And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
- And did those feet, William Blake

søndag 26. februar 2017

A passage by Derek Walcott, or, a Fragment from The Schooner Flight

February has been a busy month with me trying my best to deal with the transition from writing to reading. After having spent several months producing text, I've now reached a point in my research where I have to read in order to produce more text, and it takes some time getting used to the change of pace this forces on me. As a way of distraction from the tranquility of reading, I'm sometimes transcribing manuscript fragments which is a way of producing text, albeit very differently from the writing of my thesis.

Because of all this, my blogging this month has been rather brief and must remain so in my attempt to have four blogposts done by the end of February. For the third post, therefore, I present you a fragment of Derek Walcott's poem The Schooner Flight, a poetic sequence which chronicles the voyage of a mariner onboard a schooner while he is missing his wife and reflecting on the wild nature around him. The poem can be found in its entirety here. It is written in imitation of the Caribbean patois which Derek Walcott has known from his earliest days, and which he often applies to his work when he wishes to place the text in the mouth of fictional Caribbeans.

After the Storm, from The Schooner Flight

There are so many islands!
As many islands as the stars at night
on that branched tree from which meteors are shaken
like falling fruit around the schooner Flight.
But things must fall, and so it always was,
on one hand Venus, on the other Mars;
fall, and are one, just as this earth is one
island in archipelagoes of stars.
My first friend was the sea. Now, is my last.
I stop talking now. I work, then I read,
cotching under a lantern hooked to the mast.
I try to forget what happiness was,
and when that don't work, I study the dtars.
Sometimes is just me, and the soft-scissored foam
as the deck turn white and the moon open
a cloud like a door, and the light over me
is a road in white moonlight taking me home.
Shabine sang to you from the depths of the sea.

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