Translation of Eric Mottram's TIME SIGHT UNSEEN, Part 3 by T Wignesan
Translation of Eric Mottram’s TIME SIGHT UNSEEN, Part Three by T. Wignesan
"Instead of an item in a school of rhetoric, the poem could have variety of articulations, continuity and discontinuity, sentence and parataxis, and an awareness of the imaginative possibilities of relationship between particles”.
December 29, 1924 - January 17, 1995, prolific poet, editor of the Poetry Review (organ of The Poetry Society in England during the seventies), eminent critic (Times Literary Supplement) and Emeritus Professor of English and American Literature at King’s College, University of London in 1990. He won a scholarship from Blackpool Grammar School to Cambridge, but chose to join the Royal Navy in 1943. He obtained a Double First in English Tripos (1947-1950) at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, after serving out the War as second-in-command of a mine-sweeper in the Baltic and the Bay of Bengal.
Just for the anecdote, his family traces its descent from the times of the Norman Conquest as " Lords of the Manor " on his father's side. His father was a civil servant who worked to put in place Britain's social security system. Once in 1964, Eric showed me - somewhat diffidently - the family's Coat of Arms, saying : " Do you know what this is ? ", and I never (for a while) stopped kidding him about it all. The real reason why he didn't take up the posts offered to him in the States - such as a professorship at Rutgers - was that he was very proud of being " British " ; yet he owed his post at London University to an American : Professor Robert Earnest SPILLER who authored The Literary History of the United States (1948).
The following translation is the third part of “Time Sight Unseen”, published in The Poetry/Rare Books Collection, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1993, n.p.
un monstre à plat ventre là-bas
sous le feu du projecteur-ici il comme c’est
aveugle envers mis k.-o.
tombe en panne une plaine bosselée
pas de rêves visionnaires
pour ce mécanisme se roulant
plus ou moins
est simplement en train de poursuivre ses affaires
vous ne vous souviendrai pas de rien
pendant trois heures et du quart
une conscience alternative
ce n’est pas l’équilibre cet état
maintenant regardez l’équilibre et déclarez
perte du contrôle
mais dans quelle mesure
étranger à cet endroit
où un autre à peine moi
même pas récupérable par la folie
puisque j’ai été dérobé
vécu ailleurs en marchant maintenant non-sens
ce présent non-voulu
se pénétrant et devient parmi
l’étranger silencieux parmi nos
mangeant la grande recette
(c) T. Wignesan - Paris, 2017
Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2017
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