Seamus Heaney




https://www.1843magazine.com/content/arts/anonymous/famous-seamus

Thấy bài này, trên tờ “The Intel”, bèn bệ về, nhẩn nha dịch hầu độc giả TV

HIGH-VOLTAGE HEANEY

Thi sĩ điện cao thế Heaney

Notes on a Voice: Christina Patterson tunes into the poet who made English sing

From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, January/February 2014

In a poem in "Electric Light", Seamus Heaney talked of "language that can still knock language sideways". This is what he did. He took ordinary words like "sod" and "drain" and "rot" and turned them to gold.

When he won the Nobel prize, in 1995, he was praised for "works of lyrical beauty and ethical depths which exalt everyday miracles and the living past". Heaney, who died in August aged 74, never called his poems "miracles", but he did talk about falling in love with the "voltage" of language. He wanted, he said, to write with "a musically satisfying order of sounds", and more than almost any poet of the past 50 years, he made English sing.

Famous Seamus, as he came to be known, scooped most of the big prizes for poetry, and sold more books than most of his peers combined. But if he seemed to retain the common touch in the way he wrote and spoke, this was only because he hid the art.

GOLDEN RULE

"Don’t have the veins bulging in your biro." These words, from Heaney’s poem "Fosterage" (1975), echo the advice of his mentor, the novelist Michael McLaverty, to whom it was dedicated. Don't, in other words, show off. Make it look easy, even if it never is.

KEY DECISIONS

To keep his poetry largely rooted in the landscape of his childhood, and to bring it so vividly to life that you can almost touch and smell it. Heaney used the sounds and smells and sights of the Northern Irish countryside to talk about family, history and myth. Most famously, in his poem "Digging", in his first collection, "Death of a Naturalist" (1966), he used them to talk about his vocation. He describes the "cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap" of the "soggy peat" his father and grandfather would dig, but says that he'll dig with his "squat pen".

STRONG POINTS

Heaney is a storyteller. He takes the familiar and makes it strange. He does this partly by using verbs as nouns and nouns as verbs. He writes of "a sense...of glimpse and dapple" and of birds that "cuckoo your name across the fields". He also loves to stick words together—"wheat-straw", "dark-streaked", "white-pronged"—and to make them up. The word "enemy", he says in his poem "England's Difficulty", had "the toothed efficiency of the mowing machine". The poem, like so many of Heaney's, uses a real childhood memory to touch on politics and history, but it does so obliquely. His voice, he once said in a documentary, was given to him "by division". It was "a stealthy voice, a voice that spoke in codes". So you can read a Heaney poem a hundred times, and still find more in it. 

FAVOURITE TRICK

To plunge you straight into the visceral detail of an early memory, then suddenly take you to a place that almost feels—though it's not a word he’d rush to use—transcendent. In "Personal Helicon", he talks of "the smells/Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss", "soft mulch" and "slime" and then, in the last sentence of the last stanza, he pulls us away from that childhood, to what it's all about: "I rhyme," he writes, "To see myself, to set the darkness echoing." 

ROLE MODELS

Heaney cited Yeats, Wordsworth and Hopkins as influences, as well as Americans like Lowell and Bishop. His poetry is like nobody else's, but you can see shades of Lowell in some of the stories, and of Yeats in the singing line. 

TYPICAL SENTENCE "All year the flax-dam festered in the heart/Of the townland; green and heavy headed/Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods." (The opening lines of "Death of a Naturalist".)

Christina Patterson has written for the Observer and the Spectator and is a former Independent columnist

Illustration Kathryn Rathke

Trong một bài thơ, trong “Ánh Điện”, Seamus Heaney nói về “ngôn ngữ vưỡn có thể khện me mé ngôn ngữ”. Đó là điều ông đã làm. Ông lấy những từ bình thường như “sod”, “drain”, và “rot” và biến chúng thành vàng.

Khi được Nobel, năm 1995, ông được ca ngợi, “tác phẩm của ông có vẻ đẹp trữ tình và những chiều sâu đạo hạnh, chúng tôn vinh những phép lạ của mọi/mỗi ngày và quá khứ sống động”. Heaney mất tháng Tám, thọ 74 tuổi, chẳng bao giờ gọi những bài thơ của mình là những “phép lạ”, nhưng có nói, ông tương tư tính “điện cao thế” của ngôn ngữ. Ông nói, ông muốn viết, với “một trật tự từ thỏa mãn như tiếng nhạc”, và bảnh hơn bất cứ một nhà thơ nào trong 50 năm qua, ông làm cho tiếng Anh hát.

Ở những ngôi nhà này
không còn gì cả
ngoài những mảnh vụn ký ức
Những người đã từng trò chuyện với tôi
không một ai sót lại

Nhưng trong trái tim tôi
Không một thánh giá của ai rơi mất
Trái tim tôi
một trú xứ thống khổ tràn đầy. (*)

Tháng 12/2013 

(*) Thơ Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970), San Martino Del Carso:

Of these houses /nothing/ but/fragments of memory /Of all who/would talk with me/ not one remains. 

But in my heart/no one’s cross is missing/My heart is/the most tormented country of all.

Bài thơ này, Gấu Cà Chớn mạn phép dịch giả thêm vô, một….  “phóng bút":

Về mái ấm gia đình

Chẳng còn
Nếu còn chăng,
Thì là những mảnh vụn
Về những con người
Đã từng lèm bèm với GCC
Ai cũng bỏ GCC cả!
Nhưng trong trái tim của GCC
Không cây thánh giá nào
của một ai
bị mất mát, bỏ quên, thiếu nhớ.

Trái tim GCC là cái xứ sở bị hành hạ khủng nhất trong tất cả!

Seamus Heaney

Tuning into the poet who made English sing

Christina Patterson | January/February 2014

In a poem in "Electric Light", Seamus Heaney talked of "language that can still knock language sideways". This is what he did. He took ordinary words like "sod" and "drain" and "rot" and turned them to gold.

When he won the Nobel prize, in 1995, he was praised for "works of lyrical beauty and ethical depths which exalt everyday miracles and the living past". Heaney, who died in August aged 74, never called his poems "miracles", but he did talk about falling in love with the "voltage" of language. He wanted, he said, to write with "a musically satisfying order of sounds", and more than almost any poet of the past 50 years, he made English sing.

Famous Seamus, as he came to be known, scooped most of the big prizes for poetry, and sold more books than most of his peers combined. But if he seemed to retain the common touch in the way he wrote and spoke, this was only because he hid the art.

GOLDEN RULE "Don’t have the veins bulging in your biro." These words, from Heaney’s poem "Fosterage" (1975), echo the advice of his mentor, the novelist Michael McLaverty, to whom it was dedicated. Don't, in other words, show off. Make it look easy, even if it never is.

KEY DECISIONS To keep his poetry largely rooted in the landscape of his childhood, and to bring it so vividly to life that you can almost touch and smell it. Heaney used the sounds and smells and sights of the Northern Irish countryside to talk about family, history and myth. Most famously, in his poem "Digging", in his first collection, "Death of a Naturalist" (1966), he used them to talk about his vocation. He describes the "cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap" of the "soggy peat" his father and grandfather would dig, but says that he'll dig with his "squat pen".

STRONG POINTS Heaney is a storyteller. He takes the familiar and makes it strange. He does this partly by using verbs as nouns and nouns as verbs. He writes of "a sense...of glimpse and dapple" and of birds that "cuckoo your name across the fields". He also loves to stick words together—"wheat-straw", "dark-streaked", "white-pronged"—and to make them up. The word "enemy", he says in his poem "England's Difficulty", had "the toothed efficiency of the mowing machine". The poem, like so many of Heaney's, uses a real childhood memory to touch on politics and history, but it does so obliquely. His voice, he once said in a documentary, was given to him "by division". It was "a stealthy voice, a voice that spoke in codes". So you can read a Heaney poem a hundred times, and still find more in it.

FAVOURITE TRICK To plunge you straight into the visceral detail of an early memory, then suddenly take you to a place that almost feels—though it's not a word he’d rush to use—transcendent. In "Personal Helicon", he talks of "the smells/Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss", "soft mulch" and "slime" and then, in the last sentence of the last stanza, he pulls us away from that childhood, to what it's all about: "I rhyme," he writes, "To see myself, to set the darkness echoing."

ROLE MODELS Heaney cited Yeats, Wordsworth and Hopkins as influences, as well as Americans like Lowell and Bishop. His poetry is like nobody else's, but you can see shades of Lowell in some of the stories, and of Yeats in the singing line.

TYPICAL SENTENCE "All year the flax-dam festered in the heart/Of the townland; green and heavy headed/Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods." (The opening lines of "Death of a Naturalist".)

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