Thursday, June 4, 2009

David Bromige

David Bromige died yesterday June 3. He was at the 1995 conference in Vancouver in honour of Robin Blaser, who also died recently. Bromige's paper can be found in the book The Recovery of the Public World: it's entitled "The Poetics of the Vulnerable." A few sentences:

"Vulnerability is a desired quality in poetry as in life more generally. . . . That which is vulnerable has room for us in it, as it has room for the new. We well may disagree with it . . . but we will be able to do so from within the work. It will be not-teflon."

A number of poems by Bromige, selected by Meredith Quartermain, can be found in Golden Handcuffs Review 10:

On the East Village Poetry Web, there's a link to Bromige's poem "Fall," which is his translation of Rilke's "Autumn" into "Californian" English. First Rilke's poem (English trans. Stephen Mitchell):


Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.

Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
grant them a few more warm transparent days,
urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

Now Bromige:

(Rilke into Californian)

Man, where'd the time go? Detroit?.
But summer was really, really great.

Stand that side of the sundial, will ya?
I want to dig the shadows.

Robert Duncan's freaking in the meadow.

Those apples can't get a whole lot riper.
Give em a couple more hot days.
My friends who have the winery are already making the wine.

It's getting chilly, nights. If you don't have a pad by now,
Too bad. If you're not seeing someone
You're likely stuck that way, they went back to school.

Crack a book yourself. Write in Starbucks.
Go walkabout downtown. [Time passes]. Hey, lookit
the leaves, wind, etc. doing their thing. Rustle rustle.
Contrast and compare yourself. Cool!

Next The East Village Poetry

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