“Slease refuses the comforts of rootedness, stability, permanence. In doing so, he represents what the philosopher Rose Braidotti identifies as the model of nomadic subjectivity “in flux, never opposed to a dominant hierarchy yet intrinsically other, always in the process of becoming, and perpetually engaged in dynamic power relations both creative and restrictive.” For many years now this “world alien,” as he jokingly calls himself in the interview with Wetherington, has been writing poems that celebrate flexible identity and mobile imagination. Equally introspective and retrospective, Play Yr Kardz Right beautifully illustrates his nomadic poetics” (Piotr Gwiazda in Jacket 2).
Ron Padgett, like so many great NY School poets, is also a fantastic translator. I love his translations of French poetry. They are so fluid and contemporary. I especially love his translations of Apollinaire and Blaise Cendrars. Blaise Cendrars’ Complete Poems is one of my favourite collections of poetry ever. He is also a nomadic poet par excellence. A great inspiration for my own nomadic surrealist project.
Ron Padgett’s translations of Yu Jian is part of that expansive poetic tradition. And, like Ron Padgett, there is a childlike quality of wonder and curiosity. I naturally gravitate to this kind of playful poetry.
I wonder how much of Ron Padgett is in Yu Jian’s translations. I would imagine they naturally gravitated towards each other with similar aesthetic concerns and so on.
Anyway, these translations of Yu Jian by Ron Padgett are terrific. After reading a selection of them at Jacket 2, I am even more curious. I am definitely ordering the whole book of translated poetry. It is called Flash Cards, from Zephyr Press, 2010.