Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Shape of a man" translated into rock music and Russian


The poetry scorer scored: one of my own poems, "Shape of a man," has been scored for rock music by Nick Barbieri and translated into Russian by Kanat Omar.

Kanat has performed his translation in his hometown of Astana, Kazakhstan. With the help of our friend Joachim Faust, I performed my poem in Astana with Kanat that night without even leaving St. Louis.

Here is all that stuff in the order it happened, starting with my poem.



It is said (by my mother,
for one) that a woman will shape up a man
only for the man to move
on to another woman, more attractive
than she, superficially,
only available to the man because
he’s shaped up, now. It is sad,
she said, but it’s in our nature. There’s nothing
a woman can do. We can’t
stand a man to be so shapeless. But he can’t
stand still long enough for us
to shape up his sorry heart and soul the way
we clean up all his awful
things and body habits, just before he goes.

-- Chris King

Nick Barbieri's score of the poem.
(Nick Barbieri, Chris King)
Nick Barbieri
Nick Barbieri: drums, rhythm and lead electric guitar, vocals
Mark Buckheit: electric guitar
David Melson: bass
Produced and recorded by Nick Barbieri in St. Louis, Mo.
Mixed by Meghan Gohil at Hollywood Recording Studio in Los Angeles, CA
Mastered by Elijah "LIJ" Shaw at the Toy Box Studio in East Nashville, TN
This free download is intended for free sharing and non-commercial use with (c) reserved by Nick Barbieri/Chris King. Contact us regarding any commercial use. Thanks.
Nick Barbieri, hotel selfie
Kanat Omar's translation of the poem into Russian.

                                                                                                                                               Крис Кинг


Было сказано (также и
моей матерью), что женщина лепит мужчину
только для того, чтобы он ушел
к другой женщине, более притягательной,
чем она сама, но разве что внешне,
доступной мужчине только потому, что
теперь он обрел черты. Это печально,
сказала она, но такова наша натура. Женщина
ничего не может с собой поделать. Мы не можем
оставить мужчину столь бесформенным. Но и он
не может оставаться с нами столько,
сколько надобно, чтобы вылепить его огорченное сердце и душу,
мы отскабливаем все его ужасные
свойства и телесные привычки просто перед тем, как он уходит.

- Перевод с английского Каната Омара
Kanat Omar via Skype,
looking over the shoulder of Joachim Faust
And then we have Kanat Omar performing his translation in Astana, prefaced by me performing the poem via Skype some 6,151 miles away in St. Louis. The beginning of my bit is slightly clipped.

I enjoy how the fancy coffee machines speak their international language in the background. Not sure why the camera operator focused on the bookshelf, not the poet.
Kanat Omar is a Kazakh poet, journalist and filmmaker who visited the Center for the Humanities at Washington University last year for a five-week CEC Artslink Residency. Mary Laurita, a humanities dean at Washington University, introduced Kanat to Poetry Scores.
We have high hopes for working much more with Kanat, translating poetry in and out of our respective languages and other media. Stefene Russell of Poetry Scores is currently working on English translations of Kanat's poetry with Joachim Faust, and more St. Louis poetry is being translated into Russian by Kanat, his friend Pavel Bannikov, and others. Stay tuned!

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