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Do You See?

Södergran: “the saga can happen, even to you—”

No posts? People ask me.

I’ve been getting some outdoors.  So, what posts?

Today being especially fantastic, I sauntered inside the Stirling Castle. Earlier I’ve been around it — the jailhouse, the Church of the Holy Rude, and another ruin, can’t remember its name now.

 

Stirling Castle courtyard

Towards the end of my sauntering, suddenly a group of teenagers came up to me. One, a lanky boy with curly dark hair, held forth some instrument and said in a foreign lisp: “Could we please interview you about the castle? We’re French highschoolers.”

I was taken aback. My initial reaction was to snap: “Do I look like Mary, Queen of Scots?”

Then, I said: “I’m not a local! Just a visitor like the rest of you. You should ask a local…maybe a guide or one of the security officers. Suis très très désolée…

They heard that last bit and started muttering and hollering among themselves. Displeased that I’m not a local. Displeased that I spoke that bit of French. Well, teenagers after all.

But I swear, I do not look like Mary, Queen of Scots.

 

***

Unlike many bloggers, I realize I cringe when too many eyes are turned on this blog. That’s why when someone asked me to register my blog for some bloggers collective, my head went in a 180 degree NO.

I cringe. I don’t want a zillion people to read my posts. At the same time I like it when a few people take a kind look, swing by in a quick passage. Yes, come and go. Do not linger here. Because all I do here is scatter words.

Is that the reason most of my posts are done well past midnight? So fewer people would notice and read. But does that really happen?

Reading Edith Södergran this late in the night settles a lot of things for me. And that’s why I think fewer eyes are better on this post. Sorry, but it’s all about implausible fish blooming in some depth.

 

“Strange Sea” BY EDITH SÖDERGRAN

TRANSLATED FROM THE SWEDISH BY AVERILL CURDY

Implausible fish bloom in the depths,
mercurial flowers light up the coast;
I know red and yellow, the other colors,—
but the sea, det granna granna havet, that’s most dangerous
                                                                            to look at.
What name is there for the color that arouses
this thirst, which says,
the saga can happen, even to you—

***

My poetry friend T from Arkansas had sent this poem to me months ago. I read it better now. I see that color better.

 

On a sort of related note, writer AB and I had evoked Paul Klee‘s FISH MAGIC (1925) around this poem.

 

***

My mom wants to know how it feels to have daylight till beyond 10 p.m. I think my answer would be:

it shows you
three rays that didn’t go home
another that didn’t know the name of night

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3 comments on “Södergran: “the saga can happen, even to you—”

  1. Mihir Vatsa
    June 14, 2012

    haha. funny incident you had there in the castle. Sodergran is good; better because the poem was short and to the point. I like such poems. Your last four lines were brilliant, very poetic. 😀

  2. Do You See
    June 14, 2012

    She has an uncanny way of combining different categories…colors to sounds to memories to bodily feelings. Also, think of it, what is “Implausible fish bloom in the depths” supposed to be? Why the word “dangerous” or “strange”? I do not think it is to do with apprehension, it’s a different sort of unknown-ness of experiences.

    I don’t mind reading long poems. Go read Whitman’s Sing the Body Electric, or Tennyson or Browning. But short poems are harder to drive home, I think …
    Oh French teenagers, I tell you!

  3. Do You See
    June 14, 2012

    Oh those last lines about long days here? How else would I tell mother… 🙂

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This entry was posted on June 14, 2012 by in Edith Södergran, Nabina Das, Paul Klee, poetry, Stirling Castle, Strange Sea.
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