Saturday, June 16, 2012

Red Dirt Girl thinks I am uncomfortable around poetry. At least she said reading certain kinds of poetry is a bit out of my comfort zone. Or something like that. Terribly insulting, although she didn't mean to be. I determined to let it go, let it roll off my back like a duck something does, because I realize her mental image of me is some sort of god-like muscle-bursting superhero (too manly to be soft enough and insightful enough to read poetry, you see,) Most of my other readers have a MUCH different perception of me. To them I am, of course, still some sort of a god-like superhero - usually the god of intelligence, I fancy - bulging with muscles and brains, yet sensitive enough to actually read 18th century French poetry and bring flowers (as opposed to simply googling poetry and pretending one has pasted it in old scrapbooks from high school, like Soubriquet does.) “... et l'ennui, araignée silencieuse, filait sa toile dans l'ombre, à tous les coins de son coeur. I'm sure you agree.

That was from GF's "Madam's Ovary" and, though not poetry, per se, is, at least, semi-sensitive. What does it mean? Who knows? — French is meant to impress, not communicate. Gus went on to say, in the same above referenced ovarian classic work, though this time in English: “Human speech is like a crack'd tin kettle on which we hammer out tunes to make bears dance when we long to move the stars.” Only I envision Soubriquet substituting "pottery" for "tin kettle." I would too. I also prefer the translation where "move" becomes "wring tears from the stars." So much more descriptive than 'moooooove.' Would you believe that, for years, I thought that little observation on life was written by Honoré de Balzac? It is true, whether you believe me so dull or not. (Though Mssr. de Balzac DOES put me out of my comfort zone, I freely admit.) My friend soubriquet, I hasten to add, knows INFINITELY more than I about de Balzac. Coffee and such. And more. So I defer.

I digress. Red Dirt Girl. A poem by a great Russian poetess with a noble nose. I don't question the quality of her poetry. I like some. I know what some means. I do question her decision to stay in Russia after the revolution. You can't blame me for that. Living her life so oppressed, a female Dr. Zhivago (to me.) One book published with Stalin's permission, then he changed his mind and had them shredded. Not allowed to write. Reduced to writing spontaneous poetry on scraps of paper for friends when they visited, never read aloud due to the bugging of her flat by the KGB, made them toss the scraps of paper in the fire after they had read them. What great lost poetry was on those furtively burned scraps of paper, the world will never know. Could have been more famous. Could have been rich. Could have gotten a nose job even. She used to go down to the train station to say goodbye to her intellectual friends as they were carted off to the concentration camps in the gulags. The situation was hopeless. Incontemplatable. A strange woman asked her if she could (poetically) explain all this. She said yes. Simply. No need for modesty now. Later she said a tear then rolled down what was once the woman's face. What the hell does THAT mean? Poetry admittedly too deep for this superhero.

But she was and is just fine in my book. So is Red Dirt Girl, though I keep it from her too much.

15 comments:

  1. Hmmm careful now, RDG lives just up the road, and she knows where you live - now.

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    1. Just up the road you say? She lives way over in the next state. Houston is 1019 miles from me. Farther than Warsaw is from :Edinburgh, to put it in your perspective. I'll be brave. :)

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    2. Rubbish, it's right next door on the map.

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    3. Perhaps. I don't really know where she lives. I may only be 900 miles.

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  2. Apparently I am suffering from hoof in mouth disease. I am distressed to see the most noble and poetically unchallenged Max suffering at my behest, my rash of jumbled words. Truly could he not see that I was overwhelmed with his visit to my small and puny corner of the internet? Could he not realize that I had not time enough to polish the silver, dust the poems, shake out the red carpet for his royal visit? Amazing! Awesome! Incredible. Humble. Those delicious adjectives NOT ONLY visited my meager post but left a calling card comment. *Sigh* I am as befuddled and blushing as only a fair red dirt girl can be. Forgive my impetuous words dear Max. I am quite taken with you (though I rarely show it) and pleased as only one who is punch drunk late at night, wait - it is early morning now - to see you actually followed the link and read more about our noble nosed poetess. Because of you, dear Max, Anna will always be 'ours'. Thanks for the memory ...

    xxx

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    1. I'm not sure exactly what you just said but as long as you keep coming and commenting here, I will fake it. Thank you.

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    2. Men fake it too ?? Amazing the stuff I am learning at your blogs!

      xxx

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    3. Madame Bovary. She was on my fall 'must read' book list. I read. I finished. I was duly un-impressed. Maybe it was my translation?? I wrote a blog post about her. I heretically deemed Flaubert's prose to be "tedious."

      http://throughthegate09.blogspot.com/2011/11/madame-bovary.html

      The best thing about Madame Bovary was this quote by Alain de Botton who summed the story as thus:

      " It's about a shopaholic adulteress who swallows arsenic after credit fraud."

      I should have stopped there.

      xxx

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    4. I see. I think. I read your post. It helped me understand your point of view. I do wish you hadn't felt the need to mention Betty and Gloria - it started my gag reflex going. It will pass. I am glad you have traveled safely through the valley of shallow-but-infinite wisdom of teenagedom and twentysomethingdom and have reached the peaceful shore of enlightenment, and are experiencing the joys of simplicity. Like Soub says: Buddah am the way, if you have to touch religion at all. Or Thoreau, if you wish to be safer. Soub would never mention the cookie munching mamma's boy fraud that was Thoreau, though. I'm sure Alain could also help me understand Tolstoy. "These two guys had a big fight and one died on an island." Ha! Did you think I was pushing Flaubert? I wonder. Well, I shall never allow myself to wonder at Madam Bovary anymore, that's for sure! Your comments make me think a bit.

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    5. Not pushing Flaubert but apparently finding poetic and sensitive phrases amidst his prose - phrases that I failed to note. Maybe I was just too caught up in the senselessness of it all (Emma's life).

      I would not claim to have reached any enlightened state at my current age of 48. Only that the 'serious intellectual debates' of my twenties rather amuse me today. (My apologies for triggering your gag reflex) Unfortunately (for me) I am still stuck with a wide swath of romantic idealism that even the ever cynical realist Soubry has not been able to dissuade. Then again, Soub would argue with a fire hydrant (I say this lovingly sweetheart) and probably would win. However, I always beat him at Scrabble ;)

      xxx

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    6. Who's Emma?

      This isn't the one about horses talking after all. I remember Merrylegs but not Emma.

      No need to call me sweetheart.

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    7. Emma is that silly cow: Madame Bovine. I would not presume to know the sweetness of your heart, Max. However, I do know that MY sweetheart is reading these comments.

      xxx

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  3. There is one comment missing today. She is busy, though.

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    1. I imagine she's even busier today.

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