(Incidentally, further thoughts on Sutherland’s second Ode TL61P are now on arduity)
This is a bit of a revelation – film of Prynne reading nearly all of ‘To Pollen’ and ‘Refuse Collection’ in Paris in 2009 together with Pierre Alferi reading his translation of ‘Pearls that Were’. Given the reservations that Prynne expressed in ‘Mental Ears’ (and alluded to here), I’m reluctant to claim any staggering new insights but I do want to note the following:
- Prynne reads very clearly and the sound quality is excellent- this contrasts somewhat with the ‘Prynne in China’ dvd;
- He makes an interesting comment about the difficulties involved in following the more direct approach adopted in ‘Refuse Collection’;
- his phrasing allows me to put some of the commas back into ‘To Pollen’;
- he makes slight changes to some of the words and leaves out the penultimate poem in the ‘To Pollen’ collection;
- he plays music to the audience before reading, soothing lyrical music which is in total contrast to the angry polemic of the verse;
- he taps his foot as he reads, the camera pans down to capture this.
- watching and listening to him read (on this occasion) has enhanced my appreciation of both poems.
The changes made to words in the text may be minor and some may be attributed to mis-reading but I’m not comfortable with the fact that these alternatives have been placed in my head, adding a further dimension to pay attention to. The other question that needs to be asked is whether the penultimate poem was omitted on purpose or whether this was done in error. My only quibble is the annoying layout of the page, it took me a little while to realise that each of the four segments could be accessed by means of the slide bar on the left side of the screen and a further few minutes to realise that the segment could be paused by clicking on the screen.
I also want to try and describe the experience of listening to a reading of ‘To Pollen’ with the words in front of me. I’ve had this tome since December 2009 and initially engaged with it enthusiastically, there are two posts on this blog expressing this enthusiasm and my own vanity in working some bits out. I then became distracted by the awesome (in every sense) austerity of ‘Streak~~Willing~~Entourage~~Artesian’ and have given ‘To Pollen’ a bit of a rest. As a result of this reading, I’m now fully immersed in the multi-dimensional aspects of the work and am now of the view that it might be better (ie more satisfying) than either ‘Streak’ or ‘Unanswering Rational Shore’ because the experience of hearing the words read ina professional manner has added greater depth to my appreciation (as opposed to my understanding which is still fairly tenuous). This reading and listening activity is proving oddly addictive and pleasurable, it feels like I’m in the presence of something quite important rather than’just’ listening to a poem.
I can’t pass judgement on the French translations that are also read but I’m sure that they’ll provide a feast for those who are more fluent than me.