Thursday 27 March 2008

Acte de Presence

A busy day, worked on the poem about Mason's Bay and posted it on the blackboard at Whitireia (this is for the short Year 1 course). No time to work on WS, but had a good read about her yesterday, including her recommendations to poets, which are ironic without being scathing . Apparently people could send her their poems and she would respond.

I am keen to read her book of reviews of non-literary books. She apparently reads widely in all subjects. Also found out she knows no English, though she does know a bit of French. Her speech at the Nobel banquet was in French, not very good. Poetry is what she does best, and that she does excellently.

Still reading Sir Vidia's Shadow before going to sleep, the book is working towards a break between the two men, Naipaul and Theroux, I am dreading it.

The title of today's entry reflects my concerns: I am over-committed at the moment and this writing started off just being a dutiful entry without having much to say, just doing my duty is I suppose a way of putting it, but the French expression says 'acting as if present', acting presently, and that is all , not being fully there.

I don't think there is an equivalent expression in English, which brings me to one of the points I want to make about WS's poetry in English, that the translation is so superb, that there is no trace of an accent, by which I mean use of language in ways that are un-English, as far as I can see.

More tomorrow. Two of my guests are leaving. Colette will be visiting someone else over the week-end and someone else again next week.

Good night, it is late.

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