Saturday, February 4, 2012

N. P. van Wyk Louw - XXVIII. Aprilis

Leslie Caron as the dancer, Jane Avril.


N. P. van Wyk Louw

Jane Avril dances in Paris
scarlet lips, girdle pitch:
underneath like a smile
the thighs in braided muscle twitch

– “We” must (Cézanne insisted):
in shrill, sterile and sunlit-language glow
fix the soul (apparently) of “Old Masters”
and find “mind” and “wisdom” somehow –

those beautiful steel rods in black
shoot cleanly like an engine-arm blow
in sectors, minimal, and round in quartered
circles: shin and toe.

[Translated by Johann de Lange]