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Monday, 11 April 2011

Minor and Major Poets

A pair of  Black Birds have discovered that the "Bio Muesli with 25% fruits and 4 cereales" I feed them at my window is worth singing for - and how lovely their little songs for their little suppers are !!! Perhaps their song is not quite as Joan-Sutherlandian as that of the nightingale, but give me the "Minor Poet" anytime over the universally acclaimed one:

I. The Minor Poet 

His little trills and chirpings were his best. 

No music like the nightingale's was born 

Within his throat; but he, too, laid his breast 

Upon a thorn.

(Dorothy Parker).

And then, of course, there are the pigeons. They can't sing, and they are as unpopulair in Paris as they are in Sydney, except with the very old, the lonely and the otherwise rejected. And, in Paris at least, they seem to be into "art at the bouquinistes".

 Yet another, perhaps "minor" poet. But, the sounds coming out of his seemingly clumsy instrument were just so lovely, and the walls of the bridge  gave him back an echo so beautiful, that he seemed to delight in playing and playing and playing... and I delighted in listening and listening and listening. He was no busker, and did not want money, he just played for the century old walls, and they rewarded  him (and me)  with their wondefull echo:

Here is a bit of tuba, by a Major Poet of the Music world to give you a little idea of  what I heard that late Paris afternoon under a bridge over the Seine:

Paris is still full of poetry and poets and both are appreciated. Here,  in a bus, right in front of my seat,  a poem by Paul Verlaine:

Photographed badly, because the bus was jumping, and so were we, my camera and I, but also, because I was simply flabbergasted to see a poem where anywhere else in the world they would put an ad for toothpaste/cookbooks/underwear/panadol. If you want to read it, look it up, the title is "Marine". I'm not reproducing it in the fully  readable version here, because I want to give this space to another Major poet and my favorite poem of (nearly) all times:

par Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)


Qui aimes-tu le mieux, enigmatique etranger? ton pere, ta mere, ta soeur ton frere?
(whom do like best, enigmatic stranger? your father, your mother, your sister your brother?)
Je n'ai ni pere, ni mere, ni soeur, ni frere.
(I have neither father, nor mother, nor sister, nor brother)
Tes amis?
(Your friends?)
Vous vous servez la d'une parole dont le sens m'est reste jusqu'alors inconnu..
(You use a word here whose meaning I did not know until now)
Ta patrie?
(Your country?)
J'ignore sous quelle latitude elle est situee.
(I do not know under which latitude it is situated.)
La beaute?
Je l'aimerais volontiers, deesse et immortelle.
(I would like her to be Goddess and immortal)
Je le hais comme vous haissez Dieu.
(I hate it as much as you hate God)
Eh! qu'aimes-tu donc, enigmatique etranger?
(Well, what do you like you enigmatic stranger?)
J'aime les nuages... les nuages qui passent... la-bas... au fond... les merveilleux nuages!
(I love the clouds... the clouds that go by... over there... far over there... the magnificent clouds!).

I often think of this poem, when I walk along my beaches back in Australia, with their many magnificent clouds and their even more plentifull silver linings...


Is this one, upon whose sculpture I came just accidentally, a Minor or a Major Poet? I dont know (although I have a feeling that I should know). For whoever strew him with those beautiful roses (they were fresh and fragrant), he was certainly a Major Poet.


Mihai Eminescu, romantic Romanian poet. 

"Major" in Rumania, "minor", perhaps,  in Sydney, Australia.....?


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