έ ȭЭ / MAURICE RIORDAN Print E-mail
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● ­­­ ­ ­ ­­ ­ ­ ­­­ ­ ­ ­­­ ­­ ­­­ ­ ­­­ ­­. ­­ ­, ­­, ­­, ­­ ռ ­... ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­­?
– ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­ ­ ­­ ­­ ­­­­ ­­ ­­ ­­­­­ ­. ­ ­­ ­­­­ ­ ­­ ­ ­­ ­­­. ­ ­ ­­ ­­ ­ ­, ­­­­ ­­ ­­­ ­ ­­ ­ ­ ­ ­­ . ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­ ­ ­­ ­­­. ­ ­­­ ­ ­ ­ ­­­­ ­ ­­ ­­­ ­­­ ­. ­­ ­ ­­ – ­ ­ ­, ­ ­ ­.
● ­­ ­ ­­ ­­­­: ­­­­ ­­­ ­­ ­ ­: y y, Q­ ­ : 101 ­ ­ ­­, W ­­ ­. ­ ­ ­­­ ­­­ ­­y ­ 2005. 2009. ­­. ­ ­­ ­­ ­­­ ­ ­­­­­, ­­­ ­ ­­­, ­­­­ ­­ ­­­ ­­­ ­­­­?
– ­­ ­ ­ ­ ­, ­ ­ ­. ­­­­ ­­­­ ­­­ ­ ­­­ ­­ ­ ­­­. ­ ­­­ ­­­­, ­ ­, ­­­ ­ ­­­­ ­­ ­ ­­­ ­­ ­­ ­­­­ ­ ­­­ ­ ­ ­­ ­­­. , ­ ­­ ­­­, ­­ ­ ­­ ­­.
­­­ ­­­ ­ ­ ­. ­­ ­ ­ ­­­, ­­ ­. ­­ ­­­ ­ ­­­, ­ ­­. ­­, ­­ ­­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­­­ ­­ Ӽ­­­ ­­. ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­­ ­­ ­­­ ­­ ­­­ ­ ­­ ­ ­­­. ­ ­ ­­? ­ ­­­, ­. , ­ , ­­­ ­­­­­­ ­.
● ­­ ­ ­­­­ " ­­­­­­ , ­­­ ­­, ­ ­­ ­­ ­ ­­ ­", ­ ­­­­ ­ ­ ­, ­ ­ ­­­ ­­ ­ ­­, ­­, ­­. ­­ ­ ­­­­ ­­ ­­ ­­ ­­­ ­­­, ­­­ ­­­. ­­ ­ ­­ ­ ­ ­­­­­­ ­­­?
– ­ ­­­ ­­ ­­ ­ ­­ ­­, ­­ ­ ­­ ­ – ­ ­ ­­­ ­­ ­ ­­ . ­­­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­­­­ ­­­ ­­­ ­­­­ ­, ­ ­­! ­, ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­­ ­­­ – ­­­ ­ ­­, ­ ­ ­­ ­­­­ ­. ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­­­ ­­­ ­ ­­­­. ­ ­ ­­, ­­ ­ ­­ – ­ ­­ ­ ­­­ ­­ ­­ – ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­­ ­ ­­ ­­ ­­­ .
● ­­ 2004. ­­ ­ ­ ­­­­ ­­ ­ ­­­­­ ­­y ­­y. ­­­­­ ­ ­­ ­­­­ ­­­­ ­ ­­ ­ ?
– ­ ­­ ­ ­­­­ – ­­ ­­ ­­ – ­­ ­­ ­ ­ ­­­, ­ ­­­ ­­ ­­ ­­­ ­­­. ­ ­­­ ­­­, ­­ ­­­­ ­ , ­­ ­, ­ ­, ­­ ­­, ­ ­, ­­­ ­, ­­. ­ ­­­ ­­­ ­­­, ­­­ ­­­ ­­­ ­­ ­­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­­ ­­ ­ ­­­. ­­­ ­ ­­ ­ ­­­­­ ­­ ­ "­­­" ­­ ­. ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­­­ ­­ ­ ­.
­ ­­ ­ ­ ­­ ­ ­­­, ­ ­­­, ­­ ­. ­­ ­ ­­­­ ­ . ­ "­-­" ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­­­­. ­ ­ ­­ ­ ­­­ ­. ­ ­ ­­ ­­. ­­ ­­ ­ ’ ­ ­­. ­ ­­ ­ ­­ ­­ ­­ ­­. ­­ ­ – ­ – ­­ ­ ­ ­, ­ ­­­ ­ ­ ­ ­­­­. ­ ­ ­ ­­.
● ­ ­ 1912. ­­, ­­ ­­y ­­ ­ ­­ ­ ­­­ – ­­­­ ­­ ­­ ­­­, ­­­ ­­­­ ­­­ ­­. ­ ­­­ ­ 2016. ­­ ­ ­ . ­­ ­­y ­­ ­ ­­­ ­­ ­­­, ­ ­ ­­­?
– ­­ ­­ ­­­ ­­, ­ ­ ­­. ­ ­­ ­­ ­­­. ­­ ­­­ ­­, ­­­­ ­­. , ­ ­­­, ­­­­ ­­ ­­ Ӽ­­­ ­­.
­ ­ ­­ ­. ­ ­­ ­­ ­­ – ­­ ­ ­­ ­­ ­ ­­­, ­­ . ­­ ­ ­ ­ ­­­ ­­ ­­ ­. ­­ ­­ ­­ ­ ­­ ­­­­ – ­­­. ­­­­ ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­­, ­ ­ ­­­. ­­, ­ ­­ ­­ ­­ ­­ ­­!
● ­ ­­­ ­­­ ­­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­? ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­, ­ ­­ ­­­ ­­­ ­­ ­?
– ­­­ ­­ ­ Ӽ­­­ ­­. ­­ ­­­ ­­ ­­ ­­ ­­­ ­­, ­­ ­­­, ­­­, ­­, ­­. ­­ ­­ ­­ ­ ­­­­ ­ ­­ ­ ­ ­­. , , ­ ­, ­ ­­ ­ ­ ­­­ ­ ­­, ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­ ­­­ / ­­.
­­­ ­­­ ­­­ ­­­ ­­ ­. ­ ­­­ ­­, ­­, ­­­­ ­­ ­ ­ ­. ­ ­­­ ­ – ­­­ ­.
­­ , ­­­ ­­­ ­­ ­­­ ­­ ­ ­­. ­ ­­­­. ­­ ­ ­­­ "­" ­­­ --­. ­ ­­­ (­­ ­ ­) ­ ­­. ­ ­ ­, ­ ­­, ­ ­. ռ ­­­ ­ – ­­­ ­ ­­­. ­­­ ­­, ­ ­­ , ­­ ­­­­ ­. ­ ­­ ­ ­­, ­. ­­ ­­­ ­ "­­ ­", ­­­­­ ­­­ ­­.
­­, ­­ ­­ ­­­­ ­­ ­­ ­­ ­­­ ( , ­­­ ­­ ­­) ­: ) ­­ ­­ ­­; ) ­­­­ ­­­ ­­ ­­ ­­­ ­ ­­ ­. ­ ­ ­­. ­­ ­­­ ­­­ ­ ­ ­ ­­. ­­ ­ ­ ­­ ­ ­­­ ­ ­­­ ­. ­ ­ ­­ ­ ­­ ­­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­­ ­­ ­­­ ­ ­.

­ ­­, ­ 1953 ­­ ­ ­. ­­ ­­ ­ ­­ ­­­ Fa­ber and Fa­ber: A Word from the Lo­ki (1995), Po­e­try Bo­ok So­ci­ety T. S. Eli­ot; Flo­ods (2000), Whit­bre­ad Po­e­try Award; The Holy Land (2007), Majkl Hart­net i The Wa­ter Ste­a­ler (2013), T. S. Eli­ot. M The Fi­nest Mu­sic: Early Irish Lyrics ( , 2014) i A Qu­ark for Mi­ster Mark: 101 Po­ems abo­ut Sci­en­ce ( , 2000). Sa Džo­nom Bern­saj­dom Wild Rec­ko­ning (2004), , a Džo­slin Bel Ber­nel Dark Mat­ter: Po­ems of Spa­ce (2008).
Ima­nu­e­la Mif­su­da Con­fi­den­tial Re­ports (2005). T The Moon Has Writ­ten You a Po­em, ko­ Ho­zea Le­tri­je.
Po­e­try Lon­don od 2005. do 2009, a 2013. The Po­e­try Re­vi­ew. (Im­pe­rial Col­le­ge i Gol­dsmiths Col­le­ge), a na Uni­ver­zi­te­tu Ha­lam u Še­fil­du. Ži­vi u Lon­do­nu.



It’s not pos­si­ble to ima­gi­ne a re­a­lity in our ti­me,
ot­her than a di­sa­stro­us one

An In­ter­vi­ew with Ma­u­ri­ce Ri­or­dan

In­ter­vi­e­wer Jo­van Zi­vlak

● Gre­at Bri­tain is one of the le­a­ding co­un­tri­es with its po­e­try sig­ni­fi­cantly af­fec­ting the per­cep­tion of po­e­tic re­a­li­ti­es of va­ri­o­us cul­tu­res all over Eu­ro­pe and the world. From Sha­ke­spe­a­re to Yeats, Po­und, Eli­ot, Wystan Hugh Au­den... Do you feel that his im­pact is still se­mi­nal?
– Au­den re­ma­ins a key po­et in that gre­at li­ne­a­ge, in that he had a tho­ro­ughly mo­dern sen­si­bi­lity with a com­ple­te ma­stery of tra­di­ti­o­nal form. And so he ma­de the se­cu­rest link bet­we­en our ti­me and the tra­di­tion. He in­flu­en­ced not just En­glish po­ets, such as Phi­lip Lar­kin, but an Ame­ri­can ge­ne­ra­tion of for­ma­lists that in­clu­ded Ric­hard Wil­bur and Ant­hony Hecht. But I don’t think his in­flu­en­ce is di­rectly felt by po­ets no­wa­days. His con­tem­po­rary Lo­u­is Mac­Ne­i­ce has had a mo­re spe­ci­fic ef­fect on re­cent po­e­try in Bri­tain and Ire­land. Au­den’s po­ems ha­ve aged – tho­ugh many of them in a good way, li­ke gre­at wi­nes.
 ● You are an ac­com­plis­hed edi­tor and tran­sla­tor: as ant­ho­lo­gist you pu­blis­hed The Fi­nest Mu­sic: Early Irish Lyrics, A Qu­ark for Mi­ster Mark: 101 Po­ems abo­ut Sci­en­ce, Wild Rec­ko­ning and Dark Mat­ter. You al­so we­re Po­e­try Edi­tor of Po­e­try Lon­don from 2005 to 2009. What do­es such an in­ten­si­ve re­la­ti­on­ship with your con­tem­po­ra­ri­es mean to a po­et, espe­ci­ally when you work as a ma­ga­zi­ne edi­tor or ex­plo­re the­ma­tic re­a­li­ti­es of po­e­try as an ant­ho­lo­gist?
– Edi­ting is strictly a day job, tho­ugh one I enjoy. Ant­ho­lo­gi­es are fun to do, in that they gi­ve di­rec­tion to one’s re­a­ding. The Fi­nest Mu­sic, which is the most re­cent ant­ho­logy, was a way of as­si­mi­la­ting the ear­li­est lyric po­e­try on the­se islands and of re-con­nec­ting with my own re­mo­te an­te­ce­dents as an Irish po­et. And that has, tho­ugh in a sub­ter­ra­nean way, fed in­to my own wri­ting.
Edi­ting ma­ga­zi­nes is bit mo­re of a bur­den. It re­qu­i­res ho­urs of wor­king thro­ugh sub­mis­si­ons, among ot­her things. The re­ward is that one di­sco­vers new po­ems, new vo­i­ces. And, cu­mu­la­ti­vely in the past few years, I ha­ve ga­i­ned a sen­se of what the youn­ger ge­ne­ra­ti­ons of UK po­ets are up it. I’ve been qu­i­te lucky, I feel, in that it is one of tho­se pha­ses when the youn­ger po­ets ha­ve an ur­ge to re-in­vent things for them­sel­ves and ha­ve cre­a­ted fresh pos­si­bi­li­ti­es. Do­es this af­fect my own wri­ting? Only at the mar­gins, I think. My own work, I su­spect, has its own self-ge­ne­ra­ted im­pe­tus at this sta­ge.
 ● Cri­tics say that you pos­sess "a qu­i­et, in­si­nu­a­ting vo­i­ce, with a me­a­su­red de­li­very, that ne­ver stra­ins af­ter its ef­fects" and that your best-known po­ems are of­ten of so­me length, but the­re re­ma­ins so­met­hing downbe­at, amu­sed, even la­co­nic, abo­ut your style of nar­ra­tion. This spe­cial style of nar­ra­tion is im­por­tant for the na­tu­re of mo­dern po­e­try in Gre­at Bri­tain, nar­ra­ti­vity and re­flec­tion. Do you think that this in­clu­des a cer­tain an­ti-ro­man­tic stand­po­int?
– My own nar­ra­ti­ve style co­mes ul­ti­ma­tely from Ro­bert Frost and Eli­za­beth Bis­hop, two Ame­ri­can po­ets – tho­ugh both ha­ve pro­ved con­du­ci­ve to the Irish and to the En­glish ear. I ex­pect the­ir in­flu­en­ce has partly to do with so­me year­ning for the tran­scen­dent, and an open­ness to re­a­li­ti­es beyond the ma­te­rial world, which even so is the one we­’re im­mer­sed in! So, my po­ems may well ha­ve a re­si­dual ro­man­ti­cism – but it is one that is hed­ged in, and has had to ac­com­mo­da­te to the an­xi­ety of the age. It’s not pos­si­ble to ima­gi­ne a tran­sfor­ma­ti­ve re­a­lity in our ti­me, ot­her than a di­sa­stro­us one. I think a layered, fa­ce­ted mo­de of wri­ting is what I’m af­ter – one that in­clu­des hu­mo­ur and se­ve­ral sha­des of irony – so that my po­ems can per­haps re­gi­ster an ade­qu­a­te re­spon­se of so­me sort to a be­wil­de­ring world.
● In 2004 you we­re se­lec­ted as one of the Po­e­try So­ci­ety’s ’Next Ge­ne­ra­tion’ po­ets. What are the cha­rac­te­ri­stics of your ge­ne­ra­tion of po­ets and ge­ne­ra­ti­ons that co­me af­ter you?
– Many po­ets of my ge­ne­ra­tion – tho­se I’ve clo­sest af­fi­nity with – ha­ve wan­ted to wri­te po­ems that are ac­ces­si­ble whi­le al­so pre­ser­ving qu­a­li­ti­es of for­mal and lin­gu­i­stic com­ple­xity. At a for­ma­ti­ve sta­ge, I be­lon­ged to a ’wor­kshop’ gro­up that in­clu­ded Jo Shap­cott, the la­te Mic­hael Do­naghy, Mat­thew Swe­e­ney, La­vi­nia Gre­en­law, Don Pa­ter­son, among ot­hers. I think we­’re all in­stin­cti­vely de­moc­ra­tic, whi­le al­so be­li­e­ving po­e­try is a de­man­ding art form that gi­ves us a way of kno­wing the world and li­ving in it as in­di­vi­du­als. I sha­re with se­ve­ral of my pe­ers an in­te­rest in sci­en­ce as pos­sibly an ’ob­jec­ti­ve’ re­alm beyond the self. I think our po­ems are in­cli­ned to lay hold of a tra­di­tion and mo­de of knowled­ge out­si­de our­sel­ves.
Youn­ger po­ets co­ming up now are for­ming, qu­i­te pro­perly, the­ir own spa­ce. They’ve grown up with a new tec­hno­logy and with a new cen­tury. They li­ve in the ’twit­ter-sphe­re’ in a way that I – at le­ast – wo­uld find in­to­le­ra­ble. But it gi­ves them a con­text that has no bor­ders as far as the An­glop­ho­ne world is con­cer­ned. I think the aest­he­tics ha­ve shif­ted. Frank O’Ha­ra and John As­hbery wo­uld be the­ir Ame­ri­cans. I do­ubt they spend much ti­me with Lar­kin or Se­a­mus He­a­ney. The­ir po­ems – at this sta­ge – feel mo­re co­te­rie-cen­tred, less re­spon­si­ble than ours and mo­re ne­u­ro­tic. That gi­ves them the­ir area of fre­e­dom.
● Sin­ce it was fo­un­ded in 1912, The Po­e­try Re­vi­ew has been ho­me to the world’s best wri­ting – by both in­ter­na­ti­o­nally re­nowned and emer­ging po­ets, newco­mers and No­bel Pri­ze win­ners. The new Sum­mer 2016 is­sue of The Po­e­try Re­vi­ew, is co-edi­ted by Emily Be­rry and you. What do­es The Po­e­try Re­vi­ew mean to the po­e­try in Gre­at Bri­tain and what is the ro­le of this ma­ga­zi­ne?
– The re­vi­ew has had a so­mew­hat che­qu­e­red hi­story, if truth be told. But it has a cir­cu­la­tion of abo­ut 4,000. And it’s got an on­li­ne au­di­en­ce as njell, and an in­ter­na­ti­o­nal pre­sen­ce. It is the most im­por­tant po­e­try ma­ga­zi­ne in the UK by so­me or­der of mag­ni­tu­de.
So my ho­pe is it sets the stan­dard. The aim is to pu­blish the best stuff – and al­so for the pro­se sec­ti­ons to of­fer cri­ti­cism that is ri­go­ro­us, as well be­ing open-min­ded and fa­ir. I see myself as ha­ving a ro­le, too, in set­ting an edi­to­rial exam­ple. Po­ets ha­ve to sub­mit the­ir work for pu­bli­ca­tion – and ta­ke the­ir chan­ces. We don’t pu­blish pe­o­ple just be­ca­u­se they are al­ready well known or in­flu­en­tial, or be­ca­u­se they are my fri­ends. In­deed, it may be so­met­hing of a draw­back to be a ma­te of the edi­tor in this ca­se!
● Is the ro­le of po­e­try in con­tem­po­rary Bri­tish so­ci­ety dec­li­ning, to­get­her with the ro­le of po­ets? How can a po­et en­du­re, what is the­ir so­cial po­si­tion and cul­tu­ral ro­le?
– Po­e­try cer­ta­inly isn’t dec­li­ning in the UK. The past twenty years or so ha­ve seen the pro­li­fe­ra­tion of wri­ting co­ur­ses, po­e­try re­a­dings, fe­sti­vals, pri­zes, per­for­man­ces. The­re is al­so fa­irly re­si­li­ent pu­blic fun­ding for such ac­ti­vi­ti­es and for pu­bli­ca­ti­ons of many sorts. Alas, for all that, I’m not su­re the­re are many mo­re re­a­ders than be­fo­re, just an anw­ful lot mo­re pe­o­ple wan­ting a go at wri­ting po­e­try and/or per­for­ming it.
In­te­re­stingly, po­e­try acts as a type of com­pe­ti­ti­ve are­na in Bri­tish so­ci­ety. Pe­o­ple with dif­fe­rent et­hnic, so­cial, re­gi­o­nal bac­kgro­unds and iden­ti­ti­es want part of it. It ma­kes for so­me di­ver­sity no­wa­days – and al­so so­me re­si­stan­ce to it.
That said, con­tem­po­rary po­e­try cer­ta­inly do­esn’t oc­cupy a cen­tral pla­ce in the cul­tu­re. It’s not ig­no­red. It gets a fa­ir amo­unt of no­ti­ce in ’se­ri­o­us’ newspa­pers and on the BBC. The po­et la­u­re­a­te (cur­rently Ca­rol Ann Duffy) has a high pro­fi­le. Se­a­mus He­a­ney was much lo­ved, in En­gland as well as Ire­land. Ted Hug­hes was wi­dely re­ve­red – and re­vi­led in so­me qu­ar­ters. A hand­ful of po­ets, such as Si­mon Ar­mi­ta­ge and Ali­ce Oswald, are known na­ti­o­nally. Many of us feel we ha­ve an au­di­en­ce for our work, but it’s a small one. We can ma­ke a li­ving with the help of the ’day job’, or by te­ac­hing aspi­ring po­ets.
But the­re re­ma­ins a wi­de­spre­ad su­spi­cion among the ge­ne­ral pu­blic that mo­dern po­e­try (that is, just abo­ut anything writ­ten in the past 100 years) is: a) far too de­man­ding to read; and b) is in­fe­ri­or to the ca­no­ni­cal po­e­try we le­ar­ned at school. The­re is so­me truth to this. A vast amo­unt of po­e­try is pu­blis­hed in one form or anot­her the­se days. You’d need to be an as­si­du­o­us re­a­der to ke­ep up with the half of it. Few pe­o­ple ha­ve the ti­me or are equ­ip­ped to pick out tho­se po­ets who are now bre­a­king new gro­und and wri­ting po­ems that are ma­de to last.

*

Ma­u­ri­ce Ri­or­dan was born in 1953 in Lis­go­old, Co­unty Cork.
He has pu­blis­hed fo­ur col­lec­ti­ons of po­ems with Fa­ber and Fa­ber: A Word from the Lo­ki (1995), a PBS Cho­i­ce and shor­tli­sted for the T. S. Eli­ot Pri­ze; Flo­ods (2000), shor­tli­sted for the Whit­bre­ad Po­e­try Award; The Holy Land (2007), which re­ce­i­ved the Mic­hael Hart­nett Award; and The Wa­ter Ste­a­ler (2013), al­so shor­tli­sted for the T. S. Eli­ot Pri­ze. Among his ot­her bo­oks are The Fi­nest Mu­sic: Early Irish Lyrics (2014) and A Qu­ark for Mi­ster Mark: 101 Po­ems abo­ut Sci­en­ce (2000). He co-edi­ted Wild Rec­ko­ning (2004), an ant­ho­logy of eco­lo­gi­cal po­ems, with John Burn­si­de, and Dark Mat­ter: Po­ems of Spa­ce (2008), with astro­no­mer Jo­celyn Bell Bur­nell.
Con­fi­den­tial Re­ports, his tran­sla­ti­ons of Mal­te­se po­et Im­ma­nuel Mif­sud, ap­pe­a­red in 2005. He has al­so pu­blis­hed a col­lec­tion for chil­dren, The Moon Has Writ­ten You a Po­em, adap­ted from the Por­tu­gu­e­se of José Le­tria.
He was Edi­tor of Po­e­try Lon­don from 2005 to 2009 and be­ca­me Edi­tor of The Po­e­try Re­vi­ew in 2013. He has ta­ught at Im­pe­rial Col­le­ge and Gol­dsmiths Col­le­ge. He is cur­rently Pro­fes­sor of Po­e­try at Shef­fi­eld Hal­lam Uni­ver­sity.
 
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