Music: Jiří Durman and Alexandr Krestovský
Texts: Ivan Blatný, Jan Skácel and František Listopad
Photo: © Jiří Ernest
Pursuit of happines
that's one of the rights of american citizens
granted by the constitution of 1832
What does it mean
it meansto marry and have children
or not tohave children and have the woman
the woman only
If you haven't got a woman have a dog.
No mice no flies no goblins
It may be already quarter to two
David Westbrook appeared
Friends and muchachas
take me to a distant tanking station.
I feel at home with you, when watering the cacti,
the rubber plant, the ivy and the rest.
I must be going then, your putting right my neck-tie,
the breakfast's over now and you can have a rest.
And when the evening comes, I'm back to our harbour,
the world's a picture now, you are the golden frame,
with our dogs and cats, the mantel-piece of marble,
for years and years from now it will be quite the same.
Harold Lloyd is hanging from one of the skyscrapers
pig him out
from the mouth of the grave
The will to life is remorselessly exploding all eternity
there is no death
we must acquiesce
there is no and then the yes
yes we want it so
we can't choose the absolute nothing
Some say that the police-tower is only
a facade of a troubled world
of the city of death
I don't believe it
I had for house-maid Milena
I had for house-maid princesse Anne
we often went for a hen-party.
Hearken, the rivers won't be frozen this winter
or nearly any other winter for that matter
this is a milde climate
Don't uproot the begonias leave them in
the gardens of the Gulf Stream
sweet like a nun's concerne for the world
sweet like a warble of a Bonni's warbler.
The curtain rises and we see the scenery
panoramic view of the snow-bound highlands in the back-ground
a cloud like a grand piano
red jam and yellow jam
the white ellbows of Tiffi
a green pound
don't cry for me Argentina
The Theatre Royal in Norwich playing Twelvth Night.
The poems are printed here in Ivan Blatný's spelling, with christmas, Kalifornia, approache, milde, concerne, happinesse and hapines etc.
Ivan Blatný (1919-1990), an exiled Czech poet from Brno with a history of hospitalization and mental illness, spent the last few years of his life living in a pension in Clacton-on-Sea, England. In the grip, still, of 'the drug of art/of modest small old surrealistic art' ('Leon-Paul Fargue: Droga'), he continued to write, producing a great deal of scattered verse and two books, 'Stará bydliště' (1979) and 'Pomocná škola Bixley' (1987), which were published in Canada. Blatný's late pieces are modest and surreal, certainly, a mesh of quirky, fragmented impressions, images, occasional judgments. They are delicate compositions of linguistic drift, put together from a mix of languages, Czech and English, predominantly, with snatches of German, French, and Spanish.
Arthur ReddingFor more information on Blatny's poems in English see Reding's article on http://dkf.ics.muni.cz/~xvalicek/journal/ff_bse/vol1997num1/2.html