ice music

11:43 PM Posted by James Owens

Orga de gheaţă

Se aude ceva,
Nu-i aşa?
E muzica
Orgii de gheaţă
Care-mi atârnă de streaşină.
Nu reuşesc să disting
Nici un sunet,
Dar ştiu,
Sunt convinsă,
Că nu se poate
Să nu se audă nimic,
Iar acest instrument
Şi atât de repede pieritor
Să fi fost inventat
Pentru cine ştie ce
Nevăzut, îndepărtat,

Ana Blandiana

The Ice Organ

You hear something,
Don‘t you?
It’s the music
Of the ice organ
Hanging from my eaves.
I can’t make out
A sound.
Still I know,
I am convinced,
It can't be
That there is nothing to be heard---
And that instrument,
And so quickly vanishing,
Could have been invented
For who knows what
Unseen, remote,

(my translation)

L’Orgue de glace

On entend quelque chose,
N’est-ce pas?
C’est la musique
De l’orgue de glace
Suspendue de mon avant-toit.
Je ne peux pas distinguer
Une seule note.
Pourtant, je sais,
Je suis convaincue,
Qu'il est impossible
Qu'il n'y ait pas de musique,
Et que l’on ait inventé
Cet instrument
Et si éphémère
Pour qui sait quel
Invisible, lointain,
Et indifférent.

(ma version française)

I am grateful to Roxana, who first showed me this poem!



Lady Jo said...

L'orgue de glace.....très beau poême !
Ce sont là tes photos ??? il fait beaucoup plus froid que chez nous !
très bon samedi !
Amitié et bises.

colleen said...

Lovely ice shots..I love the one from below the icicles!

James Owens said...

Lady Jo: Toutes les photos sont les miennes. J’en ai pris quelqu’unes chez moi, quelqu’unes en Virginie pendant les vacances de Noël. Oui, il fait très froid. Les glaçons s’agrandissent chaque jour. Bises et bon weekend!

James Owens said...

Colleen: Thank you for mentioning that shot. Out of all of these, that is the one I was unsure about -- but in the end the perspective seemed interesting...

Pacey said...

Those are wonderful shots James, great perspectives too.

Claire said...

James firstly thank you for your meaningful comments over at my blog. It really does mean a lot to me.

The ice in your photos, the jagged edges, they are somehow frigid and dangerous and this represents perfectly the silence spoken of in the poem.

Roxana said...

Când eram mică, eram convinsă că ţurţurii sunt cel mai frumos lucru care poate exista pe pământ (deşi au un nume îngrozitor, ce cuvânt urât, imposibil de folosit într-o poezie :-)

imaginile tale m-au făcut să-mi amintesc asta.

Sorlil said...

My favourite is also the one from below the icicles, quite disorientating in a good way! Also increasingly feeling the impoverishment of my state of only knowing one language!!

S. Etole said...

frozen beauty that will pass with time ... wonderful photos

chrome3d said...

I can hear the grandiose organ of the water playing there. This is really spectacular stuff and your icicle factory is producing a feast for the eyes every day.

Andrea said...

Thank You,James,for visiting my Blog.
I really like this images and the poetry you choose for them.


James Owens said...

Pacey: I’m glad you like these. I’m finding ice to be an endless fascinating subject…

Claire: Thank you. I like your Light / 365 project, and I will keep coming back ;-) Silence it seems to me is essential to both poetry and to photography (a paradox?), and it is, I suppose, what I want to achieve. I never forget Rilke’s recommendation that we should pay attention to those “moments when something new has entered us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy embarrassment, everything in us withdraws, a silence arises, and the new experience, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it all and says nothing.”

James Owens said...

Roxana: Mă bucuri. Pe când îmbătrânesc, mă gândesc din ce în ce mai la copilăria, lumea magica și pierduta … If these images have transported you back there for a moment, then I am more than pleased with them! And in that love for icicles, beautiful but fragile and so quickly gone, one senses hints already of The Floating Bridge … Und Rilke mahnt uns: “Glaubt nicht, Schicksal sei mehr als das Dichte der Kindheit….”

Roxana said...

you won't believe it, but i was just writing a bit of text for a small video i want to make, and it is exactly about a child's eyes... as if you knew it and echoed my thoughts...

James Owens said...

Sorlil: I’ve always had a great desire for languages, but unfortunately it is not matched with any great talent. I pick things up pretty quickly, but they disappear even more quickly when I don’t keep in practice. Have you ever studied Gaelic? There is a surprising (well, that is, surprising to us who don’t know any better) amount of (I’m told) good poetry in Gaelic. I actually did a semester of Gaelic in college --- which is a strange and sad fact to contemplate, since it is all gone now -- every word -- like smoke on the wind….

James Owens said...

Roxana: I believe it :-) It must be true, as they say, great minds think alike....

Roxana said...

haha :-)

"Mă bucur. Pe cât îmbătrânesc, mă gândesc din ce în ce mai la copilărie, lumea magică și pierdută"

James Owens said...

Susan: Some would say that our knowledge that beauty will pass -- is already passing when we see it -- is what makes it beautiful…. Maybe … What do you think?

Chrome3d: Thank you. Yes, I’ve been lucky to live inside this factory. Now I will be sorry when spring comes and it stops producing icicles….

Andrea: Thank you for coming by. It’s nice to meet you, and I look forward to more of Africa on your blog.

James Owens said...

Roxana: Thank you for the corrections :-) I must find a way to remember about declining adjectives, i.e., remember that they don't behave they way I want them to behave :-)

Sorlil said...

There are a couple of Gaelic poets I very much like.

Unfortunately my mother never taught my brother and I any Gaelic because my father doesn't speak it but I was brought up with the sounds of it and after every long summer in Lewis I could understand much of it, unfortuately much of that understanding is gone (though I've never forgotten how to ask for a biscuit - the necessary words for any child!!).

I'll probably be sending my children to Gaelic nursery and primary school though b/c there's one close to where I live, which means of course I'll have to learn it!

Either that or I'll send them to local German class and learn that with them, I've always regretted not continuing with German at school!

And (!!) there's a local lady who's happy to teach me Hebrew, which I've tried learning on and off for a number of years but struggle to get past the minor script of the alphabet. Ahh maybe I'll get proficient in one of them one day!

James Owens said...

Sorlil: That's wonderful! Your mother is a native speaker, then? If you understood Gaelic that well as a child, then I would bet it will come back to you easily. I feel the same way about German :-( I did a year of it in school, then neglected it ... Now it turns out that many of my favorite poets are German, and I have to read them in translation or struggle through very slowly with a dictionary....

Sorlil said...

Yes she is. Hoping to head to Lewis this summer for a holiday, maybe that'll kick-start me...

Oxygène said...

Tes photos sont magnifiques James et quel plaisir de pouvoir lire ce beau poème en français. Merci d'avoir eu la gentillesse de traduire pour tes copinautes qui ne maîtrisent pas l'anglais.
As-tu photographié ces étonnants orgues de glace cette année ? Ce sont de merveilleuses sculptures que la nature nous offre et on a vraiment envie de tendre l'oreille pour les entendre chanter.
Merci et bonne fin de journée à toi !

James Owens said...

Oxygène: Oui, je les ai photographiés tous cette année. Il fait assez froid.... Je suis bien content que tu as trouvé le poème compréhensible en français. J’avais de l’aide avec la traduction, il faut l’admettre :-)