Sunday, November 6, 2016

Buriani Mwandishi John Calvin Rezmerski

Leo hapa Minnesota zimeenea taarifa za kufariki kwa mwandishi John Calvin Rezmerski. Taarifa moja imechapishwa katika Minneapolis Star Tribune. Nilipata bahati ya kuonana naye miaka michache iliyopita mjini Mankato, Minnesota, kwenye tamasha la vitabu, Deep Valley Book Festival. Tuliongea, nikanunua kitabu chake cha mashairi kiitwacho What Do I Know?: New & Selected Poems, ambacho alikisaini hivi:

for Joseph Mbele--
Wonderful to talk with you at Deep Valley Book Festival,
John Calvin Rezmerski

Taarifa tulizopata leo zinaelezea mambo mema mengi ya bwana Rezmerski: alikuwa mwandishi makini wa mashairi, msimuliaji hadithi, mwalimu aliyependwa, mkarimu kwa watu. Kuhusu falsafa ya ushairi ya Rezmerski, Bill Holm, ambaye ni mwandishi maarufu hapa Minnesota, aliwahi kuandika: "John Rezmerski believes that poetry lives inside the daily speech of ordinary people, that the ear and the mouth are connected to the imagination and the heart."

Dhana hiyo ya ushairi inanikumbusha falsafa ya Shaaban Robert na pia William Wordsworth kuhusu ushairi. Inaendana hasa na falsafa ya Wordsworth, ambaye aliamini kuwa lugha ya watu wa kawaida ndio chimbuko la ushairi halisi na ndio inapaswa kutumiwa na washairi, tofauti na lugha ya urasimi, ambayo haikuendana na hisia halisi za binadamu bali ilikuwa lugha tasa.

Mara baada ya kusikia taarifa za kifo cha Rezmerski, nimetafuta nakala yangu ya What Do I Know?: New & Selected Poems, ili kusoma mashairi yaliyomo, kama njia ya kumkumbuka mwandishi huyu ambaye nilibahatika kumwona, ingawa ni mara moja tu. Shairi lake moja ni hili:

THE FUGITIVE

What if after all these years
in the same body,
I turn out to be somebody else?
What a new thing
to decide which pair of pants.
How sweet to have grapefruit
and like it for the first time.
I would burn old letters,
buy a new toothbrush,
learn to like the closeness
of cold on my clean skin.
I would pronounce every word
as though it were fine glass.
It is an old story
I tell the mirror
while I gape at my teeth
looking for someone else's cavities.

Nimelipenda shairi hili kwa jinsi linavyotumia mbinu mbali mbali za kuchezea akili ya msomaji, kuanzia kejeli hadi ubunifu wa mambo yasiyowezekana, hadi kuangalia mambo tuliyoyazoea kwa mtazamo wa kuyafanya yawe ya ajabu. Shairi limejaa mawazo na kauli tusizotegemea. Ili kulisoma na kulitafakari shairi hili kwa umakini, makala maarufu ya Cleanth Brooks, The Language of Paradox, inaweza kusaidia sana.

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