27 February 2005

"Sprachgitter"

Reading The Bloody Horse [see post below]. n.3 (Jan/Feb 1981), I came across this:
A reference to Paul Celan: "Sprachgitter" -- language lattices
[see poem]
"where the gaps in sense are just as significant as the sparse staves that support them"

Ahhh.

That was quoted in the context of a review of a book by a South African poet whom I know of only on the periphery of my consciousness: CJ Driver. The book in question, his Occasional light (David Philip, 1980?) Having been in solitary confinement, Driver's work shows an astonishing simplicity, austerity:

TO JANN, IN HER ABSENSE

[reads in part]

If she asks why the sun
Knocks so loudly at the window,
Tell her nothing but a shadow
Has so much permanence
As love, that has nothing
But doubt to feed on.


How lost is my country's poetry; How is my country's poetry lost ...

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