mercoledì 11 luglio 2012

Grazie, Nebbia - Wystan Hugh Auden



(Thank you, Fog - 1974)


Thank You, Fog

Grown used to New York weather, 
all too familiar with Smog,
You, Her unsullied Sister, 
I'd quite forgotten and what
You bring to British winters:
now native knowledge returns. 

Sworn foe to festination, 
daunter of drivers and planes, 
volants, of course, will cause You, 
but how delighted I am
that You've been lured to visit
Wiltshire's witching countryside
for a whole week at Christmas,
that no one can scurry where
my cosmos is contracted
to an ancient manor-house
and four Selves, joined in friendship,
Jimmy, Tania, Sonia, Me. 

Outdoors a shapeless silence, 
for even then birds whose blood
is brisk enough to bid them
abide here all the year round, 
like the merle and the mavis,
at Your cajoling refrain
their jocund interjections, 
no cock considers a scream,
vaguely visible, tree-tops
rustle not but stay there, so
efficiently condensing
Your damp to definite drops.

Indoors specific spaces,
cosy, accommodate to
reminiscence and reading,
crosswords, affinities, fun:
refected by a sapid
supper and regaled by wine,
we sit in a glad circle,
each unaware of our own
nose but alert to the others,
making the most of it, for
how soon we must re-enter,
when lenient days are done, 
the world of the work and money 
and minding our p's and q's. 

No summer sun will ever
dismantle the global gloom
cast by the Daily Papers,
vomiting in slip-shod prose
the facts of filth and violence
that we're too dumb to present:
our earth's a sorry spot, but
for this special interim, 
so restful yet so festive,
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Fog.



Grazie, Nebbia – Wystan Hugh Auden

Abituato al clima newyorkese,
conoscendo lo Smog fin troppo bene,
mi ero dimenticato
di Te, la Sua Sorella immacolata,
di ciò che porti ai nostri inverni inglesi:
conoscenze native si risvegliano.
Acerrima nemica della fretta,
spauracchio di aerei e guidatori,
certo Ti maledice ogni volatile,
ma io sono felicissimo,
perché Ti sei convinta a visitare
le campagne incantevoli del Wiltshire
l’intera settimana di Natale,
e nessuno può correre
nel mio cosmo, ridotto
ad una villa antica e a quattro Monadi
legate da amicizia:
Io, Sonia, Jimmy e Tania.
Fuori un silenzio informe:
persino quegli uccelli spinti a stare
dal loro sangue caldo
qui intorno tutto l’anno,
come il bottaccio e il merlo,
da Te allettati frenano
il loro verso allegro,
nessun gallo si azzarda a strepitare,
e le cime degli alberi, visibili
appena, non stormiscono ma restano
immobili e condensano efficienti
in gocce esatte la Tua umidità.
Dentro, spazi accoglienti ben precisi
rendono confortevole
la lettura e il ricordo, i cruciverba,
le affinità, le risa:
ristorati da sapide cenette
e allietati dal vino,
sediamo lieti in cerchio,
ignari di noi stessi ma solerti
nei confronti degli altri,
cercando quanto più di approfittarne,
perché ben presto occorrerà rientrare,
finiti questi giorni di clemenza,
nel mondo del denaro e del lavoro,
dove si è attenti ad ogni punto e virgola.
Nessun sole d’estate potrà mai
dissolvere le tenebre totali
diffuse dai Giornali,
che vomitano in prosa trasandata
fatti violenti e sordidi
che non riusciamo, sciocchi, ad impedire:
la terra è un brutto posto,
eppure, per quest’attimo speciale,
così tranquillo ma così festoso,
ti rendo Grazie: Grazie, Grazie, Nebbia.



Bellissima raccolta postuma, che raccoglie ciò che Auden scrisse negli ultimi sei mesi di vita, nel pieno della maturità artistica e perfezione compositiva. Giù il cappello, signori: siamo davanti ad un Grande.
Voglio riportare la dedica:

A Michael e Marny Yates
Nessuno di noi è più giovane
Come una volta. E allora?
L'amicizia non invecchia.



"A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language."
Wystan Hugh Auden (England 1907-1973)



46 commenti:

  1. Davvero un grande sapiente, come si dice nella quarta di copertina. Voglio riportare alcuni brevissimi shorts del libro, il primo è un haiku:

    "L'uomo deve infatuarsi
    di Qualcuno o Qualcosa,
    altrimenti si ammala."
    (Man must either fall in love
    with Someone or Something,
    or else fall ill.)

    Insomma, o cade di qua o cade di là.
    Il secondo sconcerterebbe molti credenti, per cui ne riporto solo i versi finali, che condivido in pieno:

    "...Ma resta la Domanda:
    dove l'ha preso Cristo
    quell'altro cromosoma?"
    (But the Question remains:
    from where did Christ get
    that extra chromosome?)

    perché Auden la pensa così:

    "Qualunque sia la fede personale,
    tutti i poeti, per definizione,
    sono politeisti."
    (Whatever their personal faith,
    all poets, as such,
    are polytheists.)

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. What is the good life??? qual è la vita giusta ?
      La bontà è senza tempo!!
      L'ansia di Auden è quella di chi vede la nostra eistenza infelice in un Mondo a cui nulla può essere aggiunto da coloro che vi abitano, ma nel contempo, passa un discorso più etico che religioso,che gli affetti,le relazioni,le cose speciali della vita donano consolazione giustificando azioni e virtù.

      Elimina
    2. Science, like Art, is fun, a playing with truths, and no game
      should ever pretend to slay the heavy-lidden riddle,
      What is the Good Life?
      Common Sense warns me of course to buy
      neither but, when I compare their rival Myths of Being,
      bewigged Descartes looks more outrè
      than the painted wizard.

      (from Unpredictable but Providential - for Loren Eiseley)

      La Scienza, come l'arte è divertente,
      è un baloccarsi con le verità,
      e nessun gioco deve mai aspirare
      ad uccidere l'enigma sonnecchiante:
      Qual è la vita giusta?
      Il mio Buon Senso
      ovviamente, mi avverte di non credere
      a nessuno dei due; se però metto
      i due Miti dell'Essere a confronto,
      Descartes sembra più eccentrico, in parrucca,
      dello stregone dalla faccia tinta.
      (da Imprevedibile ma provvidenziale, W.H.Auden)

      Elimina
  2. Quattro amici,le risate,le cene,il fuoco,un vecchio cottege nella campagna del Wiltshire e la nebbia tutta intorno ,che rievoca vecchi ricordi.Questa poesia è il congedo del poeta,la sua ultima opera,che anche se pessimista trova consolazione ricordanto attimi speciali
    Egli riesce a dare una visione altamente ironica e stranamente familiare delle sue passioni ,diventa sapiente senza cadere nella retorica e nella banalità.
    Elogia la nebbia "acerrima nemica della fretta che accarezza il mondo" e trasporta il Mondo stesso lontano dalle logiche della produzione laddove"si è attenti ad ogni punto e virgola"

    RispondiElimina
  3. Arrivato per caso, aggiungo due versi di questo bel libro, piuttosto attuali, ringrazio per l'ospitalità e adesso che so la strada tornerò! Prima l'inglese poi l'italiano. Marco B12

    Policy ought to conform to Liberty, Law and Compassion,
    but, as a rule, It Obeys Selfishness, Vanity, Funk.

    La politica dovrebbe adeguarsi a Libertà, Legge e Compassione,
    ma di regola Essa Obbedisce a Vanità, Egoismo e Tremarella.

    RispondiElimina
  4. Premetto che non l'ho ancora letto, ma, prescindendo da questo, Auden mi piace in assoluto. Trovo splendida l'immagine della nebbia ovattata che in campagna ci isola dal mondo, rendendoci intimamente felici, lontani per un poco dalle brutture quotidiane della città che ci rendono sciocchi e impotenti.

    RispondiElimina
  5. Grande poeta e grande uomo. Mi piace tutto di lui, perché la lucidità umana, sociale, politica e morale siano di esempio a chiunque.

    RispondiElimina
  6. Mi piace assai:

    RECITATIVE BY DEATH – W.H. AUDEN
    Ladies and gentlemen, you have made most remarkable
    Progress, and progress I agree, is a boon;
    You have built more automobiles then are parkable,
    Crashed the sound-barrier, and may very soon
    Be setting up juke-boxes on the Moon:
    But I beg to remind you that, despite all that,
    I, Death, still am and will always be Cosmocrat.
    Still I sport with the young and daring; at my whim,
    The climber steps upon the rotten boulder,
    The undertow catches the boys as they swim,
    The speeder steers onto the slippery shoulder:
    With others I wait until they are older
    Before assigning, according to my humor,
    To one a coronary, to one a tumor.
    Liberal my views upon religion and race;
    Tax-posture, credit-rating, social ambition
    Cut no ice with me. We shall meet face to face,
    Despite the drugs and lies of your physician,
    The costly euphemisms of the mortician:
    Westchester matron and Bowery bum,
    Both shall dance with me when I rattle my drum.

    RECITATIVO SULLA MORTE – W.H. AUDEN

    Signore e signori, siete stati artefici di un incredibile
    progresso – e il progresso, concordo anch’io – è una gran fortuna;
    avete costruito più auto di quanto sia possibile
    parcheggiarne, infranto la barriera del suono e senza alcuna
    esitazione installerete presto juke-box sulla Luna.
    Ma io vi prego di ricordare che io, la Morte, sono e resto
    sempre Cosmocrate, nonostante tutto questo.
    Mi trastullo ancora con i giovani e gli audaci; secondo
    Il mio capriccio, lo scalatore mette il piede su una roccia dissestata,
    i ragazzi che nuotano vengono tirati giù dalle correnti di fondo
    e chi accelera slitta su una strada gelata:
    con gli altri attendo, che raggiungano un’età avanzata
    prima di assegnare, a seconda dell’umore,
    a chi un infarto, a chi un tumore.
    Quanto a razza e religione sono assai tollerante;
    ambizioni sociali, fasce di reddito e asset finanziari
    con me servono a poco. Ci incontreremo di persona, nonostante
    le medicine e le bugie di medici e sanitari
    e i costosi eufemismi degli agenti funerari:
    la signora del Westchester e il barbone del Bowery al rullare
    del mio tamburo si metteranno entrambi, insieme, a danzare.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Mentre in Funeral Blues Auden affrontava la Morte in tutta la tragica negatività, in questa ballata la trasforma in una Totentanz quasi festosa!

      Elimina
    2. I love it when individuals get together and share views. Great blog, continue the good work!

      Elimina
    3. I needed to thank you for this wonderful read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post…

      Elimina
  7. e così lo abbiamo comprato: non lo avevamo e lo volevamo. E' sempre un piacere leggere Auden. Bellissima la poesia di apertura, Grazie Nebbia, e fulminanti gli shorts. E mi è piaciuta moltissimo anche questa, di cui trascrivo il finale:

    Archeologia - CODA (Wynstan Hugh Auden)

    Dall'Archeologia
    possiamo trarre almeno una morale:
    cioè che tutti i nostri
    libri di scuola mentono.
    Ciò che chiamiamo Storia non è nulla
    di cui poter vantarsi,
    in quanto è stata fatta
    dal criminale in noi:
    la bontà è senza tempo.

    Archaeology - CODA (W.H. Auden)

    From Archaeology
    one moral, at least, may be drawn,
    to wit, that all
    our school text-books lie.
    What they call History
    is nothing to vaunt of,
    being made, as it is,
    by the criminal in us:
    goodness is timeless.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Amazing! Its really amazing paragraph, I have got much clear idea concerning from this article.

      Elimina
  8. ‎"Chi ci viene a negare che le "dolorose" realtà come l'atomica, la violenza e la droga non saranno più attuali fra un secolo e fra due? E che il rapporto fra gli uomini per quel tempo si sarà modificato? "Legati a noi stessi per la vita, dobbiamo apprendere come sopportarci a vicenda" (The Dyer's Hand - W.H.Auden)

    RispondiElimina
  9. ‎"Ama il tuo cattivo vicino con il tuo cattivo cuore, ma ama il tuo buon vicino con il tuo buon cuore" W.H.Auden

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. quello che mi diceva mia nonna: educata con gli educati, ignoranta con gli ignoranti

      Elimina
  10. Un altro mondo, un poeta unico e da leggere, meditare, rileggere e assaporare verso su verso. Mi fa piacere che siate in tanti a pensarla come me, ci ha lasciato pagine indimenticabili, eredità universale per tutti quelli che forse non sapranno scrivere come lui, ma certamente fanno tesoro dei suoi pensieri.

    RispondiElimina
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    RispondiElimina
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  13. PROGRESS? - WYSTAN HUGH AUDEN

    Sessile, unseeing,
    the Plant is wholly content
    with the Adjacent.

    Mobilised, sighted,
    the Beast can tell Here from There
    and Now from Not-Yet.

    Talkative, anxious
    Man can picture the Absent
    and Not-Existent.

    PROGRESSO? - WYSTAN HUGH AUDEN

    Sessile, non vedente,
    la Pianta è totalmente soddisfatta
    di Ciò che le è Adiacente.

    Mobile e vedente,
    la Bestia sa distinguere il Qua e il Là
    e l'Ora e il Non-Ancora.

    Loquace e ansioso,
    l'Uomo può immaginare Ciò che è Assente
    e il Non-Esistente.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
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      Elimina
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  21. regalo di Natale da parte di Auden. Questo brano è tratto dal "Religious Drama", non da Thank you, Fog.

    AT THE MANGER - WYSTAN HUGH AUDEN

    MARY:
    O shut your bright eyes that mine must endanger
    With their watchfulness; protected by its shade
    Escape from my care: what can you discover
    From my tender look but how to be afraid?
    Love can but confirm the more it would deny.
    Close your bright eye.

    Sleep. What have you learned from the womb that bore you
    But an anxiety your Father cannot feel?
    Sleep. What will the flesh that I gave do for you,
    Or my mother love, but tempt you from His will?
    Why was I chosen to teach His Son to weep?
    Little One, sleep.

    Dream. In human dreams earth ascends to Heaven
    Where no one need pray nor ever feel alone.
    In your first few hours of life here, O have you
    Chosen already what death must be your own?

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. AL PRESEPE – WYSTAN HUGH AUDEN
      (traduzione di Aurora Ciliberti)

      MARIA
      Chiudi i tuoi occhi splendenti, che i miei possono mettere in pericolo
      con la loro vigilanza; protetti dalle palpebre
      sfuggono alla mia cura: cosa potresti scoprire
      nel mio tenero sguardo se non il timore?
      L’amore solo può confermare quanto più vorrebbe negare.
      Chiudi i tuoi occhi splendenti.

      Dormi. Cosa hai appreso dal grembo che ti ha portato
      se non l’ansietà che tuo Padre non può sentire?
      Dormi. Cosa farà per te la carne che ti ho dato
      o il mio amore di madre, se non tentarti dal Suo volere?
      Perché sono stata scelta per insegnare a Suo figlio il pianto?
      Mio piccolo, dormi.

      Sogna. Nei sogni umani la terra ascende al Cielo
      dove nessuno ha bisogno di pregare né ha da sentirsi solo.
      Nelle tue prime ore di vita, qui, hai tu
      già scelto quale sarà la tua morte?
      Quanto presto inizierai la Via del Dolore?
      Sogna mentre lo puoi.

      Elimina

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  27. "The Novelist" by W.H. Auden

    Encased in talent like a uniform,
    The rank of every poet is well known;
    They can amaze us like a thunderstorm,
    Or die so young, or live for years alone.
    They can dash forward like hussars: but he
    Must struggle out of his boyish gift and learn
    How to be plain and awkward, how to be
    One after whom none think it worth to turn.

    For, to achieve his lightest wish, he must
    Become the whole of boredom, subject to
    Vulgar complaints like love, among the Just

    Be just, among the Filthy filthy too,
    And in his own weak person, if he can,
    Must suffer dully all the wrongs of Man.

    RispondiElimina
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    RispondiElimina
  29. foreign affair04/07/14, 18:33

    "Are You There?" by W.H. Auden

    "Each lover has some theory of his own
    About the difference between the ache
    Of being with his love, and being alone:

    Why what, when dreaming, is dear flesh and bone
    That really stirs the senses, when awake,
    Appears a simulacrum of his own.

    Narcissus disbelieves in the unknown;
    He cannot join his image in the lake
    So long as he assumes he is alone.

    The child, the waterfall, the fire, the stone,
    Are always up to mischief, though, and take
    The universe for granted as their own.

    The elderly, like Proust, are always prone
    To think of love as a subjective fake;
    The more they love, the more they feel alone.

    Whatever view we hold, it must be shown
    Why every lover has a wish to make
    Some kind of otherness his own:
    Perhaps, in fact, we never are alone."

    RispondiElimina
  30. foreign affair04/07/14, 18:33

    "Epitaph on a Tyrant" by W.H. Auden (1907 - 1973)

    Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
    And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
    He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
    And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
    When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
    And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

    RispondiElimina
  31. foreign affair04/07/14, 18:34

    "A New Age" by W.H. Auden

    "So an age ended, and its last deliverer died
    In bed, grown idle and unhappy; they were safe:
    The sudden shadow of a giant's enormous calf
    Would fall no more at dusk across their lawns outside.

    They slept in peace: in marshes here and there no doubt
    A sterile dragon lingered to a natural death,
    But in a year the spoor had vanished from the heath:
    A kobold's knocking in the mountain petered out.

    Only the scupltors and the poets were half sad,
    And the pert retinue from the magician's house
    Grumbled and went elsewhere. The vanished powers were glad

    To be invisible and free; without remorse
    Struck down the sons who strayed in their course,
    And ravished the daughters, and drove the fathers mad."

    RispondiElimina
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    RispondiElimina
  33. I every time spent my half an hour to read this blog's posts all the time along with a mug of coffee.

    RispondiElimina
  34. "The Watershed" by W.H. Auden

    Who stands, the crux left of the watershed,
    On the wet road between the chafing grass
    Below him sees dismantled washing-floors,
    Snatches of tramline running to a wood,
    An industry already comatose,
    Yet sparsely living. A ramshackle engine
    At Cashwell raises water; for ten years
    It lay in flooded workings until this,
    Its latter office, grudgingly performed.
    And, further, here and there, though many dead
    Lie under the poor soil, some acts are chosen,
    Taken from recent winters; two there were
    Cleaned out a damaged shaft by hand, clutching
    The winch a gale would tear them from; one died
    During a storm, the fells impassable,
    Not at his village, but in wooden shape
    Through long abandoned levels nosed his way
    And in his final valley went to ground.
    Go home, now, stranger, proud of your young stock,
    Stranger, turn back again, frustrate and vexed:
    This land, cut off, will not communicate,
    Be no accessory content to one
    Aimless for faces rather there than here.
    Beams from your car may cross a bedroom wall,
    They wake no sleeper; you may hear the wind
    Arriving driven from the ignorant sea
    To hurt itself on pane, on bark of elm
    Where sap unbaffled rises, being spring;
    But seldom this. Near you, taller than the grass,
    Ears poise before decision, scenting danger.
    August 1927

    RispondiElimina
  35. ‘If I could tell you’ by Wystan Hugh Auden

    Time will say nothing but I told you so,
    Time only knows the price we have to pay;
    If I could tell you I would let you know.
    If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
    If we should stumble when musicians play,
    Time will say nothing but I told you so.
    There are no fortunes to be told, although,
    Because I love you more than I can say,
    If I could tell you I would let you know.
    The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
    There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
    Time will say nothing but I told you so.
    Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
    The vision seriously intends to stay;
    If I could tell you I would let you know.
    Suppose all the lions get up and go,
    And all the brooks and soldiers run away;
    Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
    If I could tell you I would let you know.

    RispondiElimina
  36. by Everyman's Library05/05/15, 07:10

    "Grub First, Then Ethics" by W.H. Auden

    Should the shade of Plato
    Visit us, anxious to know
    how anthropos is, we could say to him: "Well,
    we can read to ourselves, our use
    of holy numbers would shock you, and a poet
    may lament—'Where is Telford
    whose bridged canals are still a Shropshire glory
    where Muir who on a Douglas Spruce
    rode out a storm and called an earthquake noble,
    where Mr. Vynyian Board,
    thanks to whose life-long fuss the hunted whale now suffers
    a quicker death?'—without being
    called an idiot, though none of them bore arms or
    made a public splash," then "Look!"
    we would point, for a dig at Athens, "Here
    is the place where we cook."
    Though built in Lower Austria
    do-it-yourself America
    prophetically blueprinted this
    palace kitchen for kingdoms
    where royalty would be incognito, for an age when
    Courtesy might think: "From your voice
    and the back of your neck I know we shall get on
    but cannot tell from your thumbs
    who is to give the orders." The right note is harder
    to hear than in the Age of Poise
    when She talked shamelessly to her maid and sang
    noble lies with Him, but struck
    it can be still in New Knossos where if I am
    banned by a shrug it is my fault,
    not Father's, as it is my taste whom
    I put below the salt.
    The prehistoric hearthstone,
    round as a birthday-button
    and sacred to Granny, is as old
    stuff as the bowel-loosening
    nasal war cry, but this all-electric room
    where ghosts would feel uneasy,
    a witch at a loss, is numinous and again
    the centre of a dwelling
    not, as lately it was, an abhorrent dungeon
    where the warm unlaundered meiny
    belched their comic prose and from a dream of which
    chaste Milady awoke blushing.
    House-proud, deploring labor, extolling work,
    these engines politely insist
    that banausics can be liberals,
    a cook a pure artist
    who moves Everyman
    at a deeper level than
    Mozart, for the subject of the verb
    to-hunger is never a name:
    dear Adam and Eve had different bottoms,
    but the neotene who marches
    upright and can subtract reveals a belly
    like a serpent's with the same
    vulnerable look. Jew, Gentile, or Pigmy,
    he must get his calories
    before he can consider her profile or
    his own, attack you or play chess,
    and take what there is however hard to get down:
    then surely those in whose creed
    God is edible may call a fine
    omelet a Christian deed.
    The sin of Gluttony
    is ranked among the Deadly
    Seven, but in murder mysteries
    one can be sure the gourmet
    didn't do it: children, brave warriors out of a job,
    can weigh pounds more than they should
    and one can dislike having to kiss them yet,
    compared with the thin-lipped, they
    are seldom detestable. Some waiter grieves
    for the worst dead bore to be a good
    trencherman, and no wonder chefs mature into
    choleric types, doomed to observe
    Beauty peck at a master-dish, their one reward
    to behold the mutually hostile
    mouth and eyes of a sinner married
    at the first bite of a smile.
    The houses of our City
    are real enough but they lie
    haphazardly scattered over the earth,
    and Her vagabond forum
    is any space where two of us happen to meet
    who can spot a citizen
    without papers. So, too, can her foes. Where the
    power lies remains to be seen,
    the force, though, is clearly with them: perhaps only
    by falling can She become
    Her own Vision, but we have sworn under four eyes
    to keep Her up—all we ask for,
    should the night come when comets blaze and meres break,
    is a good dinner, that we
    may march in high fettle, left foot first,
    to hold her Thermopylae.

    *

    Poems: Auden is just another reminder of his exhilarating lyric power and his understanding of love and longing in all their sacred and profane guises. One of English poetry's great 20th century masters, Poems: Auden is the short collection of an exemplary champion of human wisdom in its encounter with the mysteries of experience.

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