samedi 5 novembre 2005

Patti Smith (in English)

August 98, I was in Dranouter, Belgium, attending the Folk festival. It's not far from my place. I was there with my daughter. She wanted me to go with her. We expected to see Patti Smith, the singer. Both we're fans. Patti Smith is the same age as me and when she began her carrier she was as old as my daughter now.
In those times I had a small mag called "The Starscrewer". In one issue, I'd published a long piece of poetry by Patti Smith. It was when she recorded the "Horses" LP. She'd even come to France in Charleville to pray over the graves of the two young Rimbaud, Arthur and his sister Isabelle. But I'd never seen her for real.
So now, I was there under the big top in Dranouter. It was very hot and overcrowded. With my daughter Mary, we slowly elbowed our way through the crowd, sorry, sorry, excuse me... and finally, just before the beginning of the show, we succeeded, got a good place, right at the frontstage, happy as can be !
It began right in time. A lady introduced Patti Smith using Flemish language, but I mainly understood what she said. And soon, the band entered the stage starting to play. Suddenly came Patti Smith, long stiffed hair, no make-up, a man-jacket over her shoulders, large boots, jeans and a small rumpled blouse.
She waved to the crowd. Everybody was cheering but I said nothing. I just watched her. She held a booklet in her hand. It looked like a poetry book. Then she got her glasses out from her jacket 's pocket. She came right in front of the mike and then I was hit. She started to read : "Holy holy holy holy holyholy holy holy holy holy holyholy holyholyholy the world is holy !"
Suddenly I got a lump in my throat. I was sad at heart. I felt my eyes becoming wet. I thought I was about to cry there just in front of all these people. Immediately I'd recognized what it was. It was Howl, this famous poem by Allen Ginsberg. My lips moved at the same time as Patti Smith's. Tears in my eyes, it had been a long time since such a thing happened to me.

When she'd finished reading the poem, she took her clarinet and proceeded to blow with all her might, and by the way, the other musicians were playing higher and higher too. She ended with this first piece on the floor, on her back, always making her clarinet crying. Then she stood up again. She said : "This poem was from Allen Ginsberg."

She went on with the rest of her show, singing more songs, reading more poems. And all along the show, I was there, standing on my feet, quite still, eyes and ears wide open till the end. It was like day-dreaming for me, and for my daughter, as well. So, you see, I had to speak about it. I had to tell you. It's forever in my mind, that day when Patti Smith came to sing in Dranouter.
Lucien Suel
Traduit du picard par l’auteur.

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posted by Lucien Suel at 08:49