Mark Halperin schreef een Spinoza-gedicht

Mark Halperin is geboren in New York, woont met zijn vrouw, de schilderes Bobbie Halperin, in Ellensburg, Washington en geeft Engels aan de Central Washington University. Hij heeft les gegeven in Japan, Estland en – als Fulbright lecturer – in Moskou en Sint Petersburg in Rusland.

Josephine Jacobsen citeerde van hem de uitspraak: “schooled in the school of the love of my family.” [Hier 

 Falling Through the MusicVan zijn hand verschenen vijf dichtbundels.

Z’n recentste dichtbundel is Falling Through the Music (2007). Daarvoor verschenen: Time As Distance (2001), The Measure of Islands (1990), Backroads, A Place Made Fast.
Recent verschenen ook van zijn hand: Near and Far, a chapbook en Greatest Hits.
Samen met Prof. Dinara Georgeoliani vertaalde hij werk van Bunin, Galich, Kharms, Platonov, Kushner e.a. Samen met Joseph Powell schreef hij Accent on Meter: A Handbook for Readers of Poetry [National Council of Teachers of English, 2004]

Uit Falling Through the Music (2007) is het volgende gedicht


There are those who shake
at the thought of being obscure,
ingenuous, and turn to memory
as a wall they can lean against,
ock solid, its guarantees basic
as desire’s gutturals. The facts
and their significance they trust

Still, I recall the taste of
my own stomach’s churning, hot
breath in my face. Squeamishness
felt then fled, and I reached down
deeper than I ever had before for
any scraps to feed the laboring
engine of my ingenuity. Say

“Freedom is the recognition
of necessity,” as Benedict Spinoza
did, who never taught, but bought
his own with a shorter life by
grinding glass. Sincerity may
just be the overrated ballast,
to jettison when you need speed.

[van hier op de website van University of Notre Dame Press]

                                                     * * *

In Time As Distance [2001] verkent Halperin het leven van hemzelf en van anderen langs een tijdlijn die loopt van de Yakima-rivier in Washington waaraan hij woont, naar Tallinn in Pennsylvania, naar Tallinn in Estland, tot diep in het verleden naar zijn eigen joods-Russische voorouders. Uit deze bundel is het volgende gedicht, getiteld: Spinoza


There was only one work, one
picture the parts of which needed to fit
each other, to cohere, and only
that mutual dependence interested him
given the tightness of a web
in which the failure of even one strand,

letting it sag too far in one
direction and then drag and droop or start
to cave in, would seem to require
full knowledge at the start, omniscience, 
since, if the pattern that links
the parts is to hold through time it must

escape even temporal boundaries,
a notion fatally like the knowledge that it
will precede its being.  And from
that Spinoza shied.  There, amid the numbers
that organize his geometrical
exposition, intuition and the love of God,

exotic as winter fruit, hearten
those for whom too much reason stifles and
suffocates, like a speaker intruding
that Spinoza lacked a way to describe something
further because here vision exceeded
the language in which it could be embodied. 

I do not know.  Some hold
the truth is something in the world
words try to describe and others,
the fit of words to the world. Only a few
would say it is the sound of
certain words when they have found each other

after long searching.  Calling
something "predestined" only dresses one
mystery in another when we appear
to each other ill educated salespersons offering
our services, stumblers, liars, trying
to get right what we have not heard said before. 

Mark Halperin

from Time as Distance [New Issues, Western Michigan University, 2001]

[Van hier]


Biografische gegevens en andere gedichten van zijn hand hier, hier,  hierhier en hier en hier


Het gedicht SINCERITY heb ik heden aan het blog toegevoegd.