zondag 18 december 2011

Veronica Forrest-Thomson, Schotland (1947-1975)

Veronica Forrest Thomson werd in 1947 geboren te Malaya, maar groeide op in Glasgow.

Ze studeerde aan de universiteiten van Liverpool en Cambridge en zou later zelf les geven aan universiteiten van Leicester en Birmingham.

Naast Poeziëbundels zoals Indenti-kit (1967) en Language-games (1971), waar ze de nodige prijzen mee won, schreef ze ook de nodige kritische studies waarvan de bekendste Poetic Artifice: A Theory of Twentieth-Century Poetry pas na haar dood zou verschijnen, dat tot op de dag van vandaag nog geregeld wordt aangehaald en geprezen.

In 1971 trouwt ze met mede criticus Jonathan Cutler, maar erg gelukkig blijkt het huwelijk niet te zijn, ze vervreemden al snel van elkaar en gaan in 1974 weer hun eigen weg. Een weg die voor Forrest-Thomson overigens niet al te lang zou blijken te zijn. Op 26 april 1975 pleegt ze gedurende het Cambridge Poetry Festival zelfmoord. Ze werd 27.

In 1976 wordt er nog een bundel van haar uitgebracht On the Periphery

Daarna volgen nog Collected Poems and Translations (1990), Selected Poems (1999) en Collected Poems (zonder de vertalingen) (2008)


Love is the oldest camera.
Snap me with your eyes.
Wearied with myself I want
a picture that simplifies.

Likeness is not important
provided the traits cohere.
Dissolve doubts and contradictions
to leave the exposure clear.

Erase shadows and negative
that confuse the tired sight.
Develop as conclusive definition
a pattern of black and white.

For I wish to see me reassembled
in that dark-room of your mind.


They are our creatures, clover, and they love us
Through the long summer meadows' diesel fumes.
Smooth as their scent and contours clear however
Less than enough to compensate for names.

Jagged are names and not our creatures
Either in kind or movement like the flowers.
Raised voices in a car or by a river
Remind us of the world that is not ours.

Silence in grass and solace in blank verdure
Summon the frightful glare of nouns and nerves.
The gentle foal linguistically wounded
Squeals like a car's brakes
Like our twisted words.


A gesture is adjective,
two hands, granite
when they turn bread to flesh
(Notre Dame, July 14th)
A mirror is a museum-case,
two hands, priestesses'
when she mummifies her face.
Emotion is a parenthesis,
two hands, irony
when I light the candle
and cross myself.
Aesthetic approbation is glass
when it encloses her faience eyes
and gilded skin.
(Musée du Louvre, July 18th)
Glance is the copula
that petrifies our several identities,
syntactic superficies.


My cardboard daisies are in bloom
The city's silhouette stands out
just like real, from a child's
pop-up book, "a castle cut in
paper" (Gawain & the Grene Knight
c.1400). Autumn leaves turn like
pages, black on white. For green
and gold must be as parenthetical
as walks through sharpening air
and clamant colour, smoky light
along the Backs, from typewriter
to Library. "Grammar" derives from
"glamour"; ecology may show the two
still cognate: Museum, Gk. mouseion,
a seat of the Muses, a building
dedicated to the pursuit of learning
or the arts. (OED)
The glamorous grammatical frames
captions for a monograph on non-
existent plates. Glue, paper,
scissors, and the library together
paste a mock-up of an individual
history. The art of English Poesie?
"Such synne is called yronye."

Geen opmerkingen: