Robert Lax, “ so bird, so spirit …”

Film di Nicolas Humbert e Werner Penzel sul poeta americano Robert Lax

 

 

a/cer/tain//rhythm – a/cer/tain//know/ing

da “sea & sky”

 

i

they
groan

why
do
they
groan

the
people
groan

why
do
the
people
groan

the
nations
groan

why
do
the
nations
groan

?

 

*

 

why
do
the
nations
groan

&
why

do
they
re-
peat

a
vain
thing

?

 

the
clouds

the
clouds

are
ris-
ing

(over
the
sea)

 

*

 

the winter

the winter

(is
co-
ming)

sit
closer

to-
ghet-
er

sit
closer

as
well

to
the
earth

(for
the
cold

comes
on)

*

 

the
earth

the
earth

in
all

its
seasons

in
all

its
seasons

in
all

its
seasons

the
earth

the
earth

the
earth

*

 

not

thus
&
thus

&
thus

&
thus

but
thous

&
thus

&
thus

not
thus
&
thus

&
thus

&
thus

but

thus

&
thus

&
thus

 

*

 

a
cer-
tain

rhythm

a
cer-
tain

know-
ing

to
be

ob-
ser-
‘d

to
be
re-
mark-
‘d

a
cer-
tain

rhythm

a
cer-
tain

know-
ing

(in
all

the
chang-
ing

days)

 

*

 

prais-
ing

this
mo-
ment

with
all
of
his

heart

gave
him
heart

gave
him

heart

for
the

next

prais-
ing
this
mo-
ment

with
all
of
his

heart

gave
him
heart

gave
him

heart

for
what

fol-
low-
‘d

prais-
ing
this
mo-
ment

with
all
of
his

heart

gave
him
heart

gave
him

heart

for
what

fol-
low-
‘d

prais-
ing
this
mo-
ment

with
all

of
his
heart

gave
him
heart

gave
him

heart

for
what

fol-
low-
‘d

*

 

the
light

the
light

the
eye

the
eye

the
eye

the
eye

the
light

the
light

the
light

the
light

the
eye

the
eye

the
eye

the
eye

the
light

the
light

the
sun

the
sun

the
city

the
city

the
city

the
city

the
sun

the
sun

 

*

 

no
more

the
sun

no
more

the
sun

the
city

the
city

no
more

no
more

no
more

the
sun

no
more

the
city

(no
more)

 

*

 

the
city

the
city

the
city

the
city

the
sun

the
sun

the
sun

the
city

the
city

the
city

the
city

(the
city

the
city)

the
sun

 

*

 

the
city

the
city

(a
sun-
less

cit-
y)

the
city

the
city

(the
sun)

the
city

the
city

(a
sun-
less

cit-
y)

the
city

the
city

(the
sun)

 

*

 

why
do
the

na-
tions

groan

why
do
the

na-
tions

trem-
ble

why
do
the

na-
tions

groan

&
trem-
ble

(&
the
peo-
ple

re-
peat

a
vain

thing)

?

 

iii

 

[…]

his
heart

was
in-
dit-
ing

the
song

of
his

love

his
heart

was
in-
dit-
ing

his
love

 

*

 

what
was
the
love

that
his
heart

was
in-
dit-
ing

?

a
love

a
love

a
mys-
ter-
i-
ous

love

what
was
the
love

that
his
heart

was
in-
dit-
ing

?

a
love

a
mys-
ter-
i-
ous

love

 

*

 

black
black

the
warp

tight
tight

the
string

red
red

the
woof

of
my
love

of
my
love

black
black

the
warp

tight
tight

the
string

red
red

the
woof

of
my
love

 

*

 

a
sweet
wind

a
sweet
wind

blows
from
the

south

(but
my
love

is
far

a-
way)

<

a
sweet
wind

a
sweet
wind

blows
from
the

south

(but
my
heart

sings

wel-
a-
day)

 

vii

 

how
still

how
still

(&
the
domes

how
still)

how
still

how
still

is
the

sea

how
still

how
still

(&
the
domes

how
still)

how
still

the
wind-
less

sea

 

*

 

the
sea

the
sea

the
air
the
air

the
sky
the
sky

the
sky

the
sea
the
sea

the
air
the
air
the
sky

the
sky

the
sky

 

*

 

the
air
is
a
gi-
ant

who
holds

his
hand

be-
tween

the
sea
&
the
sky

the
air
is
a

gi-
ant

he
holds

his
hand

be-
tween

the
sea

&

the
sky

 

*

 

the
dream-
ing

dream-
ing

sea

re-
gards

the

smil-
ing

sky

the
dream-
ing

dream-
ing

sea

re-
gards

the
smil-
ing

sky

*

 

the
dream-
ing

sea

the
smil-
ing

sky

the
dream-
ing
dream-
ing

sea

the
dream-
ing

sea

the
smil-
ing

sky

the
dream-
ing

dream-
ing

sea

 

*

 

(the
sea

may

reach

the
sea

may
reach)

the
sky

looks
down

looks

down

(the
sea

may

reach

the
sea

may

reach)

the
sky

looks
down

looks

down

 

*

 

if
i

were
a
bird

if
i

were
a
bird

i
would
fly

to
the
ends

of
the

sea

if
i

was
a

bird

if
i

were
a

bird

i
would

fly

to
the

ends

of
the

sea

*

 

the
sea

the
sea

the
sky

the
sky

the
sky

the
sky

the
sea

the
sea

the
sea

the
sea

*

 

the
sky

the
sky

the
sky

the
sky

the
sea

the
sea

the
domes

the
domes

are
still

are
still

the
sea

the
sea

is
still

the
domes

are
still

*

 

the
sea

is
still

the
air

is
still

is
still

(the
domes

are
still

the
sea

is

still)

the
air

is
still

is

still

*

 

what
are

the
cur-
rents

un-
der

the
sea

what
are
the
cur-
rents

un-
der

the
sea

(the
sea

is
a

dream-
ing

sea

 

*

 

what
are

the
cur-
rents

un-
der

the
sea

what
are

the
cur-
rents

un-
der

the
sea

(the
sea-
‘s

a
yearn-
ing

sea

*

 

the
sea

may
reach

the
sea

may

reach

(the
sky

looks
down

looks

down)

the
sea

may
reach

the
sea

may

reach

(the
sky

looks
down

looks

down)

*

 

what
are

the
cur-
rents

un-
der

the
sea

(the
sea

is
a

dream-
ing

sea)

what
are

the
cur-
rents

un-
der

the
sea

(the
sea-
‘s

a
yearn-
ing

sea)

*

 

the
air

the
air

the
sky

the
sky

the
sea

the
sea

the
sea

the
air

the
air

the
sky

the
sky

the
sea

the
sea

the
sea

 

in Poems (1962-1997)
Robert Lax

~~~~~~

 

Niente è stato più difficile e frustrante che cercare di relegare in un post l’immensa vastità e profondità dell’universo poetico di Lax. La sua poesia, di volta in volta descritta come minimalista o astratta, concreta o visuale, basic form o poesia verticale, nella apparente semplicità di poche parole che si susseguono è estremamente complessa per le tematiche proposte e difficile da riportare nel foglio elettronico, dal momento che si nutre di spazi e tempi suoi propri. Spesso sono la ripetizione, gli spazi tra parole, la disposizione sul foglio, il ritmo a dare significato al testo, a crearne la bellezza. La sempre più evidente scarnificazione del testo, la ripetizione di poche parole o singoli caratteri esprimono tutto lo sforzo creativo e l’essenza della ricerca spirituale del poeta, uomo profondamente religioso, e la lettura dei suoi testi può costituire una vera e propria pratica meditativa.
Il reading che vi propongo vi darà una più precisa idea della particolare forma poetica adottata dall’autore. Il reading è del poema “The port was longing

 

The port was longing
the port was longing

not for this ship
not for that ship

not for this ship
not for that ship

the port was longing
the port was longing

not for this sea
not for that sea

not for this sea
not for that sea

the port was longing
the port was longing

not for this &
not for that

not for this &
not for that

the port was longing

the port was longing

not for this &

not for that

 

Altrettanto difficile è stato decidere come narrare con poche immagini l’intensa e lunga vita del poeta, ma in questo il bel film di Humbert e Penzel ci è stato di aiuto, narrandoci gli ultimi anni in cui il poeta, ritirandosi a Patmos in Grecia per dedicarsi alla meditazione e alla semplicità di una vita monacale, fece della propria esistenza un “pur act” creativo, così come sono state le sue poesie.

Per questi motivi mi scuso con il poeta e i suoi estimatori se questo post può risultare forse superficiale e poco rispettoso della “metrica” poetica. Tra questi mi rivolgo soprattutto al poeta Giampaolo De Pietro (https://profilodiuncappello.wordpress.com/  ) che me lo ha fatto conoscere e che pubblicamente ringrazio di cuore.

 

~~~~~~
* i dipinti sono di Ad Reinhardt, amico nonché personalità ispiratrice di molte opere del poeta come il libro Red Circle Blue Square.