Foreigners, far-off calamities —

Deuteronomy 29, 21

My mouth has transgressed.
Keep the apple;
for wicked are the ravenous.
(But let me be filled by your presence.)

Psalm 17

May the night be joyful, the stars tranquil.

Job 3

rewriting the bible, my favorite book. read on for elaboration.

from jc’s excellent post on writing adaptations: jose garcia villa would like to have a word with you.

Sinimulan noong 60s ni Jose Garcia Villa ang masusing pag-aaral sa politikang humahalimuyak mulang mga salita. Ang mga tensyon at pagkakataong lumikha mula sa politikang ito. Tinawag niya itong Adaptations.

Ang Adaptations: A Note on the Adaptations
(Sinipi ko ang buong tala ni Villa mula sa Doveglion: Collected Poems na inilathala ng Penguin Classics.)

The Adaptations are poems: from prose.

They are experiments in the conversion of prose, through technical manipulation, into poems with line movement, focus and shape, as against loose verse.

The work, apart from the choice of material, has consisted mainly in constructing in verse what originally exists as prose, These adaptations spring from a diversity of sources: from published letters, journals, notebooks; as well as from sources the [sic] least expected to yield poems: magazine items and captions, letters to the editor, newspaper editorials, book reviews, even advertisements. In the choice of material one of course uses one’s selective eye.

All the adaptations are in the words in the original texts. I [Villa] have added nothing to which cannot be found in them. On the other hand, in the interests of poetry and to achieve the tightness of verse, I have in some cases excised words (usually connectives or extra adjectives) or even whole phrases or clauses if inessential to my purpose. Punctuation has been altered to suit the movement of verse.

A few of these adaptations are Collages. I have borrowed the term from painting. The collages are adaptations where the sequence of the original text has been disturbed, where there has been, more or less, a pasting together. In the collage of the bullfight poem, for instance, taken from captions accompanying a photographic essay in Life Magazine, the sequence of lines is not as in the original text, but pierced together in a new order and made subservient to the ends of the poem. In another collage the poem derives from two different sections of a book yet achieves a unit effect.

In connection with this experiment of converging prose into poetry, William Carlos Williams has something pertinent to say in his Selected Letters, “Prose can be a laboratory for metrics. It is lower in the literary scale, but it throws up jewels which may be cleaned and grouped.” This expresses very well what I tried to do.

– Jose Garcia Villa

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2 thoughts on “BNNMSD:

  1. Isabel says:

    (What does the [acronym?] title signify, if you don't mind my asking?)

    • softfloors says:

      just reminders to myself about the posting of the particular poem. they’re reminders with expiration dates; i can’t be bothered to remember them all. 🙂

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