Sunday, April 12, 2009
Some quick German thoughts
Hey All – In doing a little google-search into Gerhard Falkner I stumbled onto a more contemporary German poetry fad (more contemporary than the post-war poetry stuff at least). It seems in the 80’s German poetry rejected anything but formal experiments and ‘everyday poetry' and so, in the 90's/Oughts, Falkner wanted to change things up a bit. In order to break out, Falkner began combining “formal discipline with a opulent and direct sense of the present, thus preparing the ground, as one of the first of his generation, for a poetry alive with richness and sensuality as well as melancholy and pain. [Falkner’s poems also dealt with] the estrangement of the poet, the disappearance of the writer in the background noise of his text and of history.” In one of Falkner’s new-ish works, Kopfmusik’, he writes: “forgotten will our poems / be, - stay will solely / the headache / of those who did not keep them. To read another poem of his, go here. - they show it in English and German. I'll talk further on this in class on Tuesday.
I was also interested in Uljana Wolf who was recently in Shampoo magazine – an online lit mag based out of San Fran with a special German section in issue #35, which happens to be last month, March 2009. She has two poems from DICHTionary (A German-English dictionary of false friends, true cognates and other cousins) included – both in German and English. Go here to check it out.
Here’s another poem of hers I liked:
postscript to the kreisau dogs
who says that poems are like these dogs
surrounded by their own echo at the village core
their waiting and pawing at half moon
their stubborn marking of language terrains –
he knows you not, you frantic barkers
cassandras in wallachia’s sonic reverie
you bring what’s called and what’s calf
in a foolhardy bite from behind
together as if a leg were but a leaf
and the order of things a trade:
in one of my boots still the imprint
of your teeth, a gnarly four nips
that’s your reward for a pursuant verse
thus the world follows poetry at heel
She has some poems coming out in Chicago Review Press this year as well.