Friday, February 1, 2013

The Gierik reading in den Hopsack

Eight poets had been announced. One however, René Hooybergs had caught a nasty virus and couldn't make it. He was aptly interpreted by Tin Vankerkom, who memorized His and her texts and then performs them with a very expressive rendering. Yet in a way there were more than eight voices to be heard. One poet writes under three heteronyms, which is kind of being some one else, like Pessoa, the great Portuguese poet did. In this way a reading by Sven Peeters can become a reading by three or four different voices, bringing the presence of Balkan poets, their longing for a far away friend, nightly forages through cafés and bars. Ahh, the schizophrenia of belonging to different  parts of the world. Sven Cooremans read intimate poetry. I didn't know this poet. His detailed language shifts and thus reaches out to you, makes you pay attention since he is telling you something important you need to know. Vera Alexander Beerten's work I have known and appreciated since a long time. She read 'Kindertotenlieder', a cycle dealing with the death of 35 children, when crossing a river on a raft which capsized while trying to go to the other side of the village. Moving. Richard Foqué, with sonorous voice read 'landscapes' and very structured poems, brought peace and rest. The most important guest  was Guy Commerman, one of the two founding fathers of Gierik. I love his quiet way, his sense of relativity, his gentle humor and yes his poetry. he opened and drew us all into the evening. The MC of the evening was Frank De Vos, introducing every poet in the superlatives, they deserve, reading the first poem of the book the poets were reading from. Form the bilingual Traces/Sporen I read a poem which had some music in it since that was the official theme.

Like the bird
singing till the morn
of her last day
whistling waveringly
softer than a male
but with a courage of her own
was killed
by others
because her song
so will I sing
and if sometime somewhere
in a Laundromat
someone speaks about this singing
like she about Garcia Lorca spoke
and danced to his bloody word
then my song
is heard.

Slide show of the evening by Fred Schywek
The Gierik reading brought fun memories of the redaction meetings at my place, each  one involving a bottle of Whiskey (mainly drunk by Dirk Claus) and a bottle of Genever and also a home cooked meal. 

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