martes, 18 de diciembre de 2012


William Everson 

Poeta de la Beat Generation.

Nació en Sacramento, California el 10 de septiembre de 1912 y se crió en la ciudad de San Joaquin Valley. Murió en su casa en Kingfisher, al norte de Santa Cruz, California, en 1994.

William Oliver Everson, a prominent poet in the San Francisco Renaissance, was also a master printer, Dominican lay brother, literary scholar, riveting speaker, and dynamic teacher. During World War II, he spent several years in Waldport, Oregon, at a fine arts camp for conscientious objectors.

Everson was born in Sacramento, California, on September 10, 1912, and raised in the San Joaquin Valley town of Selma. His father, a Norwegian immigrant, was a commercial printer, bandmaster, and justice of the peace.

In 1934, Everson discovered the work of poet Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), whose transcendental pantheism and vision of humankind gripped his imagination and changed his life. Two years later, Everson moved with his wife Edwa (née Poulson) to a ranch on the outskirts of Selma and began a career as a farmer/poet. World War II intervened, and Everson spent three years doing alternative service at Public Service Camp #56 in Waldport, also called Camp Angel, an experience his marriage did not survive.

Everson organized and directed the fine arts camp at Waldport, the only one of its kind during the war, which attracted musicians, painters, actors, and writers from other CO camps around the country. His career as a printer began at the camp, where he helped create the Untide Press, which published the literary magazine Illiterati and produced twelve beautifully designed books, including his own, The Waldport Poems and War Elegies. After the war, he moved to San Francisco, converted to Catholicism, and joined the Dominicans as Brother Antoninus. Along with many other Waldport artists and writers, he joined the San Francisco Renaissance of the late 1940s and 1950s.

In 1969, at a reading in Davis, California, Everson, now known as the Beat Friar, threw off his robes and left the order to marry Susanna Rickson. In 1971, he joined the faculty of the University of California at Santa Cruz as Poet in Residence. He developed Parkinson’s disease in the mid-1970s and retired in 1981, returning to the lecture circuit.

Everson’s poetry is noted for its spirituality, an erotic transcendentalism that often probed masculine/feminine archetypes, and for his investigation of humans’ struggle with aggression and war. Poet William Stafford described his language in The Achievement of Brother Antoninus as having a “rugged shock effect” and a “didactic moral tone.” Everson’s work has been compared with that of Jeffers and Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889).

Though he published over fifty volumes of poetry, the major body of Everson’s work is collected in The Residual Years, Poems 1934-48; The Veritable Years, 1949-1966; and The Integral Years, Poems 1966-1994. He wrote extensively about Jeffers and western American literature, and he designed and printed some of the most prized letterpress editions in America.

Everson, who gave an unforgettable reading at the 1983 Portland Poetry Festival and received a special award from the Oregon Institute for Literary Arts in 1988, died at his home in Kingfisher Flat, north of Santa Cruz, California, in 1994.

Tú, Dios

Una tierra oscura con sombras de muerte,
sin orden, donde la luz es oscuridad.
El Libro de Job

Ningún día pasado,
Ninguna noche,
Sin medida en el canto de la roca.

Ni esos imaginados soles negros
Rugiendo bajo tierra,
Rostizando raíces de árboles.

Si pido la muerte, Dios, es en ti.

Si tomo la vida, está fuera de ti.
Si pierdo, si pierdo,
Es dentro de ti.
Dios de muerte,
Gran Dios de no-vida,
La existencia es mía,
pero tú
Barrenas la nadería.
Arrasada fuera de ninguna parte.

Siempre tú no eres todavía.

En lo profundo de mi entraña,
Opreso en el olvido,
Hecho añicos en el corazón del aniquilamiento,
Atrapado entre…,
Con terror ante el vacío,

Inmutable silencio
Enorme sobre la meseta nevada,
Enorme sobre la lava en el risco,
El viento trabaja a la nube.

Mi cerebro
Se quema en tu taladrar.
Mi sangre se atomiza.
Rechino cada nervio.



(traducción José Vicente Anaya)

Kingfisher Flat 

In the long drought
Impotence clutched on the veins of passion
Encircles our bed, a serpent of stone.
. . . . . . . 
I think of the Fisher King,
All his domain parched in a sterile fixation of purpose,
Clenched on the core of the burning question
Gone unasked.
. . . . . . .
Oh, wife and companion!
The ancient taboo hangs over us,
A long suspension tightens its grip
On the seed of my passion and the flower of your hope.
Masks of drought deceive us. An inexorable forbearance
Falsifies the face of things, and makes inflexible
The flow of this life, the movement of this love.
. . . . . . .
I hear quaking grass
Shiver under the windowsill, and out along the road
The ripe mallow and the wild oat
Rustle in the wind. Deeper than the strict
Interdiction of denial or the serpentine coiling of time,
Woman and earth lie sunk in sleep, unsatisfied.
Each holds that bruise to her heart like a stone
And aches for rain. 


Some seed in me, 
Some troublous birth,
Like an awkward awakening,
stirs into life.

Terrible and instinctive
It touches my guts.
I fear and resist it,
Crouch down on my norms, a man's
Patent assurances.

I don't know its nature.
I have no term for it.
I cannot see its shape.
But, there, inscrutable,
Just underground,
Is the long-avoided tatency.

Like the mushrooms in the oak wood,
Where the high-sloped mountain
Benches the sea,
When the faint rains of November
Damp down the duff,
Wakening their spores- -
Like them,
Gross, thick and compelling,
What I fear and desire
Pokes up its head. 

The Poet Is Dead 

(excerpt from Everson's memorial for Robinson Jeffers)

Snow on the headland,
The strangely beautiful
Oblique concurrence,
The strangely beautiful
Setting of death.

The great tongue
Dries in the mouth. I told you.
The voiceless throat
Cools silence. And the sea-granite eyes.
Washed the sibilant waters
That stretched lips kiss peace.

The poet is dead.

Nor will ever again hear the sea lions
Grunt in the kelp at Point Lobos.
Nor look to the south when the grunion
Run the Pacific, and the plunging
Shearwaters, insatiable,
Stun themselves in the sea. 


1 comentario:

  1. Sugiero (con respeto) que revise el texto. Hay varios errores, algunos bastante obvios.

    Yo era amigo personal de Bill Everson y me interesa que se sepa de él. Por eso mi afán de que se corrija esto.


    Bob Haskell