.

This is what poets do.

The Pushkin Book of Love Poems

Amazingly, it took me little time to find Pushkin´s book, his love poems. (Puschkin, Alexander (1974): Ich sing der Liebe Lob. Berlin: Rütten & Loening). This wonderful luxury edition in German with original illustrations by Günther Lück is now only the shadow of what it was when I bought it in Leipzig. During a period of crazy wandering between continents, I left the book in Costa Rica in 1981. When I came back three years later, the book was horribly damaged by water and humidity. I could barely rescue it. I can still read the poems, but the paper has suffered a lot. I think if someone asks me that famous test question: If your library is on fire and you can rescue only one book, which book would you rescue? My answer would be: that damaged collection of Pushkin´s love poems.

I have deep respect and love for Pushkin. I don´t want to know why. I have re-read his poems time and again. I do not usually do this with the work of other poets. Even my own poems, I re-read only few of them.
I have to look up in the files of my website. I suspect, I have already written something about Pushkin.
In 2001, during my last visit to Weimar, I went to see Pushkin´s marble bust near the entrance to the Grossgarten where Goethe´s summer house is situated.

Monday, January 24, 2005

"Languages of Iraq" Uploaded to Website

Re-Writing And Uploading Old Poems in Arabic

Since my old Arabic text-mode-only wordprocessor stopped to work with the ever-changing operation systems many years ago, I stopped writing my Arabic poems in the computer. I still have the old files but I can´t open them in the graphic environment of current programms.

Recently, I got some software that is helping me to re-write my old poems in Arabic. I have started to write them anew and upload them to make them accessible to the visitors of my website.

There are at least three complete collections I want to upload. I am working on them in a rather slow pace. Arabic wordprocessors are pretty tedious. I also have to convert the processed texts into HTML to adapt them for the web. This takes a lot of time, several hours per poem. But I am determined to continue.

Today, I re-wrote and uploaded the poem "Lughatul Iraq" (languages of Iraqa, Arabic, May 5, 1993).

I personally love this poem. It was published, but I just don´t remember when and where. I have to check my list of publications.

Click on this line to read the poem.