Friday, 21 September 2012

The Stories: Peach Blossom Petals: Folk Tales & Poems from Vietnam

The Stories: Peach Blossom Petals: Folk Tales & Poems from Vietnam. Owersetts in Scots by Sheena Blackhall. Published by Malfranteaux Concepts. ISBN : 978 1 870978 90 3 (2012)Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen Front Cover: Jessica Le Blackhall. Back Cover: Jessica Le Blackhall & her great grandmother, Lac Le Thi, in Dien Ban Quang Nam, Da Nang. Cost: £4.00. Copyright: S. Blackhall. This is the writer's 15th collection of short stories. I am indebted to Nga Le Blackhall, my daughter in law, for providing the photos throughout this publication, with the exception of those of the monkey, the turtle photos and the gecko. The front cover photograph, taken in the farming village of Dien Ban Quang Nam in the province of Da Nang, is of Jessica Le Blackhall, my grand-daughter. The back cover photograph is of Jessica Le Blackhall (aged 1) with her great grandmother, Lac Le Thi (aged 92) also in Dien Ban Quang Nam. Most of the poems are Scots owersets of Ca dao by Sheena Blackhall from English translations on Wikivietlit by Linh Dinh. Linh Dinh was born in 1963, in Saigon, Vietnam and is a Vietnamese-American poet, fiction writer, translator, and photographer. ‘The term ca dao (derived from a line in the Wei Wind section of the classic Chinese folk poetry anthology, Shi Jing, or Books of Odes) can be loosely translated as “unaccompanied songs.” Ca: to sing; dao: to sing without music. The ca dao poems, transmitted orally, sustained and nourished the Vietnamese language through its centuries of domination and influence by China…Outside of the official purview, the ca dao poems flourished, telling of the everyday life and concerns of ordinary Vietnamese. The poems tend to be short--with many comprised of a single couplet of fourteen syllables (three less than a standard haiku)--but there are also many longer ones with 20 lines or more. Ca dao can be of four-syllable lines, with end rhymes.’ Linh Dinh

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Poems: Cleaning the Apostle Spoons

Cleaning the Apostle Spoons: Poems in Scots & English, Published by Malfranteaux Concepts Aberdeen, ISBN 978 1 870978 59 0. Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen. Cover:An adaptation of a Wikipedia jpg by Sìne NicTheàrlaich Cost: £4.00 Copyright: S. Blackhall 2012. ‘The history of humanity is one of migration, settling, then more migration. Whether the migration is defensive or aggressive is almost secondary in the long run. The fact is people move and ever faster, ever further now than they have ever done. The process of identifying with a place, a state, a language, a history, or a group of some sort whether religious or ethnic or kin, involves a complex and troubled negotiation between conflicting forces. The places we cling to are in the imagination as much as in time and space though we welcome the confirmations of time and place when we can get them.’ Extract from Apostle spoons were particularly popular in Pre-Reformation times when belief in the services of a patron saint was still strong. They were found in large numbers in Germany. Originating in the early fifteenth century in Europe as spoons used at table, by the sixteenth century they had become popular as baptismal presents for godchildren. In some communities they were used until at least the mid-twentieth century. In the Spirit of the Kaki Tree and Dandy Disraeli are due to be published in ‘Inspired: A Collection of Poetry’, by Forward Poetry, Peterborough in Autumn 2012. Some of these poems have already been published on Many were written during a Summer break in Glasgow; the war poems are due to appear in The Field Marischal’s Brandy, an upcoming Malfranteaux Concepts pamphlet. A Question of Science was written to mark the The British Science Festival (4 – 9 September 2012, hosted by the University of Aberdeen.