Lutz Seiler’s “Script for Blind Giants”: Songs from Pine Walt

Lutz Seiler's "Script for Blind Giants": Songs from Pine Walt

The mythical figure of the Achaemenids is not one of the conquerors in history. In his “Metamorphoses”, Ovid counts him among Odysseus’s companions, who stood beside him in the glare of the giant Polyphemus. But when Odysseus and his followers managed to escape from the cave of Polyphemus, Achaemenides was left alone.

In Lutz Seiler’s new poems, Achaemenides, abandoned by his friends, is a kind of mythological figure of the poet, left to his own devices in the realm of history.

In the darkness of the cave, the abandoned person begins to reinterpret the world: “The world was writing and I/You were the voice”. The “blind giant” is no longer an enemy, but an ally. The motif of the “blind giant” appears in this magnificent book of poems in two other places, all intended to be recognizable.

Following his two groundbreaking novels “Cruso” (2014) and “Stern 111” (2019), Lutz Seiler has returned to his own genre, poetry, with which his literary path to success began two decades ago.

“Good Poetry Should Be a Waterfall”

In his essays he has often explained that he does not like anecdotal, narrative inattentive poetry as it is predicated, but that he is more concerned with the creation of poems than with the sensitive nervous system of memory.

Its protagonist Karl Bischoff, who goes from a bricklayer to a poet in “Stern 111”, described the poetic brilliance of a poem so succinctly that his definition was used as part of the section “Script for the Blind Giants”. can also be done for (Suhrkamp, ​​Berlin 2021.112 pp., €24.) Can claim: “Good poetry should be a single spring, a twinkling stream in that magical light that it has always produced of itself.”

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It is fascinating how Seiler, with his poetic art of transformation, takes the motifs and opening scenes of his early versions of poetry and casts them into new constellations. Poetic memory is here closely associated with noise, tools and natural substances.

As in “Stern 111” there is an intimate, almost religious metaphysics with which the lyrical egotism device and happily approaches the tangible everyday objects that light up as magical objects in the poem. As in the first chapter, a close relationship between the lyrical self and the sensual materiality of matter and substances is revealed. Programmatically it says in “Childhood and the next”: “I gathered things as they were in / Pray”.

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The poetic architecture of Seiler’s memory is the anchor point in the Brandenburg pine forest. Wilhelmshorst is a house in Hubertusweg on the western edge of the village where the poet Peter Hüchel once lived and where Lutz Seiler lived for many years.

The “pine vault” around this house is described by Seiler in earlier poems and essays. The second chapter is still entitled “Writing for Blind Veterans” with “Im Kiferngevolbe”—and it creates a provocatively charged space of speech sounds, visually powerful imagery, and noises. Here the apostate “man in march” wanders through a forest that turns out to be a ship “rigged”.

In other poems, Seiler portrays the landscape of his childhood in Thuringia, the villages around Kalmitzsch damaged by uranium mining, which disappeared during the industrialization policy of the GDR. They are poems in which lyrical ego thinking connects to the “ancestral system” of the ancients, as well as the “cinder tracks” and “cinder blocks” of childhood adventures.

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Seiler reminds poet Ulrich Zigero

In the state of the daydream, Seiler’s lyrical theme sinks into the past: “Nothing more / More comfortable: than sleeping / With dead tired eyes at the window / Listening once again in the dark”.

This time, however, “Ortsdorchfahrt Kalmitzsch” also expands in a northerly direction to Sweden, Seiler’s second home, which he has poetically topographed here for the first time. The island of Arholma on the Swedish Baltic coast becomes the new lyrical navigation point at which the poet tests the “permanence of the voice”.

These poems also work in the author’s internal dialogue with things, with a provocative, thought-provoking speech that invokes a sunken past.

In memory of the poet Ulrich Zeiger, who died in 2015 in what resembles a mystical scene, Seiler indicates that this kind of poetic imagery, for which he and Zeiger have a weakness, is hardly cultivated now: “One evening, winter nineteen ninety-nine, suddenly: / The light had descended the tent – / it shone, over the field, it was warm, it was gold / The color of the prophet, a spaceship and I … “. Small group of poets Among those who still believe in language magic, Lutz Seiler is the most striking figure.

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