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„Vielleicht hilft es uns“, schrieb Dieter M. Gräf in seiner Eröffnungsmail an Alessandro De Francesco, „wenn wir uns über post-poésie Gedanken machen, klarer zu sehen, wo wir derzeit stehen?“ Beide Dichter beschäftigen sich mit Entgrenzungen, mit anderen Medien, und haben in einer Korrespondenz für den poetenladen ihr Verständnis von zeitgenössischer Dichtung vorgebracht und weiter entwickelt. Nun werden sich weitere Dichter und Lyrikexperten äußern.
Han van der Vegt, 1961 in Utrecht geboren, ist Dichter, Essayist und Übersetzer und lebt nun in Arnheim. Er hat bis jetzt vier Bücher mit Poesie veröffentlicht. Das letzte, Exorbitans (BnM Uitgevers, Nijmegen 2006), besteht aus einem einzigen Gedicht, einem Science-Fiction-Epos über die Reisen des gleich­namigen Raum­schiffes. Ein anderes, mehr als tausend Zeilen langes Gedicht, De paladijnen, beschreibt eine post-apokalyptische Gral­suche von nano­techno­logisch aus­gestat­teten Gelände­wagen und wurde in der Zeit­schrift De Gids publiziert.

Achtes Statement | Han van der Vegt

The Body Poetic
The strangest thing about this contribution is that it has taken the form of a personal journey of discovery. I am not quite comfortable with that. You see, I do not even believe in the author as such. I do believe though in my own limitations as a biological entity.

I subscribe to most of what in my mind are the central tenets of postmodernist poetry: poems are realities in themselves and are just as real as other realities. They are language entities, but all of our reality, or at least our perception of it, is built from language systems. They have to be well-constructed to be able to stand up, but nobody can tell you beforehand what good construction is. They cannot gain in validity from a more or less faithful imitation of or references to other realities, if such a thing were possible, and neither can the circumstances of their creation add anything to them. But, being realities, they do have a responsibility towards other realities. This is of course the most difficult point. There is still no way to go from ‘is’ to ‘ought’. Once you keep this responsibility in mind, you can do anything. There are quite literally no rules. Although there are vast amounts of bad poetry.

But none of all this helps me to write poetry. And I must confess, to me, that might well be the central question. How to write? How to write as much as I can, for as long as I can? I am very susceptible to the sensation of being prolific. I love the luxury of it. I love to immerse myself in the sensuous perplexity of my own lines. It may be superficial. It may be escapist. I do not even believe in pleasure or fun as a self-motivating principle. Still, with hindsight, I have come to the conclusion that my search for better ways to keep on writing is one of the most determining factors in my poetry. Physically, biologically, I am much more inclined to write for stretches of a few hours at a time, then to put down a few well-considered words now and then. By nature, I am not a minimalist. You might think that my temperament is better suited for prose. But you would be wrong. It is suited for a different kind of poetry.

‘Recht pittoresk in seiner Kleinformatigkeit und Bedachtheit’. My experience is more or less the same as Dieter’s. At the end of the last century, I was bored and frustrated with (especially) Dutch contemporary poetry. It had pretentions to having shed the restrictions of genre, but if it had, it was so self-satisfied with this success that it did not feel the need to move beyond those restrictions. Poems fitted on a single page and were concerned with the life of the mind, or, for the more experimental poetry, the language of the mind. If they were in any way technically accomplished, they never flaunted this accomplishment. They were soft spoken, well-behaved, modest and mercifully short.

More or less by accident, I stumbled upon some medieval epics and other longer poems that made me jealous. These explored possibilities that have since been blocked to poetry, probably because they were deemed the province of prose. These poems dared to be outrageous and fantastical, they dared to use the full force of rhetoric, they dared to tell stories.
I started learning some of these poems by heart, initially to understand them better, but later more for the physical experience of reciting them, of carrying them with me in my body all the time.

Most of it came down to the form. As a first experiment, I started writing poems with lines of the same number of syllables. I found this exhilarating, because it felt as if the poem immediately took on a personality of its own, in a very physical way. I started exploring other fixed forms. The forms forced me to be inventive, to write differently from how I used to write. With a slight exaggeration, I could say that they forced me to become someone else, a different poet, with each set of rules I devised for each different poem. I could leave the ego behind and live in the poem. Moving away from the personal had two aspects. First, my poems were no longer written from my own perspective. I could stretch out. What if, for instance, I wrote from the perspective of a group? This to me is intensely interesting, because it almost automatically involves social and political questions. Second, I could no longer be bothered with my personal integrity or reputation. If I had an idea, however ridiculous or silly, I would run with it. I developed what you might call an experimental mindset, even though my poetry started to look less and less experimental. It started to look like huge chunks of verse.

Wild associations, weird connections to all kinds of realities suggested themselves. Language expanded. Ideas started to happen to me, instead of arising painfully slowly and botched from numbing self-questioning. I could sit down in the morning and write till I had enough.

Soon after a format starts to feel comfortable, when the writing becomes easier, faster, I stop. I start from scratch in a different system, with different rules. I do not know how long I will keep this up. I might well end my days indulging in some gargantuan epic of rollicking pentameters. Right now, I would not advise you to read it.
Die Lyrik-Konferenz wird an dieser Stelle mit weiteren Teilnehmern fortgesetzt. Kommentare können per E-Mail gesandt werden.
Han van der Vegt   30.05.2009  
  1. post-poésie (I)
  2. post-poésie (II)
  3. ästhetisch links
  4. against dualisms
  5. Transfer
  6. (anti)political and transfer process
  7. jetzt
  8. no first class second hand!
  1. Lucas Hüsgen:
    In einer Hoffnung auf Wildnis
  2. Sylvia Geist:
    Finden, Fiebern, Übersehen
  3. Jean-Marie Gleize:
    L'excès – la prose
  4. Noura Wedell:
    Prejudice Perception
  5. Jan Volker Röhnert:
    Poesie und Gedicht
  6. Jayne-Ann Igel:
    Was auf der Hand liegt
  7. Anja Utler:
    Unter dem post-Deckchen
  8. Han van der Vegt:
    The Body Poetic
  9. Tom Pohlmann:
    Entgrenzungen. Oszillationen
  10. Flavio Ermini:
    La passione del dire
  11. Christian Schloyer:
    Tractatus ...
  12. Jérôme Game:
    Poetics of the borders
  13. Jürgen Brôcan:
    „... daß wir können sicher schreiben ...“
  14. Hans Thill:
    Weder Gott noch Metrum
  15. Tom Schulz:
    Anstelle einer Poetik
  16. Norbert Lange: