Partecipo insieme a Sjón, due pezzi in inglese. Il primo “words in progress” è un gioco nato dall’espressione idiomatica “Happy as Larry”, il secondo è una rielaborazione di una mia raccolta di haiku, ripensata in inglese. Ecco il link, buona lettura!
THE FUTURE IS SPOKEN
Words in progress
Happy as Larry
Apparently the original English expression was “happy as a sandboy”. North America: plenty of clams everywhere; contented with what one’s got. Happy as a clam. In an old dictionary (1823) the sandboy was “an urchin who hawked sand around the streets”. Was it illegal? I don’t know…later the expression became a synonym for being merry…basically Larry was happy because he had a few pints. Larry was also a reference to the Australian boxer Larry Fowley (1847-1917); oh yes that Larry, now everything is as clear as a middleweight undefeated champion. Happy as Larry (Fowley). Larry Fowley was happy, it’s a fact. For those who love Thomas Hardy and his novels, “larry” was a dialect word meaning “in a state of excitement”. The US variation with clam came from the east coast, and to be even more precise, one should say “happy as a clam at high water.” Having said that, I’m very happy to be part of the SPOKEN PROJECT, so here are a few “larry” connections. Larry was already in the air in 1596:
The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
From forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels:
Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The day to cheer and nights dank dew to dray,
I must up-fill this osier cage of ours
With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.
(Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet, Act II, scene III, 1059-1066)
Come, come with me, and we will make short work;
For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone
Till holy church incorporate two in one.
Things didn’t go according to plan, but Larry was happy to play his role, Father Laurence reappeared in a mysterious way four centuries later in a famous prog song, Genesis’ The Cinema Show. He’s no longer Father Laurence but he’s Father Tiresias, a blind prophet of Thebes, famous for clairvoyance and for being transformed into a woman for seven years. This adds a new spin on Shakespeare’s plot.
Home from work our Juliet
Clears her morning meal
She dabs her skin with pretty smells
Concealing to appeal
I will make my bed She said,
but turned to go
Can she be late for her Cinema show? Cinema Show?
Romeo locks his basement flat
And scurries up the stair
With head held high and floral tie
A weekend millionaire
I will make my bed With her tonight, he cries
Can he fail Armed with his chocolate surprise?
Take a little trip back with Father Tiresias
Listen to the old one speak of all he has lived through
I have crossed between the poles
For me there’s no mystery.
For us the mystery remains, Larry knows better.
What follows is Carla’s second contribution.
In the city fields
Strangers are like friends.
What haiku do you want? was a collection of 68 haikus I wrote some time ago; 17 haikus for each season, following the rhythm framed in a precise sequence of syllables, 5-7-5 (=17 syllables). The original idea was to create a game of chance on an imaginary boardgame. Here’s a small selection for every season, inevitably adding some variations in the English version, from Italy with love. Think of a number between 1 and 17 and select the corresponding haiku. And remember:
Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira Le Hasard – A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance:
Facing obscure lands
No goals in their life
Motorcycles whizz by
Just bullyboys’ races
The past perfect is
Like the present perfect mode
A restless secret
Held inside for too long
Blooms and vanishes
Gentle cold wind outside
Whistles brief and intense sounds
They ring a bell, the same
Butterfly collector loves art
A PhD in French medieval history
Even part-time, starts NOW
I have learned the I Ching
Simply by reading and reading them
Perseverance is all
Looking at the golden sand
Nobody on the horizon
Just waves and waves
Under layers of moss and grass
A blue, rare mosaic
A red bud in the rosebush
Bows its head listlessly
A rose is a rose, is it?
I dream of going back
To places that I don’t inhabit
Any longer exactly like you
White lights crossing the sky
Bouncing quick intermittent rays
Waiting for the traffic light
Inside my heart I recognize
Voices that I hardly sing
More cautious than sorry
Snippets are dangerous
Un-solving the cryptic crossword
Not a sausage today
A sweet flute playing
A duet with a melancholic viola
The fugue is much better
Fast but not too much
A glass-house sails in the garden
Surrounded by pink stones
The bread was a rock
The Parmisan tasted like sawdust
Farewell, adios, addio, ciao.