Samstag, 16. Januar 2010

Poem for Henry Beissel

how do you do?
how do you do?
meeting a poet
just out of the blue
not being warned
that one is in the presence
of a V.I.P.
the President of the League of Canadian Poets.

you know Professor Beissel, of course?
and you,
watching me (with that ironic smile)
lighting my pipe,
just to gain time
to find le mot juste.

Allen Ginsberg wrote a poem
on wandering thru a Californian supermarket
with Walt Whitman
how do you do?
meet Mr. Whitman, who wrote Leaves of Grass
meet Mr. Bryant, who wrote The Prairies,
or something like this.

how does one behave in the presence
of a poet?
the professional small-talk
of professional men
of Engl. Lit.
talking of Michelangelo etc.

meeting a poet
just out of the blue.
if I had but known
I had brought my camera
to catch the moment
(catch a falling star
and put it in your pocket,
save it for a rainy day)
and I would have donned
one of my London-tailored
flannel suits
instead of wearing jeans and sneakers.

would you have been impressed?
meeting a poet
for ten minutes,
cultured conversation
right out of Woody Allen's Manhattan.
what can one say
except something along those lines
which Bogart had
at the end of Casablanca?

Ich habe den kanadischen Dichter Henry Beissel 1980 getroffen und wusste nicht, wer er war. Das ist mir sehr peinlich gewesen. Um mich zu entschuldigen, habe ich dieses kleine Gedicht geschrieben und es ihm nach Kanada geschickt. Er fand es sehr witzig. Das sind schon höfliche Leute, diese Kanadier.

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