SOME POEMS BY PAUL KLEE
some poems by
ANSELM H O L L O
1956 (John Wieners' poems were published by the Auerhahn Press. Pakefield Street.S. Paris.. 1960 Artaud: 'A PAINTER OF THE MIND' from 'Oeuvres Completes.A. U. Zurich.' Tome I. Peter Haertling's by Bechtle Verlag. Gallimard.
This translation © copyright 1962 Anselm Hollo The poems selected from : ' PAUL KLEE .5
.Gedichte ' Verlag der Arche.First published in November 1962 by Scorpion Press Manor House. Suffolk. Munich.)
Printed by Villiers Publications Ltd. Lowestoft. N. London.. Ingestre Road. W .
whatever.' For an English or American reader. . a mastery of ' line '. and were in fact only found after his death : part of them in a blue notebook. They are very much of a piece with his art.. however. a very fine poet and critic of the post-45 generation. Wallace Stevens said that it is identical with poetry. . in 1906 : Brecht before Brecht (' A & B '. formally they are well-knit 'vers libre' (or. often ' sprung '. as are the originals. sometimes mystical. but generally simple. Rainer M. . 1905 ). &c. they have had considerable influence on post-war German poetry. in 'Bimbo's Pome' (1932) . It could be argued that some of them remain at a stage sometimes defined as ' materia poetica': of which.). They should also be corrective to an accusation sometimes levelled at Klee's paintings by casual viewers or champions of the more doctrinaire Surrealists : that of ' Prettiness '. and even the 'illiteralism' of a Beat Saint Peter Orlovsky..ANSELM HOLLO:
• LOOK AT HIS FACE '
Paul Klee's poems were never published anywhere in his lifetime. 1879-1940. the most fascinating literary aspect of these poems is their foresight and modernity . As in Mozart. a
. Apart from the interest these texts have as commentaries and sidelights on Klee's painting. often humorous or cryptically ironic. wrote of them in 1951 : ' I do not know what German poet has written comparable lines during the last fifteen years. Gerhardt...Imagism before Pound & Co. which I have tried to reproduce in my versions by using recurrent rhythmical patterns. others dispersed among the jottings in his now-famous ' Diary '.
Before allowing Antonin Artaud.with a sombre. sceptical.' A Poem for Painters' ' Paul Klee sits weeping behind the windowpane he watches the people go by and they all become lines and he sees only the lines and the lines go by in front of the windowpane ' -Peter H aertling.' -john Wieners. Lavigne says : Look at his face ! he who has spent all night drawing mine. to have his illuminating say on the nature of that vision. I would like to end this note by quoting two word images by young poets. the other Klee's countryman : ' Paul Klee scratched for seven years on smoked glass to develop his line. one American. 1962
. and intense care for achieving a truthful and effective fusion of these elements. 25th January.Kleeboth poet and painter .love for the modes of dance and play. combine in . ' Paul Klee '
London. sometimes even bitter vision of life. a great contemporary of Klee's.
A Painter of the Mind The Happy One Irrational Speech The Two Mountains Individuality A&B The Rescue Dream Dream Poem Poem Poem Poem Dream A Friend My Star The Wolf Speaks Caught Bimbo's Pome The Cat Last Things Last
12 14 15 17 18 19 21 23 24 25 26 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
A PAINTER OF THE MIND
In the embryonic field PAUL KLEE from Germany has produced interesting visions. lnPAULKLEE the objects of the world fall into order. the tidiness of Grosz
. deductions of images with the conclusions to be drawn from these. If you compare these two. Grosz sifts the world. also an ordering of images a search for the hidden sense an illumination of visions in the mind such is. his architectural works of a mental character). his art. reconstructs it to his vision. more apparent than in the realizations of Georges Grosz (a fellow-countryman). to me. and certain cosmic syntheses where all the secret objectivity of things has been rendered apparent. you will see the profound difference in inspiration. I love some of his nightmares his mental syntheses conceived like works of architecture (or. and it seems as if he was only writing down their dictation. An ordering of visions of forms a fixation and stabilization of thoughts inductions. The dryness.
(from ' Bilboquet ')
. if seen against Klee and his ordered visions. for they have retained their true visionary aspect their character of things in the mind.
THE HAPPY ONE
The happy one. above him. who is almost an idiot. one hand holding a watering-pot.
. at the navel of this world. Verdure and blossom. boughs heavy with fruit bend down. bears fruit for him. the other pointing at himself. He stands on his little acre. everything blossoms.
. my kidneys filtering their clear juices. By succeeding?
Has inspiration eyes. infamy stalks me! 3 I must be saved. but right there. or does she walk in her sleep?
At times. my belly goes on digesting.
Even this year..12
A good catch is great consolation.. my hands do fold.
To love music more than anything.
. twelve murders. that is unhappiness.
longing for them who know not they know not and for them who know that they know. he who knows he knows not. But between them the dusky valley of men. one of them looks up he is gripped by foreboding by unquenchable longings.14
THE TWO MOUNTAINS
A reign of light clarity on two mountains : the mountain of animals the mountain of gods.
. When sometimes.
watching it all.. a case of chronic infatuationenter a heavy father. Aunt Chatterbox gossiping in a comer. It is an organism. Poised.to arbitrate . rolling her eyes heavenward. enter a liberal uncle . Myself.. for instance: an entire dramatic company. alcoholic. to argue with a learned professor. enter a hero. in my left hand a sharpened pencil. brutal a rake. astonishment in my eyes.
. these parts would die. Enter an ancestor.15
Individuality? is not of the substance of elements. indivisibly occupied by elementary objects of a divergent character: if you were to attempt division. giggling. And I. A lyrical beauty. to take care of that. Chambermaid Lewdie. prophetic..
a mother is planning her entranceShushhh! you don't belong here you are divisible ! She fades.
A pregnant woman!.
over a bottle of wine. But as they approach that stage where drink moves the heart Each one is moved to such fiery speech that B suddenly finds himself drawn to point A. to point B.
. and A. Faces a-glow they reach out. their hands meet in a bewildered clasp.17
A & B have been arguing long. about their diametrically opposed points of view.
Bound for destruction? Perhaps. in the nick of time. Though I would like to have the experience. I don't want to be overgrown by anything. Surely. I must be saved. I just don't want to. but then. I have this knack of saving myself.
. time and again.
chewing of knuckles then. forever. completely. it had always been much too large. It started with brooding. it was carried away to a region where lust is lost. like a lump of sugar in water My heart came into it too. where the beginning is.19
I was flying home. dissolved. Not a trace of anxiety. now it was swelling. huge. a smell or a taste. distended. my tension resolved.
festively bowing down in front of the artist .20
If now a delegation would come. for I have been where the beginning is I have seen my goddess Madame Proto-Cell and that means as much as: to be fertile!
.hailing his works in gratitudeit would hardly surprise me.
he says. there is a bench of crimson rose petals Take a seat....downright embarrassing . and I pretend to be so he himself sits down without batting an eyelid. my pseudo-posture. Opposite..21
To visit a sorcerer in his garden .. nevertheless still watching me
. but she slams the window! . apologetic. by a window stands the sorcerer's daughter I give her a smile. pray be seated. outraged.
as often as not negligible happenings.
and with less inhibition now. behind her curtain. the great events that called for determination. In dreams moments return that stunned us for moments. do not return.
Water Waves on the water A boat on the waves On the boat-deck. a man.
. a woman On the woman.
Woe is me Weighed down By the hour Returning Alone In the centre The worm Prowling Down in the deep 1913
glow with the dead
I I I I I I stand in full armour am not here stand in the depths stand far . stand very far .
There is only one true thing: in the self a weight.26
The big animals: despondent at table: unsated.
An eye that sees. a small stone. But the small cunning flies scrambling up slopes of bread inherit Buttertown.
Man-Animal: Clock of Blood. Another eye that feels.
a drop in the mountain's beard: that it doesn't trickle! that it is not pierced by the cactus thorn! that you do not sneeze. and burst this bladder !
The moon in the railway station: one of the many lights in the forest.
White in white.
I find my house : empty Gone all the wine The river diverted Stolen my naked joy Eradicated the epitaph.
shorn of their riddle. We were joined by a star. Yesterday's holy stones. il friend. an abstract e m b r a c e of minds. by an eye that found us out.29
Notes from afar. a content. a promise. soon in the morning. Sound of horns. behind the mountain. soon in the morning. Today there is meaning : 'A friend.'
. behind the mountain. Two I's. Emeralds. surmising e ~ c h other. it is more than the vessel. I am summoned by cerebral message.
My star Rose deep Below My feet
Where does my fox Go in the winter? Where does my serpent Sleep?
IS that who has been torn by me is no god! Where.. .. IS one.. addressing himself to the dogs: Tell me. then. where. is their god?
THE WOLF SPEAKS
The wolf speaks. while masticating a man. istell me. where ? then. Here you can see him in the dust at your feet. then. is their god? Where is their god? after this. the god of the dogs To see and to know .
I am flying Free But it is raining A drizzle It is raining. No exit. . . Great peril.32
Caught in a room... But there : a window: open : launch Yourself. a drizzle It is raining rammg rammg . rammg .
that herts Bimbo so mutch in his ear. But has one vice: not smokeing. named Bimbo--
The Master noes what he wonts. But skratches with wip of hoarsehair on the vielin.
-In the manner of Klee's favourite cat. he noes whow.
her foot taking a run. her eye.
. Her face that forbids all return: beautiful and a flower but bristling with weapons. in the end. the run.34
. burning inwards. and nothing to do with us. feeding on spoonfuls of sound.part of the cat: her ear. burning through the thick and the thin.
LAST THINGS LAST
In the heart's centre the only prayers are steps receding