lunes, 25 de abril de 2016

PETER BALAKIAN [18.511]


PETER BALAKIAN  

Balakian nació en 1951, en ​​Teaneck, Nueva Jersey, EE.UU.

Balakian creció en los suburbios de Tenafly, Nueva Jersey, hijo de padres armenios. De niño oyó retazos de su abuela del pasado, pero no descubrió el genocidio armenio de principios del siglo XX hasta que leyó la historia de Embajador Morgenthau, las memorias del embajador en Turquía durante ese período. Poco después, Balakian supo que su abuela había sido uno de los pocos sobrevivientes de una marcha de la muerte en el desierto sirio. Memorias de su búsqueda de Balakian para obtener más información sobre la conexión de su familia con el genocidio y la diáspora, Black Dog of Fate (1997). 

Bajo la influencia de poetas tan diversos como Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda y el poeta armenio del siglo Gregorio de Nareg, Balakian utiliza la poesía para explorar, en sus propias palabras, "los parámetros de la conciencia en nuestro tiempo." Reconociendo el reto por escrito de la poesía cargada de política, Balakian señala que "siempre es necesario mantener las cuestiones estéticas exenta de polémica y la política simples. La poesía no debe ser nunca editorial. La poesía debe ser fiel a la riqueza del lenguaje, la forma poética, y la complejidad de la experiencia. Pero en la esfera política debería profundizar un escritor y hacer su trabajo más grande, más rica, y moralmente resonante ". 

Balakian ha ganado el Consejo de Nueva Jersey para el Premio de Humanidades Libro y un premio de la Academia de Poetas Americanos, así como becas de la Fundación Guggenheim y la Fundación Nacional de las Artes. Fue cofundador y coeditor La Casa de la opinión Graham con Bruce Smith desde 1976 hasta 1996. Se concedió una subvención de la edición de la Fundación Nacional para las Artes.

OBRA:

Poesía:

Father Fisheye (1979)
Sad Days of Light (1983)
Reply From Wilderness Island (1988)
Dyer’s Thistle (1996)
June-Tree: New and Selected Poems, 1974-2000 (2001)
Ziggurat (2010)
Ozone Journal (2015)

Prosa:

Theodore Roethke’s Far Fields (1989)
Black Dog of Fate, A Memoir (1997) (translated into Armenian by Artem Harutyunyan, 2002)
The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response (2003)
Armenian Golgotha (2009)
Vise and Shadow: Essays on the Lyric Imagination, Poetry, Art, and Culture (2015)
Translation
Bloody News From My Friend, by Siamanto, translated by Peter Balakian and Nevart Yaghlian, introduction by Balakian (1996)
Editor
Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story, preface by Robert Jay Lifton, introduction by Roger Smith, afterword by Henry Morgenthau III. (2003)

Editiones Limitadas

Declaring Generations, linoleum engravings by Barnard Taylor ( 1981)
Invisible Estate, woodcuts by Rosalyn Richards (1985)
The Oriental Rug, linoleum engravings by Barnard Taylor (1986)
The Children’s Museum at Yad Vashem, illustrated by Colleen Shannon (1996)
(all from The Press of Appletree Alley, Lewisburg, PA)




El comité del premio Pulitzer recientemente anunció a Peter Balakian (1951) como el ganador de este año en la categoría de poesía; hoy en Círculo de Poesía celebramos su premio con una breve selección del libro ganador Ozone Journal. El trabajo de Balakian no teme llegar a ser político, ni a la polémica, pero evita instruir en alguna doctrina. También recrea el reciente pasado americano con un tono melancólico que evade a la nostalgia, manteniendo un sentido del humor satírico y una honestidad que llega a ser brutal. Las versiones en español son de Esteban López Arciga (1994).

http://circulodepoesia.com/2016/04/peter-balakian-pulitzer-prize-2016/




De Diario de Ozono - Ozone Journal-

5

En aquellos días (sin sueño) el casete chirriante tocaba-
a Jerry en Riverdale. Cuando llegué el cielo era una gráfica
de líneas telefónicas y cables ferroviales.

Me sentaba bajo estantes de maestros íntegros-
los 78 de 1940 cuando Jerry editó el vinyl moderno
y encontró el Hot Jazz perdido de los 20-

Veía tapetes armenios colgando y al río observar
la foto de Miles Davis- Casi líquida en emulsión sepia

de 1947 cuando el humo giró hacia Three Deuces en la 52
en una mesa con Sterling Brown y Gillespie y Jerry-

y dijo (con su habla pesada), “John Hammond
fue tan odiado por los músicos, que Miles lo arrancó de la foto y pegó
a Dizzy- pero eso fue antes de que hiciera que Miles se interesara por Cage”


5

Those days (no dream) the squeaky cassette going—
on Jerry in Riverdale. When I arrived the sky was graphed
through phone wires and Amtrak cables.

I was sitting beneath shelves of uncut-masters—
the 78s of 1940 when Jerry cut the modern LP
and found the lost Hot Jazz of the ’20s—

I was staring at hanging Armenian rugs and the river glare
on a photo of Miles Davis—almost liquid in the sepia emulsion

of 1947 when the smoke spiraled into Three Deuces on 52nd
at a table with Sterling Brown and Gillespie and Jerry—
and he put it (in his hammered speech), “John Hammond
was so hated by the musicians, Miles cut him out of the photo and pasted
Dizzy in—but that was before I got Miles interested in Cage.


16

El presente se deslizaba al pasado de David,
revelándose entre inhalables y sedantes.

Escuche una versión del Upper West en un momento
en el que la historia era una imagen cautiva entre tenazas:

mañana bermellón en la avenida Columbus.
la tarde como un ponche de ron, y entonces

un motín de cuellos de quiana/ coca y poppers
brazos y piernas de gelatina en la escalera
donde Calvin Klein desaparece cual espíritu santo,

y ahí en el día americano- Luz de Terrence Malick
sobre trigo libidinoso y pradera en celo-

eran los 70s: post-euforia
Nixon, pre-inflación Khomeini del alma
sobre el puente Williamsburg a mediodía

el tembloroso saxofón a todo pulmón
de Sonny Rollins cuando todos eran
licenciados con doctorado en antro o lite comparada,


16

The present kept sliding into David’s past,
unraveling through drip-drugs and sedatives.

I heard a version of the Upper West at a moment
when history was an image caught in a pincer:

morning was blood orange on Columbus Ave.
evening was a rum punch and then

a riot of Quiana collars/blow and poppers
arms and legs of Jell-O in the stairwells
where Calvin Klein disappeared like a holy ghost,

and out there in the American day—Terrence Malick’s light
spread on the libidinal wheat and rutted prairie—

that was the ’70s: post-Nixon
euphoria, pre-Khomeini inflation of the soul
over the Williamsburg Bridge at midday

the full-throated wobbly sax
of Sonny Rollins when everyone was
a bachelor with a PhD in anthro or comp lit,


38

Caminé entre clases imaginando cuentas de t-4

dos cápsulas azules de cinta blanca cada 4 hrs.

más tarde, me arremangué

y la enfermera preguntó,
¿es gay?
No.
¿Alguna vez compartió una jeringa con alguien?
No.
¿Alguna vez ha tenido contacto íntimo con alguien
que tenga SIDA o haya sido expuesto al VIH?
No.
Señor, usted ocupa un psiquiatra, no exámenes de sangre.


38

I walked around between classes imagining T-4 counts,

two white-banded blue capsules every 4 hrs.

later in the day, I rolled up my sleeve

and the nurse asked,
are you gay?
No.
Have you ever shared a needle with anyone?
No.
Have you had any intimate contact with anyone who has AIDS or has been exposed to HIV?
No.
Sir, you need a psychiatrist, not a blood test.


51

Aquel día mientras me iba-
David me dio su amuleto-

“úsalo por mí”-

Observo el abra y cadabra,
arameo insistente

puesto en teselas para
que el sonido de la palabra fuese acción

y la palabra del sonido fuese esperanza.

Salí del hospital-
el aire se envolvió en sí,
el cielo besó mis poros-

¿Quién eres? preguntó el ave blanca,

Menos–



51

That day as I was leaving—
David tossed me his amulet—
“Use it for me”—

I stared at abra and cadabra,
the lingering Aramaic

set into tesserae so the word-sound could be action
and the sound-word could be hope.

I walked out of the hospital—
the air scrolled into itself,
the sky kissed my pores—

Who are you? the white bird asked,

Less—


De Warhol/Mao, ’72

Cuando vi su cara en una pared
en una fiesta en un salón volteando al Hudson,

en una beneficencia para los soldados de invierno
sobre bloques de queso y baguetes,

acababa de ver una grabación borrosa
de Dien Bien Phu en un cuarto negro caliente,

donde el revelado arañado mostró montes ondulando,
cuerpos y paracaídas perdidos entre pasto de selva.

Entre decadencia y el ajeno
Mao fue arreglado en amarillo y carmín

con labial y rímel,
toda una reina-parte adorno, parte algo radical

que el léxico americano no ha llenado aún.

Desde las cámaras aéreas
Puerto Haiphong era luz líquida.

En luz líquida, vi mi carta de reclutamiento flotar como
piedra gigante sobre la autopista en la 79



From Warhol/Mao, ’72

When I saw his face on a wall at a party
in a parlor looking out at the Hudson,

at a fundraiser for the winter soldiers
over blocks of cheese and baguettes,

I had just come from some grainy footage
of Dien Bien Phu in a hot black room,

where the scratched print showed the hills undulating,
bodies and parachutes disappearing in jungle grass.

Between decadence and the alien
Mao was propped in yellow and rouge

with lipstick and eye shadow,
a real queen—part décor, part radical something

the American lexicon hadn’t filled in yet.

From the aerial cameras
Haiphong Harbor was liquid light.

In liquid light, I saw my draft card float like a
giant litho over the highway at 79th



A Letter to Wallace Stevens  de Dyer’s Thistle (1996)


After the Reformation had settled the loamy soil 
and the lettuce-green fields of dollars, 
the clouds drifted away, and light fell everywhere. 
Even the snow bloomed and New Hampshire was a big peony. 

A red barn shone on a hill 
with scattered hemlocks and white pines 
and the gates of all the picket fences were big shut-eyes. 



Sometime after the Civil War, the bronze wing of liberty   
took off like the ribboning smoke of a Frick factory, 
and all the citizens in towns from Stockbridge to Willamette   
ran wild on the 4th. The sound of piccolos lingered,   
and the shiny nickel of the sun stood still before it 
fizzed in the windshield of a Ford. 
By then you were a lawyer. 



Charles Ives was a bandmaster in Danbury, and you didn’t   
give him the time of day. He played shortstop on the piano.   
He never made it to his tonic home base, and his half-tones   
were like oak leaves slapping clapboard. 



How Miltonic are we anyway?   



In that red glass of the imagination, 
in that tingling crystal of the chandelier   
where light freezes in its own prism 

and the apogee of the green lawns of New Haven   
wane like Persian carpets in twilight, 
there you saw a pitcher, perhaps from Delft,   
next to a plate of mangoes. 



But still, history is a boomerang, 
and the aborigines never threw one without a shield. 



Beyond the porches of Key West, beyond the bougainvillea,   
your speech skipped on tepid waves, 
was lapped and lapped by lovers and friends, 
by scholars who loved romantic nights of the sun. 

But the fruits and pendants, the colorful cloth, 
the dry palm fronds, and the fake voodoo wood   
Cortes brought back as souvenirs 
were just souvenirs. And the shacks and the cane and the   
hacked plantain were tableaux, 
and who saw them from your dark shore? 



The Protestant dinner plate is a segregated place,   
where the steak hardens, and the peas 
sit frightened in their corner while mashed potatoes ossify.   
Some gin and ice cream, and the terror of loneliness   
goes for a while. 



As they say in the sunny climes,   
un abrazo.



In Church



In the rheumatic heat of July,   
when Public Enemy blared   
on the blasters 

in a time when arbitrage   
and foreign policy 
were bureaus of each other, 

I made a wrong turn off Broadway   
and wound up at St. John the Divine 

where I sat in the hot dark   
until the traffic died. 




And a voice comes over 
some columns to the breeze of the Golden Horn   
over the cypress groves 

and flowing bougainvillea 
where the bright blue weather and the old   
seawalls come together, 

where crates of cardamom   
and musk are piled and   
the cattle hang in blood 

above the brass,   
where the grain boats   
stink and red pleasure 

barges drift where Jason   
sailed for his fleece— 
a voice comes out of the dead water. 

In great Sophia 
light pours in rosy bars 
on the porphyry and the green marble 

till the air blooms, 
and a chrysalis of lit crosses   
makes circles in the air. 

Light falls through the lunettes   
like arrows of gold that could’ve   
sneaked up the Virgin’s dress. 

Had the Holy Ghost flitted in 
it would’ve been lost in the glare 

and the kiss of peace 
Justinian blew from the ambo. 




Incantations flutter and rhyme   
in the apse like wings   
in a cloud of incense 

thinning on the gold-leafed 
vaults where the tongue’s vibration   
lingers in the upper air, 

and rises and rises as if the dome could open   
to a half-hemisphere of heaven 
where in the translucent glitter of the Kingdom 

the Saints are poised in gracious robes   
with their thousand-year-frozen faces— 
the one truth glued on the grout of their lips. 




I sit with the incense of memory,   
and a bath of dark pours   
from the vaults above the pew 

Outside, boutiques of money collide   
with the street fires in Harlem, whole   
skyscrapers are levitated by arbitrage, 

and the only inside takeover I can negotiate 
is myself in this pew with my herringbone jacket   
which I should chuck in the Salvation Army bin 

down the block, so I could join the line of choir- 
boys in their last innocent ritual   
as they stand before the mounted sermon sign 

“he shall bring forth judgment unto truth” 
(Isaiah 42:3). The Puritans because 
they believed God’s altar needs not their polish 

lifted the boulder of truth higher than the glittering   
face of the Nazarene once leaded in glass. 

For the spirit they swallowed stones 
and shattered all the panes. But beneath the lavender   
arch of a Canon Table in an old Gospel 

I once tasted the consubstantial dewdrop   
in the faded color of a peacock’s wing. 

So while a stone sinks to the bottom of my   
river, a peacock’s wing floats by the shore. 

Who tells it like it is: Isaiah or Procopius?   




I started walking backward   
down the aisle 

when I heard and thought I   
saw in the strange fenestration   
of that light— 

a voice, 
first incoherent, and then sharp   
as if it were in my ear 

There is no reign that executes   
justice and judgment;   
is that why you whine?

“But Primo Levi’s image of a man— 
a face that haunts every nation   
on the earth— 

this, this!” 

Don’t soak lentils in your mouth.

“Be serious; what’s left to praise?” 

The fig tree drops rocks 
in the morning and the fig   
tree drops figs in the morning.

It’s your new yard, am I right?   
New house, 2 kids, and all that.

“Yup.” 

When a Santa Ana blows fire down the coast   
do you run to meet it in a leisure suit   
or with a silicon chip?

Does a squirrel stash nuts   
of self-pity up its ass?

What are verses for?

And the raisin-light dribbling   
in the clerestory faded,   
and it was cold 

as I backed down the aisle: 


“We’ll talk more when you’re off duty.”



A Version of Paolo and Francesca Related 
Poem Content Details

Paolo

It was not Virgil you read 
(though I asked you to), but the Peruvian,   
part Indian, part cousin of Lorca 

whose words were spiky points,   
wafts of privet, week-old cod. 

When you breathed them at me   
nothing in the outer world ceased   
its turbulent grim direction. 

You breathed on my unhooked   
eyes and uncovered me. 

Above the roof a windfucker smacked   
the air, 
and wind kept eating the island rocks. 



Francesca

We ate along the riverside at sundown. 
The clear green juice dripped from my mouth. 

We didn’t fuck missionary on clean sheets.   
I lost my head between your legs.   
My nose spreading like honey. 

A whiff of narcissus swept across us. 
I ate the flowers whole, tried to outfox   
Satan with my tongue. 

I felt as if I shimmied up your legs to find   
this point on the Jersey cliffs.   
The sun was God’s eye. 

I plugged my ears so I wouldn’t hear your crappy verse,   
then tore into your pants like a scared cat. 

The Chrysler Building was a pin.   
I tasted you five hundred feet   
as the Hudson pulled me under.






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