We missed Reddit’s Poetry last month because of the Covid-19 lockdown so I’ve decided to make this short video clip instead. It’s three haiku with a water theme that I found at The Haiku Foundation’s website. Each of them is overlain on one of my photos of Eastern Cape waterfalls:
Wally Swist’s haiku with the Upper Kowie Falls in Featherstone Kloof near Grahamstown;
Ron Moss’s haiku with the Madonna and Child Falls at Hogsback;
Bashō’s classic haiku with The Upper Tyumie Falls at Hogsback.
In this video Tomas Tranströmer reads several of his most evocative poems (in Swedish, with subtitles in English) against translucent backdrops of the Swedish countryside that so inspires him. The video also tells of the 2011 Nobel prize and highlights his piano playing, which echoes through the whole piece. I was pleasantly surprised to find some of my favourite poems are in the video. I have read them at Reddit’s poetry – usually switching between my imperfect Swedish and the English translations. I came across his poems quite by chance three years ago when I saw his collected works (in English) in the Academic Bookshop, Göteborg. After quickly browsing through them I bought the book. Then I had to pluck up the courage to find them in Swedish translation and attempt to do justice to them by reading them aloud at Reddit’s.
My contribution at last month’s Reddits Poetry evening was Waka Waka Bang Splat! I was inspired to seek out another ‘internet’ poem following Harry Owen’s hilarious reading of John Lindley’s ‘the F word’ the month previously . Waka Waka claims to be the World’s First (1990) Internet Special Characters Poem. It was published by Fred Bremmer and Steve Kroese in response to questions about just how to say < > ! * and all those other funny special characters. Thanks to Harry for helping with the flip chart version which allowed the audience to perform it in karaoke style ……