These Hands

These Hands[Reading] ➶ These Hands Author Per Aage Brandt – Poetry Bilingual Edition Translated from the Danish by Thom Satterlee THESE HANDS is an extraordinary bilingual poetry collection from renowned Danish poet Per Aage Brandt The uniueness of this work c Poetry Bilingual Edition Translated from the Danish by Thom Satterlee These Hands is an extraordinary bilingual poetry collection from renowned Danish poet Per Aage Brandt The uniueness of this work comes from the uniueness of the person himself unlike many other professor poets Brandt's academic discipline is not literature but semiotics a field in which he has authored a dozen books and roughly two hundred and fifty articles Many of the poems in this collection read like thought experiments as if the cognitive scientist made poetry his laboratory and theories his poems But Brandt's work is also rich with humor and humanity His poetry has a sense of playfulness and a sense of a personhood someone behind the poem who doesn't take himself too seriously even as he addresses profoundly serious subjects such as language consciousness and existence mixing comedy with critiue In this exuberant and sharp minded collection Brandt re sets the limits of language and creates a new kind of verse prompting one Danish critic to remark that his work bears resemblance to a brainwave than a book of poems. Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols and ultimately their meanings in communication Cultural signs can be read simply by observing the clothes someone wears the car they drive and even how their home is decorated Thus having someone who specializes extensively in semiotics and linguistics on a scholarly level is especially interesting to read as a poet; after all poetry similar deals with signs and symbols in its presentation and understandingPer Aage Brandt is foremost a scholar a professor with worldwide experience in clinical studies of semiotics linguistics poetics and aesthetics yet he’s also published numerous volumes of poetry Reading his work is different from reading other poetry his has an uncanny ability to carry multiple meanings without being ‘precious’; he covers serious subjects with regard but isn’t afraid to dip into light wit as wellThese Hands is an intriguing combination of his scientific method of observation and his selective use of specific words to get an idea across The introduction notes that he’s one of the few if not the only poet to put his titles for the poems after the poem instead of before It sounds odd but it works The title read last seems almost like a summary or key words to remember the verses byIn “visible invisible” he clues us into his perspective in poetry by commenting on how he sees this according to his trainingI see that you stare and so probably also seeBut not what you see I see; see this is a Big problem for me what is even Significant than that; but the door isn’tOpen I can just lean into what you’re nowSaying you see; it hurts never to be able to share what is seenAnd experienced now by us and nobody elseBrandt uses the underlying to emphasize that no two people see the same thing they bring to their interpretation their own life experiences and opinions Beyond that even the physical distance two people may have as they observe one item can change their perception light shadow and even sound can render their understanding differently How perfectly then semiotics ties into poetry The particular enjambment he chooses renders some words transparent or commutable “a study of the signs of life would includeAn exhausted smile stuck to the mirror aColorless coat on a peg a scarf typicallyForgotten on a chair the sound of footstepsFrom a possibly still intoxicated upstairs Neighbor an open window shaken by the wind”Another poem explores the significance of the written word to cement meaning“a phrase goes stray for a moment and the wind picks it upLets it blow into a face like a newspaper and then it doesn’t meanWhat it used to mean now it means the aforementioned gust of windAnd also the strayness of the moment the “writing” of the phraseIs its weight”At times Brandt makes simple observations that give pause“time should stand still when I’m addressing it” I took a class on semiotics last year and one of the tasks was to understand how symbols work in advertising how by using art and graphics in a specific intentional way can manipulate a consumer far than words or testimonials could Then it went into the types of literary motifs and themes that make a reader presuppose what the writer is saying Somehow reading that Brandt was both a scientist and a poet reminded me of Derek Walcott and how by virtue of his Caribbean heritage he didn’t fit in with American styles or traditional British writing although he loved both Brandt seems similar in that he can’t be pigeonholed into either role but is renowned in both

Paperback  ñ These Hands PDF/EPUB ¼
  • Paperback
  • 183 pages
  • These Hands
  • Per Aage Brandt
  • English
  • 27 June 2014
  • 9780924047749