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PAINTINGS BY EMMY VERSCHOOR

VOOR EMMY

Voor Emmy

Zijn het pluimen of bladeren
die ontsnappen uit je binnenste hartkamer
of is het de gloed van de kleur van kloppend bloed
hunkerend naar de stilte van rimpelloos
Water?

Als haar handen vloeibaar worden
krijgt de piano vleugels op het doek
Een boom verbijt haar vergezicht
In de diepte luisteren wortels verrukt
naar de zachte braille van haar bestaan
Tuinen hangen van de wolken
omlaag, omhoog groeien vreemde bloemen
uit een ingebeelde notenbalk.

Guido Vermeulen
14 november 2011


Muziek bij de video: Claude Debussy

woensdag 14 mei 2014

About THE CRYSTAL PRISM

























About the crystal prism

I think that the poetry of David Stone ripens with age like one of these delicious forbidden fruits on the limit of explosion, the sound of taste is so near it becomes free jazz in a city garden.

Not only this is one of his best collections yet (and more to come for sure), it contains also one of the best introductions to his poems I have read, focussing on the politics of his modernist approach. The last paragraph of the intro written by Michael S. Begnal applies to David’s poems as well as to my own art work backing «in close harmony / conspiracy (your choice)» his writings on war and peace, on oppressors and the oppressed and how mythology often translates that, how culture struggles in the mud of mass graves of all kind, in order to survive at least some inches of our common dignity and humanity.
The shadows of the blackbird are always there, on top or under ground, but the only reason of culture is to be counter culture.
The official culture is part of the power system of the rulers, so let’s agree they do not translate or respond to the sounds of freedom of the common people.

A Jewish American poet writing about world war 1 and what that meant for my own country, an historical period known as THE RAPE OF BELGIUM?
How shocking, how revealing, how magnificent, how brave and courageous, how truly international in approach and spirit.
Stone avoids the trap of comparing the barbary of Prussian German militarism with the horrors of nazism that followed during world war 2 and I am grateful for that.
Instead he talks about certain events of the so-called great war that are part of Belgium’s history.
Poems like THE OWL and NIGHT VISION IN THE CLOCK TOWER speak about Louven, city of the major catholic university in the country. LEUVEN (in Dutch) and LOUVAIN (in French). The English LOUVEN blends the 2 major tongues in Belgium 2gether in a name that combines the LOU of the French and the VEN of the Dutch. It is only after the big student rebellion of May 1968 that the French were asked to leave and they created their own university in Louvain-La-Neuve (the new Louvain in the French part of the country).
However one the biggest cultural crimes during WW 1 was the bombardment of this catholic university city by the German army and the destruction of its world famous library with as absurd result the burned archives of the German philosopher Husserl, amongst others.

UNDER THE ORANGE SKY focusses on the battle of Ypres (IEPER / YPRES), a Flemish town bombed to the stone age and where the German army used for the first time the awful weapon of mustard gaz, known later as YPERITE (name derived from that town) and where Belgians stopped the invasion by opening the floodgates and breaching the dikes. So a war of trenches started in a small parcel of the country, the Flemish WESTHOEK (West corner), cornered by the North Sea and part of the border with France. In the mud of these trenches was born the Flemish movement opposing Flemish soldiers to their commanders who only spoke French.
The cover on the crystal prism talks about THE BLACK NORTH SEA and this is not a coincidence.

Of course Belgium (symbolized by cities as Leuven and Ieper) is a «detail» in the Prism.
Stone’s main concern is not a place or a country.
He transcends the problem of war and oppression on a much higher level, using examples of other countries and situations, using classic mythology and modern philosophy, using even anachronism (not creationism) when dinosaurs find a route to enter the modern world of mass destruction, uranium and plutonium, connecting St Petersburg with New York!
Stone insurges against the extermination camps, the gulags and all other slaughterhouses (5 to infinity).

Niemandsgod, niemands sky, niemandsland...
In the nomansland of Passchendaele (near Ypres) 500 000 soldiers died to gain or loose a few square miles of land during the war.
I love how David often introduces words in Dutch, German or Yiddish in his English texts. Het Niemandsland is the area between 2 ennemy trenches that belongs to nobody, the ground of continuous battlefields and corpses...

Read this collection of poems and savour them. They are part of our common memories and if not they are able to restore that memory. This is a MUST read collection!


Guido Vermeulen

April 2014

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