Friday, October 4, 2013

Mynona's 100 Bonbons




Miekal And, a poetry and culture hero of mine for years, has graciously provided me with a copy of Mynona's (Salomo Friedlaender's) 100 Bonbons (1918) which I started translating today. So I thought I wd inaugurate a new thing here on JBWwESF by including a serialized translation of this cantankerously messianic expressionist (or grotesque) Sonnet cycle.. Here is the opening epigram by Paul Scheerbart which, like some of Mynona's other work takes off from a single line, or association from another work, and then, the first 'bonbon'..


“Rhyming and Swinewhining!
To me it’s all the same!
Old cats are not stupid.
But to those sub-humans,
I give a daily roasting, for you
make the world so odious.
To me it’s all the same!
People, be free!

-Paul Scheerbart



I.
Old bottles aren’t meant for new wine,
Like the dense poet Whitman;
The soul always creates its new rhythms,
Whose days’ sonnets are just swine.

Therefore today I am also me, only 
I am reassured on that account, as 
when I slipped I also wanted it, not 
only for the ride, but to reject all degrees 
in the Sonnet form: No!

I hop like the muscles dictate, mine
Won’t be forced into alien form,
And I feel completely free in mine - mine!

Fooey devil, in each sonnet I smear,
I will be in my own lungs themselves
and never breathe Petrarchan.