Monday, 12 March 2007

I learned a new word today

Last week I received a birthday present from my Spanish friend Silvia R. which was entirely unexpected. It is a tome of poetry and other texts by the Austrian author Friederike Mayröcker, in German, my mother-tongue. As I leafed through the book I found a short poem that immediately put its little hooks into me and transported me backwards sideways forwards here. In just a few lines it hurled me into my childhood, into my mother-tongue, into the times when I was desperately mourning the end of a relationship, into fearfulness sadness hopelessness longing, memories of but also felt now. What initially made me stop with this poem were the image of burs caught in a girl’s hair and the words child needlework embroidery, links to my own artwork of course, which may well be indicative of my narrow-mindedness and focus on my own pursuits, always on the look-out for something I recognise from myself/for myself... But I learned a new English word: bur, such a small word, and so far not part of my second language vocabulary but having a special place in it now.

my own rather literal translation:
without wax

as if everything
was lost wasted
looking into fire
looking into the sky
this night this
morning your chopped up
voice on the telephone, come
back come back, I want
to shout but you
throw burs at me: not
into my hair! just as a child
I am afraid…
small needle-
work embroidery/
oh your look does
not carry me anymore …

1 comment:

Cathy said...

hello, I am pleased to have discovered you (and your blog) via feltbug. I look forward to seeing and reading more. Cathy.