読者です 読者をやめる 読者になる 読者になる

ワザリング・ハイツ -annex-

どんなに忙しい毎日でも、紅茶を飲んで、ほっとひと息。

Inger Christensen / alphabet


I took this book because Yoko Tawada in Exophony introduced. The version I read is an English translation by Susanna Enid, which was given the prize of translation in America. A Japanese translation is not published at present, unfortunately.

This is a long poem which is divided into the fourteen chapters, from “a” to “n”, and each chapter begins with a letter “a”, “b”... in order. A number of lines in each chapter, based on Fibonacci’s sequence, gradually increases. It is interesting to find a clue of structuring a poem by means of mathematics. By repetition of words and images (here is also in each economic), an image reappears in another context, which draws different or diverse meanings from one in the previous context. Like mathematics, not a number but an image is piled up to associate all the things organically.

The theme penetrating through it consistently is “war.” The verb “exist” is used many times in order to imply death behind it, at the same time, the fact that apricot trees, a gun, the atomic bomb are equally existed in the world is related. Not to discern human being from the things connotes that, for instance, the atomic bomb indiscriminatingly annihilates all existence from human to the things. Take the passage referring to the cobalt bomb.


there’s no more to
say; we ensure that
the harm is as great
as it can be; there’s no
more to say; we

ensure ourselves all or
nothing; there’s no
more to say; by
ensuring that all
can be turned into

nothing, we
lose the capacity to
think of nothing,
of no a thing
in the world as we

say, when we simply
are being; there’s
no more to
say; we
ensure


In this way, it is insisted that existence of human is nothing particular before the arm. In early part of the poem, the author narrates that all the things in the world “exist”, because it seems true that ‘all can end up being swept away that even the difference between them is not necessary.’ In addition, when Hiroshima and Nagasaki are referred to, it is told, “since then the wounded / have died, first many, / most, then fewer, but / all; finally.” Here is a sad reality that a dying man and a dead man are not to be necessarily discriminated because we end up dying. There’s “no more to say” as we’re going to die if saying or not saying.

Nevertheless, Christensen remarks as for saying words.


I write like the early
spring that writes
common alphabet
of anemones beeches
violets wood-sorrel
[...]
I write like the beating
heart writes


To write with the word everybody can read — is, of course, to write in a way everyone understands (this is like “Introduction” of Songs of Innocence by William Blake). Saying something might be vain, but writing is full of much significance. What we should tell before our death and what we should write are associated. This is a poet-like remark indeed.