Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Summer Ongoing

Can’t hide
In the dust
The wind

(simultaneously published at POETS The Original)

Rainy night
Lightning flashes
What a sudden life!

Misty morning
Flies still rest
Cows ruminating

Storm passed
Rain passed
No sunshine yet

Behind dark windows
A movement
No lights flashing

Different landscapes
Far from town
Same cicadas

A new dawn
Moon’s retreating
Birds chirp

What lies
Beyond the moon?
The eagle might know


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Altargesteck 7. Sonntag nach Trinitatis

Heute ist der 7. Sonntag nach Trinitatis [1]und wenn man das Altargesteck von heute mit dem von letzter Woche vergleicht, ja dann sieht man einen Unterschied [2]. Es ist verwelkter, aber heißt es nicht im Psalm 23: „Er weidet mich auf einer grünen Aue und führet mich zum frischen Wasser.“ [3] Das frische Wasser war schon da, vielleicht zu spät, aber ein Altargesteck für zwei Wochen im Sommer ist auch ambitioniert. Die liturgische Farbe ist weiterhin Grün. Heute geht um das Abendmahl.

Alttestamentarisch ist die Speisung der Israeliten mit Manna, dem Brot des Himmels. Im Neuen Testament findet sich die Speisung der 5000 [4]. Ein wenig weiter im selben Kapitel des Johannesevangelium lesen wir: „Jesus aber sprach zu ihnen: Ich bin das Brot des Lebens. Wer zu mir kommt, den wird nicht hungern; und wer an mich glaubt, den wird nimmermehr dürsten.“ (Joh 6.35 [5])

Der Blick nach draußen lässt nicht auf Dürre schließen.

Inspiriert vom täglichen Blumenstrauß auf einem Fahrrad von Ai Weiwei (艾未未).



Saturday, July 14, 2018

Stefan George as presented on POETS The Original

The following text was written for POETS The Original. It didn't contain the pictures.

Yesterday +Jasmine reminded us of Pablo Neruda and I thought of introducing Stefan George, who was born in Büdesheim (Germany) on July 12th 1868 (150th  Birthday) and died in Minusio (Switzerland) on December 4th 1933. But then I didn’t do it because “George's concepts of "the thousand year Reich" and "fire of the blood" were adopted by the NSDAP and incorporated into the party's propaganda” [1]. I never liked the heroism and self-sacrifice in his poetry, not his styled appearance as the master or the George-circle. The Nazi offered George the presidency of the new Academy of Literature, which he refused. He also didn’t attend the pompous 65th birthday reception, the Nazis had staged, but had been on his way to Switzerland, already fatally ill.

Today I’ve seen an ad while on my way to a shopping mall. The whole story is here: [2]. After 1904 George had his poetry published in a special typography, which is form of grotesque. Grotesque fonts are sans serif – and actually I prefer sans serif fonts myself. The Stefan-George-Grotesque had been styled after his hand writing. His E looked more like an ɛ. Have a look at a facsimile [3]. And have a look at the advertisement here.

So this made me telling you about Stefan George. What can we learn from George? Structure, formalism, symbolism – maybe.

Here’s part of a poem by Stefan George:
„Und übers jahr als sie im dunkel / Einst attich suchte und ranunkel / Da sah man wie sie sank im torf – / Und andere schwuren dass vorm dorf / Sie auf dem mitten weg verschwand .. / Sie liess das knäblein nur als pfand / So schwarz wie nacht so bleich wie lein / Das sie gebar im hornungschein.“ [4]

If you put this text to automatic translation, you’ll get:
"And over the year when she was looking for dark / once attich and ranunculus / There you saw how she sank in the peat - / And others swore that in front of the village / she disappeared in the middle .. / She left the boy only as a pledge / So black as night as pale as linen / Which she gave birth in hornungschein."

Maybe it reads better like this:
“And through the year when she in darkness / Once searched for dane weed and ranunculus / There you saw her as she sank into the peat - / And others sware that before the village / She disappeared in the middle of the path .. / She left the boy child only as a pledge / So black as night so pale as linnen / The she gave birth in February glow."
(schwuren is a lost form, meaning schwörten, so I used sware instead of swore; auf dem mitten weg would be mitten auf dem weg; Hornung is old German for February, old English had hornungsunu)

You can find something here: [5] – only don’t listen to the German, because it’s wrong – automatic reading of a German text assuming it is English. Here’s a song: [6] – good translation, but you can see the difficulties, as some lines are longer than the German one and it should be vice versa.

Is Stefan George important? For a German yes, as he was the first to overcome epigonism at the end of the 19th century. For the rest of the world, probably not.


Some Unexpected Literature and Art

The Kurt Sandweg Foundation (curator: Bernd R. Meyer) presents paintings, collages and sculptures at the St. Elisabeth Hospital / Rheinisches Rheuma Zentrum. The vernissage took place on June 20th 2018 [1]. Today I wanted to devote the waiting area some attention as the curator Bernd B. Meyer had used colors of the exhibits to match with the red color on the wall etc. The exhibits in this area are by Werner Laumer.

Werner Laumer was born in 1929 and died in 2017 in Meerbusch. He lived here as a freelance artist from 1962 onwards.The style of Laumer’s paintings and graphics is abstracted. Werner Laumer had handed over his life's work to the Kurt Sandweg Foundation, whose sponsorship officially took over Schweers Informationstechnologie.

But then I’ve seen something else! And I have to say explicitly: I didn’t place the books there on the windowsill.

So, in this hospital you’re welcome to read Schiller and Shakespeare. Where else are you motivated to do so?