Friday, 14 December 2007

arnaut daniel

so i'm browsing andrew's blog again and come across this belter of a quote re pound :

"In the United States, Pound is free to publish anything an editor will accept—including even his political balderash, which is sometimes (but not often) entertaining and stimulating. The official medical verdict, declaring him unaccountable on psychological grounds for his collaboration with the late Italian government, is actually beside the point. This new poem is excellent. I should still publish it if the author were not in a hospital but in a cell awaiting execution."

now i'm not a fan of pound but you'd have to hide under a rock, or know no-one who reads poetry, to be unaware of the enthusiasm he arouses in some. don't see it myself but each to their own. anyway, in the link above there's another link to a slideshow of the cantos, so i have a look and manage a couple of pages before the inevitable haze descends, but enough to get to the bit about arnaut, who i presume is arnaut daniel (but hey, who can tell?). so it got me back to the following, which i hadn't read in a while

En cest sonnet coind’ a leri

On this gay and slender tune
I put and polish words and plane
and when I’ve passed the file they’ll be
precise and firm.
For Love himself pares down and gilds my song
which moves from her whose glances are
the firm light rails that guide all excellence.

I tell you frankly, she I adore and serve
‘s the loveliest in the world.
Because I’m hers from head to toe
I cleanse myself, and though wind blow in winter
the love flowing in my heart keeps ice
out of the stream the coldest weather.

I burn oil lamps, wax tapers, no pretense I
hear a thousand masses put for my intention,
that God grant me by his intervention
good success with her against
whom all resistance is useless.
And when I think of her auburn hair, her
Merry body, svelte and lissom,
I love her better than if they gave me Lusena.

I love her with fire
seek her with such
excess of desire
I feel I float.
Loving without stint one loses weight.
Her heart submerges mine in a great flood that nothing
will evaporate.
She takes such usury of love she’ll end
by owning tavern and bartender.

I do want the Roman Emp.
nor to be elected pope
if I can’t
turn toward her
where my heart
is kindled to a blaze nothing can quell.
The meat
browns and catches fire, flames, cracks and splits,
and if she doesn’t heal me with a kiss
before New Year’s she destroys me, she
damns me to hell. And I
cannot turn from loving her too well.
The pain I put up with’s hard, this
solitude wraps me round and is my theme.
On this cover
I embroider
words for rhymes.
My fate is worse than his who plows a field, for
though my field’s a little bit of earth, I love,
I love it better than Mondis loved Audierna.

I am Arnaut
who gathers the wind
who hunts with an ox
to chase a hare
forever, and swims against the current.

Arnaut Daniel (1180 – 1210)
(trans. Paul Blackburn)


Andrew Shields said...

I'm glad my post sent you so far!

KUBLA KHAN said...

I came across your blog through Marta's. I have found some delightful poems here and I understand that you write poetry?
I might bookmark or add my blog to mine if thats allright. Poetry and literature, night outside and smoke inside, life's sultry pains and these continues....BTW....the Rumi poem translated by Cole has and in addition Rumi generally, has been reduced in the USA to a designer sufi....a respite for tired humanists, which Rumi actually isn't.
Rumi was a conservative sufi, a religious one, one who followed the laws of jurisprudence and at the same time, he also composed not poetry but a persian response, a heartfelt response in his devotion to God.
Any understanding of Rumi is naive without that thought....for this is not confessional poetry or poetry in that way but a rhetorical love....I have read in Franklin Lewis's biography of Rumi that now his poems are sung out on catwalks.....for he did not write poems but masnavi's....and that is another thing.
anyway, the above just btw.
to end, i like your blog for most lit. blogs seem wants a hint of slackness and laziness.

KUBLA KHAN said...

plz read i might add your blog to mine not mine!

swiss said...

slackness and laziness!lol
i do my best! put whatever links in you like. i'll come for a visit!

Anonymous said...

excellent points and the details are more specific than elsewhere, thanks.

- Murk

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