Sky Gilbert, Kenneth Rexroth

De Canadese dichter, schrijver en acteur Sky Gilbert werd geboren op 20 december 1952 Norwich, Connecticut. Zie ook alle tags voor Sky Gilbert op dit blog.

Uit: Ejaculations From the Charm Factory. A Memoir

“I write this with trepidation. Mainly, I wonder why you would want to read it. What is there about Sky Gilbert’s life that’s going to hold anyone’s inter-est through a whole book? I certainly don’t think my personal history is particularly fascinating to anyone but a dear friend. If this book has any value, it will be because of the important period of time onto which my life has trespassed. This memoir spans the 18 years, from 1979 to 1997, when I was Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto. It was a time when my life intersected, intimately, with two worlds — theatre and sexual politics. And I was able to watch both change, gradually but fundamentally. What’s so important about the period from 1979 to 1997? March 18, 1979, was the closing night of the Broadway play On the Twentieth Century. This brilliant musical comedy was directed by Harold Prince, with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and music by Cy Coleman. On the Twentieth Century was one of the wittiest, “singingest” musical comedies to be born from the hothouse of American musical theatre. It was also a gigantic box office flop. Why? Because by 1979 Andrew Lloyd Webber was developing the “mega-musical,” and Michael Bennett’s A Chorus Line was already on its way to becoming one of the longest-running plays in Broad-way history. In 1979 the tide was changing in New York theatre; intelligent lyrics, good books — talent — didn’t matter anymore. Big bucks did. Not coincidentally, as the brilliant librettists seemed to disappear, so did the serious playwrights. Also not coincidentally, as New York was experiencing this dumbing down of the mainstream, there was a corresponding renaissance of the avant-garde. Richard Foreman, Lee Breuer, and Elizabeth LeCompte concocted astounding visions with experimental theatre companies like the Ontological Hysterical Theater and the Wooster Group. These fundamental changes in New York’s arts scene would eventually have their effect on my professional theatre life in Toronto. And two months later in San Francisco, on May 21, 1979, Dan White was given a lenient sentence for a heinous cold-blooded hate crime — the murder of gay city hall supervisor Harvey Milk. Near riots ensued outside San Francisco City Hall. The murder of Milk was symptomatic of the furious backlash that accompanied the rise of gay liberation in the ‘7os. From Anita Bryant’s rage against homosexuals (who, she said, “eat sperm”) to Toronto’s bathhouse raids, the war was on. Gay liberation changed its very nature during the ‘8os, especially when the hatemongers were given additional ammunition by the mysterious “gay epidemic” that was to surface two years after White’s sentencing. These changes had a significant effect on my work as an activist in Toronto. Through Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, these two worlds — theatre and sexual politics — intersected and sometimes merged. The most important and absolutely true thing I can tell you about that time is this: I was there.”


Sky Gilbert (Norwich, 20 december 1952)


De Amerikaanse dichter Kenneth Rexroth werd geboren in South Bend (Indiana) op 22 december 1905. Zie ook alle tags voor Kenneth Rexroth op dit blog.


De kruisdagen

Onder de boomgaarden, onder
De aan bomen geregen wijnstokken,
Maken kleine blauwe gestalten hooi, hoog
Op de steile hellingen erboven
Palladio’s slaperige villa’s
En de wervelende muren van Tiepolo.
Op het hoogste veld staan ze
Nog steeds te snijden met zwaaiende zeisen;
Beneden gooien ze
De grote balen hooi op om te drogen
In de zon; verderop
Schudden ze het of brengen ze het
Weg in tweewielige ezelkarren.
De Venetiaanse vlakte verdwijnt
In nevel. De nabijgelegen Alpen zijn
Onbepaalde blauwe vlekken,
Afgedekt met vage oranje strepen
Sneeuw. Wolken parfum rollen
De heuvel op in golven. Alle vogels
Zingen. Alle bloemen bloeien. Hier
Aan een stenen tafel als deze,
Op een kleine heuvel als deze,
In een cirkel van cipressen
En olijf zoals deze, bezocht
Het oneindige Leopardi,
En verrukte hem en droeg hem
Hem weg de diepe zomer in.
Het zou ook mij wegvoeren,
Als ik wist waar ik heen wilde
Of als ik gewoon
Helemaal nergens heen wilde.


Vertaald door Frans Roumen


Kenneth Rexroth (22 december 1905 – 6 juni 1982)


Zie voor de schrijvers van de 20e december ook mijn blog van 20 december 2021 en ook mijn blog van 20 december 2018 en ook mijn blog van 20 december 2015 deel 2 en eveneens deel 3.

Geef een reactie

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *